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Last theater in Manhattan to show a CINERAMA film to close.

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Ken Viewer

Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 319

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:36 pm    Post subject: Last theater in Manhattan to show a CINERAMA film to close. Reply with quote

The Ziegfeld Theatre, the last movie house in New York City to show a movie in 70 MM Cinerama, is closing in the next few weeks. It is the largest single-screen theater in Manhattan, with approximately 1,200 seats.

It's tenant, the company that owns the newspaper Newsday, operates the Radio City Music Hall, used to own Madison Cubed Garden, operates a chain of movie theaters and is a subsidiary of Cablevision, the cable-TV provider for most of Long Island and other surrounding parts of New York City. It is willing to surrender its remaining lease on the stand-alone building.

It has been said that, other than cable TV, everything that Cablevision touches turns to shit. The low-rise building will be converted into some sort of corporate party-facility featuring a ballroom that may be open to the public.

The theater had been losing money for years, a member of the Dolan family, which controls Cablevision, told the New York Times. It played Star Wars over the Christmas holidays, in digital format.

The Ziegfeld is the last single-screen premiere-run movie house built in midtown Manhattan, circa 1969, and standing on the site of the original Ziegeld playhouse. It had been equipped to show 70 MM films on a huge screen. An attempt to revive the old Cinerama three-strip 105 MM films, rephotographed as 70 MM movies, flopped some years ago. At that time, a curved-screen made of cardboard was installed in front of the theater's flat screen. It was later removed.

The theater never had much of a rake, thus making it difficult to see over the heads of the people seated in front of you, but it did have a checkroom for coats and beaver pelts. Its bathroom facilities had gold-plated sink handles and running water but no paper towels, cloth towels or rags. It did have air blowers.

A sign in the men's room once said "Wipe your hands on your shirt."

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Ken Viewer

Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 319

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some carksucker at either M-G-M or Turner Classic Movies or Warner Bros. or all of them, has ordered, had made, and had them pay for a new restoration of the 70 MM version of the original three-strip Cinerama film "How the West Was Won."

Admittedly, it's a lousy movie, but Turner, the other night, showed the latest conversion of the film into "Cropped 70 MM". Each of the three original 35MM film-strips upon which much of the film was shot (portions were filmed in the first commercial use of Ultra Panavision 70 ultra-wide-screen single-camera system and rephotographed so as to blend in with the rest of the movie's 105 MM three-camera film system and three-projector 105MM, 2.89-to-one process). (The IMDB currently lists the three-strip version as 2.89 rather than 2.76-to-1.)

Now, they've taken the original three strips of 35 MM film, cut the corners off of each of them, and made a narrower 2:20-to-1 print on 70 MM film.

Nothing looks right in the latest conversion. The film, while in-focus, is in focus in different spots on the TV screen, and less wide, of course.

POS (Piece of Shit) process. In one spot (the famed river-raft scenes which originally were filmed in single-strip Ultra Panavision because of the weight of the three-camera Cinerama rig, there no longer are any seams between portions of the picture. And the "blue screen-process" for filming the actors -- on a raft -- in front of a screen on which the Cinerama footage of the river-rapids was projected, is now so obvious that you have to watch the background on a separate television set.

But it's all infested with headache-causing unintentional squeezing that has the raft going backwards and the water going toward China. The actors look like marionettes, particularly Karl Malden.

And the sound on the new 70 MM print is awful, which does not detract from the film's initial, ghastly score, which included ripoffs of old British folk-songs and an Ommpaa band.

From the IMDB:

Aspect Ratio
2.89 : 1
2.20 : 1 (70 mm spherical prints) (cropped)
2.35 : 1 (35 mm anamorphic prints) (cropped)
2.75 : 1 (70 mm prints)

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Ken Viewer

Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 319

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


I had to go see this movie, which was photographed on 35 MM film in Panavision, but not projected using film in Manhattan, AFAIK, because, years ago, so many years ago, that I was young then, I sorta knew one of the screenwriters.

It made no sense but wasn't as bad as some folks think. Well...maybe it was.

Anyway, earlier this week, or maybe last week -- because the classical-music chief critic of The New York Times needs days to write a review of an opera on account of he is slow...and stupid...the opera William Tell was staged at the Metropolitan Opera for the first time in about 85 years, which is as old as Yohe is, wrote about it.

The theme from the original radio and then TV versions of "The Lone Ranger," is the finale from that opera's overture, has been put out in a ten-minute version and can be heard on Youtube.

The Hans Zimmer version is better than Rossini's, and that's what you can follow the link to, which is above.

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