West from 71st Road. The next corner
is 71st/Continental Avenue. In between are the art deco era Midway
Theater and the 1960s vintage Cord Meyer office building, Cord
Meyer being the ancient real estate entity that built Forest
Hills Gardens back when prewar meant the Spanish American War.
I saw many a movie in my youth at the Midway. Back then it was
a single-plex. Remember those? Back in the late 1970s and early
80s, the Midway was one of the city theaters hosting midnight
showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on weekends, replete
with audience participation and myriad stages of undress. Unfortunately,
at the Midway, those shedding their outer clothes were often
junior high school age. My friends and I frequented a theater
in Manhattan where those doing any stripping were at least within
reasonable sight of their 18th birthday, although plenty of teeny
boppers were always present...and wasted. The main Rocky Horror
clique in NYC, led by the rather well known Sal Piro, head of
the movie's fan club, was ensconced for many years in a couple
of theaters in Greenwich Village. My group was based in the Festival
Theater on West 57th Street. I usually played Doctor Scott, the
guy in the wheelchair. We always got bombed on Rocky nights.
For a while we were bringing my late great grandmother's wheelchair
into the city on the train to use in my Doctor Scott scenes.
One night as my friend was wheeling me up the aisle, we ran over
the security guard's foot and broke it. He was so blasted, he
hardly noticed and was laughing. Even the theater staff were
part of the action. I never took it in at the Midway. Thanks
to the Midway, it won't be hard to figure out when I shot this,
as three extremely popular early 2001 flicks are featured on
the marquee. I have a very archeologist friendly website.
Pedestrians a block away at 71st
Avenue scurry to make it across Death Boulevard before the light
changes. The boulevard soon cascades into a valley. at the base
of which snakes a meandering Yellowstone Boulevard.
Across 71st Avenue is another example
of typical 1920s Forest Hills architecture, with the requisite
Tudoresque roofline. The roof itself hosts a very untudor-like
gargantuan billboard, almost as big as the building. When the
building was put up I doubt many people gave much thought to
the vitamins now being sold on the ground floor.
© 2001, Jeff Saltzman.