Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Curtained screen

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built just a few hundred feet from the original Ziegfeld Theatre, this ‘new’ Ziegfeld Theatre opened in December 1969 and the movie house was one of the last big palaces built in the United States.

It was built from plans by the firm of Emery Roth & Sons, with designs by Irving Gershon and interior design by John McNamara.

The theatre features 1,131 seats: 825 seats in the front section and 306 seats in the raised balcony section in the rear. The interior is decorated with sumptous red carpeting and abundant gold trim.

The Ziegfeld Theatre is, arguably, the last movie palace still showing films in Manhattan. In June 2013 it was taken over by Bow-Tie Cinemas when they took over Clearview locations.

Recent comments (view all 4,173 comments)

pnelson on September 15, 2015 at 7:43 pm

My opinion here is that the colors are good and nice to have a curtain if it is used but the whole place looks like a large megaplex auditorium. Compare it to a classic theatre from the 30’s. Not possible. Zero unique qualities. Forget it.

NYer on September 16, 2015 at 5:50 am

Have you been there pnelson, or are you basing your opinion on photos? I can assure you The Ziegfeld is nothing like a large megaplex auditorium. The walls are red velvet, the lighting, crystal chandeliers and warm. Is it an opulent Roxy or Capitol? No, it was built in the late 60’s with a modern flair but still far and above anything you see in the black boxes of today and a true Cinema Treasure.

Movieholic on September 16, 2015 at 1:42 pm

The Ziegfeld is arguably the most beautiful, magnificent single screen movie house in the nation. I’m amazed it is still open, considering there are very few single screen cinemas left in the country. Seeing “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” here last year brought back so many memories. The screen wasn’t as big as I remembered but that may be because the movie was shown in Digital 3D. The other films I saw:

Roman Polanski’s Pirates Cry Freedom Lawrence of Arabia – the 1989 reissue in truly stunning 70MM; this was a totally mesmerizing experience, a real treat Edward Scissorhands Strange Days

HowardBHaas on September 16, 2015 at 3:21 pm

The Ziegfeld is pretty but not the nation’s prettiest single screen movie house. San Francisco’s Castro. El Capitan & others in LA. Suffern NY’s Lafayette. And, so forth. But the Ziegfeld is the most impressive place for NYC to host a movie premiere! And, it is a tremendous moviehouse for all of us to cherish & see more movies for as long as it remains open!

xbs2034 on September 16, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Movieholic: probably the reason why the screen didn’t seem as big with Apes is that is a 1.85 movie, so not as much of the screen space is being used as with the 2.35 films which make up the majority of the Ziegfeld presentations.

pnelson on September 16, 2015 at 6:55 pm

This theatre is attractive but a little dull. Red velvet does not impress me. Yes the restored movie palaces of Los Angeles do. Like the Million Dollar-etc. Seattle has a recent smaller theatre called the Majestic Bay that is lovely with a working blue waterfall curtain and crystal lighting now. The best sound and screen too. Know the Ziegfeld is unique in that so many theatres in that city have been torn down. The original Ziegfeld was wonderful. Yes be glad a single screen theatre still exists there. Oh Check out the restored Kings. Now there is the best! Cheers!

Movieholic on September 16, 2015 at 6:55 pm

xbs2034 you are absolutely correct. Thanks for pointing that out. I should have mentioned it. HowardBHaas I haven’t been to the others theatres you mentioned but want to, particularly the El Capitan in Hollywood.

pnelson on September 16, 2015 at 7:05 pm

I forgot to mention another superior theatre in Seattle. The Cinerama. Built in the 60’s and restored and the best technology. Huge curved cinerama screen and stars in the curved ceiling. Truly unique. Not a megaplex look here and a single screen in downtown Seattle where the real estate is quite expensive. Check it out. A true treasure. I think one should treasure all single screen movie theatres though. The Zeigfeld especially in that valuable real estate market.

bigjoe59 on September 20, 2015 at 3:06 pm


I have enjoyed reading the recent posts on this page. a few comments.

  1. the Castro Theater in S.F. is indeed a grand old quite beautiful film house but it was built from the get go in Sept. 1922 as a 2nd/3rd run neighborhood house. it would be interesting to find how many grand old movie theaters built in the heyday of 1914- 1941 that were built from the get go as 1st run venues have continue to operate as such since the day they opened. so the fact a theater as grand and large as the Ziegfeld has continued to operate as a single screen
    1st run venue since the day it opened it Dec. of 1969 is a miracle. this is especially true considering Manhattan real estate mania.

  2. also as grand and gorgeous a theater as the EL Capitan in Hollywood is it was not built as a movie theater. in opened in 1925 as a venue for live performances and only became a movie theater in 1941 when it was the only house in L.A. willing to play Citizen Kane.

xbs2034 on September 30, 2015 at 9:34 pm

The theater is back open this weekend, showing Ridley Scott’s The Martian.

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