Thursday, May 28, 2009

Flash Back

Stanley Theater
(click through to Flickr photostream)

Some Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door this afternoon, just like in a movie. Yet these were not stereotypical, whatever that looks like. The mom was a striking young blond woman, hair pulled back, in a bright ankle length dress. She had her beautiful daughter along, about twelve maybe, going door to door.

They were basically spreading good cheer, not asking for money or anything, just being upbeat, countering doom and gloom, said we could come to their church if we wanted. I said we might, often took our Quaker students on field trips to learn about other practices and faiths.

We yakked about the Brooklyn HQS and I then I shared my Jersey City story: when a penniless college grad, still somewhat wild, I'd gone after the Stanley Theater as a redevelopable property, thinking IMAX for NYU kids, assigned to watch these curriculum movies and coming over on the PATH, checking out the wild map on the back of Loew's, other crazy "theme park" talk.

I even had a frame of IMAX film from the company (showing the space shuttle I think it was), because maybe I'd called Gedfrey Reggio about getting Koyaanisqatsi in that format, memory dims.

The mom liked that we shared a lot of partially overlapping lore. She knew about The Stanley, which the Jehovah's Witnesses had secured -- a good thing, as it needed restoration, not demolition.

Woody Allen drew attention to the same theater by filming some of his Zelig using it, Glenn Baker (then a house mate) shot this picture of the guy:

Woody Allen Directing

I forgot to mention that James Hollis quoted Woody Allen a couple times in his lecture, as Walter Kaufmann used to too. Nancy kindly shared her notes from that FCJ evening including this Horace Walpole quote: "Life is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think" -- something to think about anyway.