The Ziegfeld Theatre, New York City’s storied single-screen movie palace, will close its doors in the coming weeks to be reborn as a high-end event space.
Fisher Brothers and Core Ziegfeld LLC on Wednesday announced the finalization of a 20-year lease to create the Ziegfeld Ballroom, which is scheduled to open in fall 2017 after a major renovation. The three-story venue will be geared toward galas, corporate and social events, movie premieres, and other posh functions.
First opened in 1969 (a stone’s throw from the original Ziegfeld), the opulent theater is the largest of its kind in New York and has hosted many movie premieres over the years. But the overhaul does not come as a complete surprise: The Ziegfeld has repeatedly closed during slow periods, and Cablevision CEO James Dolan said last year that the theater would “probably” shutter. “It loses a lot of money,” he said. “The theater business is a tough business.”
Cablevision held the lease on the Ziegfeld space, and Bow Tie Cinemas has managed the venue in recent years.
A spokesperson for Cablevision said in a statement to EW, “The owners of the Ziegfeld Theatre notified us that they have a new tenant for the location and, therefore, we will be exiting our lease in the coming weeks to accommodate the new tenant. We wish the owners of the Ziegfeld Theatre the best of luck with the future of the establishment and with the new tenant that they have selected.”
The New York Post first reported the Ziegfeld’s impending closure.