Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Ziegfeld is a "movie palace," which is why the Mets game will be playing there tonight

First, a moment of appreciation for the Ziegfeld, one of two (the Paris Theatre on 58th) remaining single-screen movie theaters in Midtown. A rarity these days. As the Clearview Cinemas Web site notes:

The Ziegfeld Theatre was a Broadway theatre formerly located at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and 54th Street in Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1927 and razed in 1966. The theatre was named for Florenz Ziegfeld, who built the theatre with financial backing from William Randolph Hearst.

The 'new' Zeigfeld Theater, built just a few hundred feet from the original Ziegfeld theater, opened in December 1969 and the movie house was one of the last big palaces built in the United States.

The theater features 1,169 seats, with 863 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 is, arguably, the last movie palace still showing films in Manhattan

Not to be Gloomy Grieve, but I do worry about this place. Aside from being a desired chunk of real estate in Midtown. It hasn't even been 1/5 full the last view times I've been there. (Granted, I'm not going to see, say, Iron Man, on opening night either.) I also enjoy their Hollywood Classics series.

So! What to make of this: The Mets-Phillies game is being shown there this evening. (This is becoming an annual event.)

As the press release for this evening's game at the theater touts, "Fans watching the action in larger-than-life style on the Ziegfeld's 50 foot x 23 foot viewing screen will participate in traditional Shea Stadium in-game entertainment and fan giveaways . . . Mr. Met and the Pepsi Party Patrol will also be on-hand to provide entertainment throughout the evening."

There will be beer sales and T-shirt launches too.


Alex in NYC said...

How does inviting a bunch of slackjawed, beer-spilling sports fans in your lush, stately movie theatre help?? Sorry, but I fuckin' hate sports.

christena said...

It'd be better if they show another Met event in that theatre: The Metropolitan Opera; or a concert -- live via satellite; or maybe even the DNC convention.

A Met, or any other sporting event, game would be best outdoors, like maybe Tompkins Square park, Bryant park, and Central park, when all these outdoor film fests are over.

Anyway, Ziegfield is actually a nice theatre for the not-mainstream films like the ones they show at Angelika; and here, there are more space and a wider screen, hence a better movie experience. It's just unfortunate that the people in that neighborhood would rather shop.

I saw Kenneth Brannagh' Hamlet there, and that was triumph and a must see in a big screen.

EV Grieve said...

I like your ideas, Christena...

Jill said...

It is beyond belief that anybody would go to the movies to see a baseball game. Especially when you can see it at home (is that true? there appear to be a dozen sports channels on my tv.) It is my understanding they are having trouble finding people to see actual movies (which is why they say they keep raising the prices), so how you make the leap to baseball is just nutty. Please report back and let us know if anybody shows up and if so I will have confirmation that I am completely out of touch with the mainstream, instead of just a little out of touch.