Sad news for cinephiles in New York: The Post is reporting that the iconic Ziegfeld Theater, one of the last old-fashioned movie palaces of its kind in the City, may be closing its doors.
The Ziegfeld, New York’s largest surviving single-screen venue in a city that once boasted dozens, has frequently closed during slow periods in recent years or for special events. But prolonged shutdowns during the lucrative summer season have fans concerned about its survival.
Corporate parent Cablevision announced in early May that it was putting its Clearview Cinemas chain, including the Ziegfeld, up for sale. Industry sources familiar with the situation estimate the Ziegfeld is losing around $1 million a year. For a long time, they say, the hefty operating expenses for the 1,131-seat theater were covered by the Hollywood premieres that have made the Ziegfeld one of the nation’s best-known theaters.
But even with what many filmmakers regard as the best screen image (it’s equipped for digital as well as 35mm and 70mm) and sound in the city, the immaculately maintained Ziegfeld often draws sparse crowds.
No final word yet on whether or not the theater will find another buyer, but if your movie-obsessed clients want to experience a bit of genuine New York history, nab tickets to a screening now.