Going to the Movies: 1970’s NYC “On Broadway”


We had to know what we were getting into. Going to see a movie in the 70’s Broadway theatre district was always a trip. Yet my friend Michael and I went directly into the sleaze to see a double-bill of LADY SINGS THE BLUES and MAHOGANY and on a weekend night no less. After the show I recall saying “there was more going on in the audience than on the screen.”

That night the theatre was packed. I thought only I could sit through a Diana Ross marathon but, here it was, a full theatre. The smell of marijuana filled the air which was a usual occurrence at NYC movie theatres back then. On Broadway people talked back to the screen and did pretty much what they wanted to relax. A couple was sitting next to me and once the lights went down the male proceeded to “feel up” his female companion. His right arm went full-on across his chest and down her bra. His fingers looked as if he was trying to tune in Radio Free Europe.  Yes! I looked!  I’d already seen both films several times. (I was a FAN! and had even seen Miss Ross four times in concert.) Finally, as if this incident needed to be topped, a loud woman’s voice in the back of the auditorium yelled “Oh My God! He Peed On My Leg! He Peed On My Leg.”

Now that the NYC has been Disneyfied, I imagine going to a movie there is a different experience, but this night, on Broadway, brought many laughs and tales to tell.


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