Tenant turmoil means uncertain fate for famed Ziegfeld Theater

The fate of The Famed Ziegfeld Theater On West 54th Street is up in the air. The New York Post reported that Cablevision is looking to sell its Clearview Cinemas chain which has 15 years remaining on its long-term lease of the property, between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

Opened in 1969, Ziegfeld long turned a profit as a 3,000-seat single-screen theater that often premiered big studio movies. But between the recession and the competition from the Lincoln Square IMAX, the theater has faltered in the last five years and reportedly loses $1 million annually.

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There are few potential buyers for the theater, the Post speculated, as AMC and Regal would probably need to secure an antitrust waiver to buy the theater and a smaller company likely would not be willing to withstand the losses. Further, because the theater lacks a stage or an orchestra pit, it is not a good candidate to be converted into a theater.

Instead, the most profitable option will probably be for the owners to buy out Clearview’s lease and sell the land to a developer who will use it for other purposes, the Post said.