The Ziegfeld and Sound
|Read more at|
The 70mm Newsletter
|Written by: Paul Margulies,
B. Haas image of the front on January 22, 2016.
ago, the Ziegfeld actually had a sound board and operator who sat at the
back of the orchestra section, who would constantly monitor and adjust the
sound levels as the screening progressed. The last time I remember seeing
this was during one of the premiere roadshow screenings of Apocalypse Now.
Speaking of sound -
In later years, the theater was, unfortunately, owned and operated by the
mediocre Cineplex Odeon chain. I was assigned by Theater Alignment Program
to report on the screening of Independence Day. As I sat in the sold-out
show, it was apparent that the film was running in mono sound, rather than
the Dolby Digital as advertised. When the screening was finished and I was
sitting writing up my notes to phone in to TAP, I was approached by a “suit”
who wanted to know what I was writing. When I showed him the report, and he
asked how things were, I pointed out the massive water stain on the screen
and the fact that the sound was not in 5.1.
He took me up the projection booth, showed me that the “DTS disks were
spinning” (his words). The projectionist asked me if I thought they should
switch to Dolby Digital for the next show, but the “suit” refused even
thought the marquee out front advertised Dolby. So, they start the next
show, the sound is mono and I call in the report to TAP. Later that day, the
studio sends a rep to view the film, confronts the same “suit” who refuses
to switch to Dolby and 2 shows later the Brinks truck shows up and they pull
the print, leaving a considerable line of ticket holders outside.
|More in 70mm reading:|
The Ziegfeld has closed
"Interstellar" in 70MM at the
Ziegfeld in New York
A Nostalgic View of 70mm in New
York City - 1950-1970
Ziegfeld's earlier years
Howard Haas flickr gallery
The next day I hear from Dolby in NYC that the night prior they had held the
premiere screening and had shown the film in DD at the insistence of the
producers. The “suit” wanted DTS, but no one bothered to switch the
connections on the sound board, so the disks were spinning away for nothing.
Meanwhile the DD adapter was sitting atop the projector with nothing running
through it. The film ran in analog mode, with only the left channel going
TAP was told by the “suit”, who turned out to be a VP for Cineplex in NYC,
that I was banned from their theaters “for life”. TAP reportedly sent a note
back asking how, exactly, they were going to keep me out. Thereafter, TAP
assigned me exclusively to CIneplex screenings in NYC.
As to the closing, frankly it is surprising that the theater lasted this
long. I left NYC in 1998, and by that time almost all of the large rooms had
been “twinned”, “tripled” or even “quadrupled”, mostly with terrible
|Go: back - top - back issues - news index