Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Word came down the other week that the famous Ziegfeld would be closing "in the coming weeks", the space to be gutted and converted into a "high-end event space", which I believe translates to "wait two years to knock it down and build overpriced condos, instead of just going ahead and doing so now."
As a theater, I guess it wasn't really the best place to see a movie. The place was not at all set up for crowds, for lines, and the screen itself was pretty small and only looked good from the first section.
Still, I loved the space, loved the fixtures and décor, loved the many old posters and framed props and memorabilia in the lobby, loved the history, loved the ghosts, just loved going there (though admittedly my visits were fewer and fewer as time went on -- I don't think I've been here since the first "Hunger Games" movie).
Then, word that their final show would be Thursday night (the plan being to "quietly" close their days before the weekend) hit me unexpectedly hard. It's a very typical New York story, really, something historical and cool getting knocked down. I wouldn't mind so much if it were being replaced by something interesting, something beautiful. Usually it's just another Duane Reade, or ATM vestibules, or a Holiday Inn Express, or million-dollar "foreign investment properties", or at worst, nothing at all, simply boarded up and standing, waiting for that one imaginary investor somewhere out there willing to drop $200M...to build million dollar "investment properties". This is what saddens me more than anything else. I don't mourn the past, I mourn the future.
In any case, it felt fitting to me that the last movie I saw there was "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". And at least I got to see those silly lobby showgirls one last time.