It's a sad day for cinephiles in New York City: According to a report in the New York Post, the long-embattled Ziegfeld Theatre is closing its doors, and will eventually be reborn as a "high-end event space" for "society galas and corporate events" (ugh), reopening sometime in 2017.
The single-screen cinema opened in 1969, just a few blocks from the original Ziegfeld Theatre (of Follies fame). It's operated by Cablevision, whose CEO, James Dolan, told the Hollywood Reporter last year that the theater "loses a lot of money"; even though he later backtracked and said it would remain open for the "forseeable future," it seems that the theater's time has come. According to the Post, the building's landlord has a new tenant to finish out the Ziegfeld's lease, and the cinema is expected to close in a few weeks.
So what will replace it? Per the Post, the team behind the Gotham Hall event space will open a 10,000-square-foot corporate event space, the design of which will apparently evoke the Art Deco grandeur of both Ziegfeld theaters. In recent years, the theater had primarily been used as a venue for film premieres for movies and TV shows—the HBO series Vinyl most recently had its premiere there just last week.
The Ziegfeld is one of many smaller movie theaters to either close completely, or see their futures in peril, in recent years—we mapped out 10 of those cinemas last summer.
Leave it to Jeremiah Moss of Vanishing New York to sum up many film buffs' feelings about the theater's ultimate demise:
Fuck everyone who's involved in turning the Ziegfeld theater into a high-end corporate event space. https://t.co/L2MooD88f3— Jeremiah Moss (@jeremoss) January 21, 2016