The Ziegfeld Theatre has been an institution in Manhattan for more than 70 years, and is still the city's largest surviving single-screen venue—but because of continuing financial troubles, it may be facing closure in the near future. According to the Post, the cinema has been closing more and more frequently, even during the usually lucrative summer movie season, and sources claims it's losing around $1 million a year.
The theater was first built in 1927, then razed and re-opened in 1969 at its current location. Spokesman wouldn't discuss the financials, but did note they had premiere events for films such as Men In Black 3, and they've expanded to show other special events there, such as Rangers playoffs games. “It is normal course of business for the theater to be closed at certain times to accommodate these unique marquee activities,” they said in a statement.
Cablevision, which owns Clearview Cinemas chain (including the Ziegfield), put it up for sale in May. Movie-theater historian Ross Melnick of CinemaTreasures.com said a Disney takeover might be a “best possible outcome," but a Disney spokesman said there was no present interest. Film programmer Shade Rupe thinks the property might be worth more to the city as a hotel: “The real estate is so valuable, the city would probably just as soon have another hotel on the site than a really special place to see movies like the Ziegfeld."
If it does close, it won't just be the loss of the best cinema in NYC—we'll also be losing one of the best bathrooms! As commenter Rdayk put it a few years ago: "The Ziegfeld Theatre has the most opulent bathroom. Each stall has its own sink and vanity in addition to the toilet. It isn't public, though, I think you have to buy a movie ticket to use it. But if you find yourself at the Ziegfeld (the only grand old cinema left in Manhattan), be sure to use the bathroom!"
Update: We received the following statement from the Ziegfeld owners, Cablevision, about the financial troubles: "We have no plans to close the Ziegfeld Theatre."