“Licorice Pizza” in 70mm at New York City's
Pizza” is an exuberantly fun and fantastically filmed movie, in 70mm
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The 70mm Newsletter
and photographed by: Howard B. Haas
Yiddish Art Theatre, now City Cinemas Village East. The side view, at 12th
St shows the large original auditorium.
On Tuesday, November 30, 2021, I travelled from Philadelphia to New York to
experience Paul Thomas Anderson's
"Licorice Pizza" in 70mm at the Village East by
Angelica, operated by City Cinemas at 181 2nd Avenue. That location is 1.6 miles
south of NY's Penn Station, and a half mile walk from the Union Square station
that I took the subway to, from 34th St/Herald Square.
• Go to Gallery: “Licorice Pizza” in 70mm at New
York City's Village East
The Village East is not an ordinary multiplex, nor was it built for movies. The
Village East is an extraordinary venue, having originally been built in
1925-1926 by a Jewish community leader, as the Yiddish Art Theatre, a live
theater to present works in the East European Jewish language known as Yiddish.
Like with many synagogues, the theater was designed in the Moorish Revival style
and with Jewish motifs such as the Star of David in the 1252 seat auditorium's
Movies were first shown at this theater in the late 1930s, but for the most
part, it became again a live theater, for off-Broadway and other shows until,
when closed, in 1991, it again became a movie theater, operated from that time
by City Cinemas.
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Gallery: “Licorice Pizza” in 70mm at New
York City's Village East
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Pizza" is released in 7OMM
"Phantom Thread" is
released in 70mm
P T Anderson's "The
Master" in System 65
70mm Blow Up List
2021 - by in70mm.com
facing rear. The projection booth is in the cut out in the ceiling dome. The
Star of David is in the auditorium ceiling dome
Moviegoers enter the Village East, under the marquee, via a Ticket Lobby with an
incredibly ornate ceiling. Through the lobby, one enters a very long Foyer which
has much lavish decoration, a concession stand, and at each end, two grand
staircases upstairs to the main auditorium. The Foyer has 3 different ornate
ceilings, one closer to the concession stand, another closer to exit doors, and
a third ceiling at an upstairs hall which itself is a foyer to the main
The current main auditorium is the largest, with 365 seats, in the complex, and
occupies the former balcony of the original auditorium. The main auditorium is
decorated to the hilt, and the magnificent plaster ceiling was restored long
ago. Four auditoriums are entered one level down, in what used to be the
orchestra seating and two more auditoriums are in what used to be the
The main auditorium is spacious and so gorgeous, that along with the theater's
ornate exterior, Ticket Lobby, and Foyer, the audience gets to enjoy what seems
like a Golden Age movie palace! Fortunately, the theater's exterior and the
grand interior and landmarked by New York law and listed on the state and
National Historic Registers.
I had visited the Village East once before, in November 2017, to see Kenneth
Branagh's "Murder on the Orient
Express" in 70mm. His sequel,
"Death on the Nile" which was photographed in 65mm, was to be shown last year, but due to the Covid pandemic, is now expected to be released next year. I intended to write a
report on “Murder on the Orient Express” but my camera at the time did not take
good photos of the Village East's interior. That film looked and sounded great
at the Village East, whose website then and now states that the theater has 7.1
The last film that I had seen until “Licorice Pizza” in 70mm projection was
actually also by Paul Thomas Anderson,
"Phantom Thread" in January 2018 at the AFI Silver outside of Washington D.C. I've profiled the AFI Silver here, due to
the classic 70mm film festivals held in the past there.
visually looked gorgeous projected in 70mm, and there was a free, lovely
souvenir book that was given out with movie attendance.
I had seen another film by director Anderson,
"The Master" in 70mm at New York's
Ziegfeld. I profiled the Ziegfeld for this website when the theater closed.
Village East's website advertises “Licorice Piaza in Exclusive 70mm”
Since Thanksgiving evening, Nove
style auditorium facing screen
mber 25, the film
opened exclusively in New York City
and in Los Angeles. In New York, the movie is also been shown in uptown
Manhattan in 70mm in a modern multiplex auditorium at the AMC Lincoln Square,
and in 70mm at another modern multiplex, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Downtown
Brooklyn. Neither of those modern plexes have the exotic movie palace style
atmosphere of the Village East. City Cinemas used to also showcase 70mm films at
the City Cinemas 1,2,3, which is uptown in Manhattan, but since the conversion
to digital projection, that theater seems to only shown films digitally.
“Licorice Pizza” will have 70mm runs at other theaters in the US, and will be
I knew I would have no problem obtaining a ticket at the theater on Tuesday. I
was told by theater staff that over Thanksgiving weekend, at the 4:05 PM and 7:10
PM showtimes, that “Licorice Pizza” had sold out! Tuesday screenings began at 10
AM. I attended the 1 PM matinee. I estimated three or four dozen people
attended. During weekdays, the 4:05 PM show is doing quite well, and the 7:10 PM
screenings are selling out in advance.
The size of the Village East's main screen is not found online, but if a curtain
is not used, by getting early to a theater, I try to use my feet to measure a
screen, and my measurement is usually ballpark accurate if the screen is not
curved. I estimated the screen, non curved, and not curtained, to be 38 feet
wide [11,6 meters], which is large.
The Village East has reserved seats. I've chosen to sit in the 2nd row of the
upper of three sections of seats in the main auditorium. From my seat, there's a
perfect sightline to what looks to me to be a very large screen, once the movie
with concessions, stairways, and much Moorish style ornamentation!
Just as I experienced with “Murder on the Orient Express” at the
Pizza” screening at the Village East, thankfully it was shown with no trailers,
no preshow or any kind before the main feature.
“Licorice Pizza” is a coming of age story, set in the San Fernando Vallery near
Los Angeles, and is 2 hours, 13 minute long. The movie is an exuberant telling
of its story, is very colorfully filmed, and is much fun to watch.
As with “Murder on the Orient Express” “Licorice Pizza” is scope and 35mm blow
up to 70mm. I asked theater staff who in turn asked the projectionist, and the
reply was that the movie is projected with Christie projectors. In the ornate
and huge ceiling dome is a cut out section, which is where the booth is.
Projection was flawless. Visually, the movie looked beautiful, and with great
resolution of details, in 70mm projection!
The sound was nicely loud and seemed exceptionally “warm” like analog, not
digital. For years, on new 70mm and 35mm films, sound arrives at a theater
digitally, so the sound was digital.
Two nights before this movie presentation, I had seen the movie's trailer in the
Dolby auditorium at the AMC Fashion District in downtown Philadelphia, before
“House of Gucci” another release, like “Licorice Pizza” by MGM's United Artists
Releasing. “Licorce Pizza” is not in Dolby Vision or in Dolby Atmos surround
sound, and most films shown in the Dolby auditorium are in Dolby Vision and in
Dolby Atmos, but the trailer was shown with state of the art equipment in
digital projection and sound as well as a digital film can possibly be shown.
“Licorce Pizza” looked and sounded better at the Village East, in 70mm.
I see one or two movies a week in various movie theaters. Seeing “Licorice
Pizza” an exuberantly fun and fantastically filmed movie, in beautiful 70mm
presentation in a movie theater, the Village East, which resembles a Golden Age
Hollywood movie palace, has so far been the most fun movie presentation of the
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