Ziegfeld Theatre

1341-47 Sixth Avenue,
New York, NY 10105

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CConnolly1
CConnolly1 on July 28, 2014 at 8:47 am

My father told me that it was difficult to demolish The Ziegfeld theater due to its solid construction. I don’t recall exactly what he said made it so difficult but it had to do with some kind of reinforced concrete (something more elaborate than the steel reinforcement that was/is used). My father worked for Burlington Industries in the 1960s and I believe the construction of its headquarters building was one of the reasons for the old Ziegfeld being demolished so it would make sense that he would know about this.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on May 10, 2013 at 9:40 am

Due to its unique design, the Ziegfeld’s interior was extremely difficult to photograph successfully. The auditorium was egg-shaped, with the stage at the narrow end. The walls and ceiling were covered by a gigantic mural depicting the joys of life, with fanciful figures of humans, animals, birds, fish, flowers, and foliage. The predominant color was gold, and the rest were in pastel shades.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Not necessarily 1933, Mike, but throughout the early thirties as the live shows closed, the cheaper movie options were more attractive to audiences as well as less risky to put on.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Wasn’t 1933 the year a lot of the 42nd Street playhouses — including Ziegfeld’s Follies' home the New Amsterdam — converted to first-and-second run grindhouses?

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on May 3, 2013 at 11:52 am

The Ziegfeld’s cinematic lifetime as Loew’s Ziegfeld amounted to 11 years, four months, and one week— from April 21st, 1933 through August 27th, 1944. After refurbishment by producer Billy Rose, the Ziegfeld returned to the “legit” fold in December with the satirical revue “Seven Lively Arts,” with Beatrice Lillie, Bert Lahr, and musical score by Cole Porter. I’ve posted a closing day ad for Loew’s Ziegfeld in the Photos Section.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on April 21, 2013 at 7:45 am

Eighty years ago today, Loew’s turned the Ziegfeld into a second-run cinema playing day-and-date with other Loew’s houses in Manhattan. I’ve posted an ad in the Photos Section. More details can be found in my comment above dated April 21, 2011.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 1, 2012 at 6:22 am

Here’s a direct link to hdtv’s terrific site discovery.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 10, 2012 at 10:16 am

It seems you have to manually sign up for alerts now; simply posting a comment doe not automatically register you. (Signing up is easy, though — just click the link at the bottom of the page.)

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on April 10, 2012 at 5:22 am

Which is the biggest screen showing ‘Titanic’ 3D in Manhattan this week, many thanks!

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on June 7, 2011 at 6:06 am

Here’s an exterior view of the orginal Ziegfeld Theatre: columbia

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Let’s get some photos of this house posted, quick. That office building now showing is dreadful.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on April 22, 2011 at 9:59 am

On this day in 1943, ten years after becoming Loew’s Ziegfeld, the theatre opened a double bill of MGM’s “Reunion in France” (Joan Crawford-John Wayne) and Republic’s “Hit Parade of 1943,” simultaneously with Loew’s Lexington, Olympia, 72nd Street, 83rd Street, and 175th Street in Manhattan, the Paradise in the Bronx, and the Valencia in Queens. As sometimes happened, the Ziegfeld’s top feature, in this case “Reunion in France,” could also be seen in Times Square at Loew’s State, which usually had a second-run feature in support of the vaudeville on stage.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on April 21, 2011 at 11:39 am

Seventy-eight years ago today, the glorious “legit” Ziegfeld Theatre suffered the indignity of opening as a subsequent-run cinema under the management of the Loew’s circuit, with three program changes per week on Friday, Monday, and Wednesday. The first booking was MGM’s “Rasputin and the Empress,” with Ethel, John, and Lionel Barrymore, supported by short subjects. Continuous performances started at noon, with the last complete show at 11:00pm. During the week, tickets were priced at 15 and 25 cents daytime, and 30 cents at night. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, all seats were 50 cents. The scale was not much cheaper than the Roxy Theatre, which offered a first-run movie plus a stage show for prices ranging from 25 cents to a weekend top of 55 cents. As the Depression worsened, Loew’s Ziegfeld switched to subsequent-run double features with a weekly change.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 9, 2011 at 10:07 am

From December 1951 into April 1952, Laurence Olivier and wife Vivien Leigh acted the title roles in “The Cleopatra Plays” on stage at the Ziegfeld Theatre. Supported by a company of British actors, the couple gave 66 performances of William Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra,” and 67 performances of George Bernard Shaw’s “Caesar and Cleopatra.” Ms. Leigh had previously starred opposite Claude Rains in a Technicolor film version of Shaw’s play.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on March 5, 2010 at 8:37 am

The Ziegfeld closed as a Loew’s cinema at the end of business on Sunday, August 27th, 1944, and re-opened as a playhouse on Thursday evening, December 7th, of that same year.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on March 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm

The last movies at the Ziegfeld were “Once Upon a Time” and “Shadows in the Night” in August 1944.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 19, 2010 at 8:17 am

The last paragraph of the introduction needs revision. The collection of memorabilia in the current Ziegfeld Theatre covers more than just the “Follies,” and also includes “Show Boat,” “Whoopee,” “Sally,” “Rio Rita” and other hits produced by Florenz Ziegfeld. In fact, only one of the “Follies” actually played at the Ziegfeld Theatre, the 1931 edition, which was also the last that Ziegfeld produced before his death in 1932.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 19, 2010 at 6:41 am

Here’s a photo taken just before the Ziegfeld’s grand opening in February, 1927: View link

bazookadave
bazookadave on September 11, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Wowie Zowie, what a find! Thanks for the link!

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on September 11, 2009 at 1:29 pm

A limestone head of a goddess, alleged to be from the facade of this theater, was recently spotted on E. 80th St. View link

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on December 13, 2008 at 1:00 pm

I could cry after looking at the historic photos of the Ziegfeld.

I always celebrate Mr. Ziegfeld’s birthday by screening the 1936 (Best Film) “The Great Ziegfeld.” The revolving stage scene with the magnificent waterfall curtain takes my breath away each and every time.
Perhaps, if I go to the “big theater in the sky”, I’ll have the honor of meeting Florenz… meanwhile, may those who greedily decided to destroy his wonderful palace rot in hell!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 10, 2008 at 8:35 am

The Ziegfeld was one of the first “legit” theatres to boast of having a refrigerated air system, which in this case kept the temperature never higher than 70 degrees during summer. At the time of this 1927 ad, no one could have known that in another six years, the glorious playhouse would be reduced to a Loew’s grinder with sub-run movies: View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 2, 2008 at 9:31 am

Has anyone noticed that Wikipedia’s entry for Florenz Ziegfeld displays an INCORRECT photo of him? The photo might show Ziegfeld’s father and namesake, but it’s definitely NOT the legendary Broadway theatrical producer.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 27, 2008 at 6:37 am

Patricia was Ziegfeld’s only child. Her mother was Billie Burke. Patricia once wrote a memoir, “The Ziegfelds' Girl,” which is well worth reading.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 26, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Ziegfeld’s daughter died recently. There was an obit in today’s LA Times.