Tuesday, March 07, 2023

The Last Picture Show in Chelsea

As a corollary to my earlier post about not going to the movies anymore, I noticed my old regular cinema on West 23rd Street in Chelsea recently closed. (Sorry for the delay on reporting this: My days of being the chronicler of Eighth Avenue are over, too!) 

Although the movie house has changed hands a number of times over the years -- pretty sure it was a Cineplex Odeon when I arrived in the late '90s -- I have many good memories from there, so am sad to see it go. Perhaps my favorite is when I first started dating my ex (Michael) in 2002. I was meeting his group of friends for the first time and they decided they wanted to see the new "Spider-Man." That is NOT my kind of movie -- what's a Tobey Maguire? -- but at the risk of looking like the high-maintenance bitchy boyfriend they would later discover I actually was, I decided to just go along for the ride.

I don't remember much about the movie other than it was very long and very dumb. But I do recall there was a woman sitting directly behind me whose reactions were so unusual and charming that I wound up getting my entertainment from her.

When the lights finally came up, we all gathered ourselves -- and you should have seen my face when I realized the lady providing my diversion was none other than Debbie Harry! (The Blondie songstress, of course, lived just two blocks away at the London Terrace apartments.) 

To my credit, I left her be. I figured at that point she'd already given me more than the film's money's worth of joy, so I allowed her to fade away and radiate, forever seared in my brain. 

If one of the city's hottest neighborhoods can no longer support a movie theater, clearly I'm not the only one staying in.

1 comment:

Jaradon said...

I had very fond memories of this theater and saw many gay and foreign films here- I do like big super hero movies too and Tobey McGuire is my favorite Spider Man.