Just last summer, we reported on the mini-museum that’s in the lobby of the iconic Ziegfeld Theatre at 141 W. 54th Street. It seems that part of life here in New York City is living through the ups and downs of rumors about the potential closing of the Ziegfeld. But this time, it appears to be the final nail on the coffin for the largest remaining single-screen theater in Manhattan, and one of the last in the United States. The owners of the theater, The Fisher Brothers, as reported by the New York Post have given the lease to Gotham Events to transform the Ziegfeld into a ballroom, a la Gotham Hall. The newspaper says the venue, currently showing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will close in the next few weeks.
The current Ziegfeld Theatre was opened in 1969, a replacement of the original Ziegfeld Theatre opened next door by Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. (the Broadway showman known for the Ziegfeld Follies). Built by the prolific architecture firm Emery Roth & Sons, the Ziegfeld has 1,131 seats. It is also the second largest silver screen in the city, after Radio City Music Hall.
As proven across movie theaters across the United States, single-screen theaters struggle to be profitable and even the notable Ziegfeld is no exception – losing about $1 million per year. The new high-end event space will have “a 10,000-square-foot column-free ballroom, as well as mezzanine meeting rooms and advanced electronic facilities,” reports the Post.
Untapped Cities’ Lynn Lieberman just recently visited the Ziegfeld in January and shared with us these photographs of the interior: