A face of the 80’s

Posted on 16th August 2020 in "Times Square"

UK poster advertising Robin Johnson as the star of TIMES SQUARE, using the artwork from the UK poster. Most of the Times Square posters have some identifying information on them — a copyright notice, the film’s local distributor, a code number — but not this one, so we have to go on what’s on it.

The logo and the artwork are from the UK movie poster, which was also (the artwork at least) used across Europe. The text is in English, and the AA is a now-replaced British Board of Film Censors rating. (Also, I got this item from a seller in England. Back in April. Current events kept me from doing anything with it until recently.) So I think I’m safe saying that what we have here is a piece of British Times Square promotion, probably produced by EMI Films, almost certainly in early 1981, basically pushing Robin Johnson’s status as Robert Stigwood’s “female Travolta.” As we’ve seen, starting from almost the second the film was released, the promotion tactics became focused ever more closely on its third-billed star, a situation that would continue around the world for the next two years. And in my opinion, an unfortunate victim of this strategy was Robin herself, as the unflichingly honest criticisms she gave of the movie in her interviews caused RSO to reappraise her value, ultimately deciding that her willingness to trash their product in public outweighed her talents as an actress in that product, causing RSO never to cast her in anything again, while simultaneously keeping her under contract so she couldn’t use her obvious abilities in the service of some other film company to compete against Robin-less RSO projects. Again, in my opinion.

So much for a face of the 80s. But even more to the point… that’s an illustration. It isn’t really her face. Obviously the illustration by poster artist Cummins was used so people would make the connection between this poster and the movie poster, but still… Maybe if I find the time I’ll doctor up a version of what I think this poster should have looked like.

If anyone cares, the image here isn’t really an accurate representation of what the actual physical object looks like, because I’ve cleaned it up so much. It is a good representation of what you’d see if you were looking at the poster, though.


Would you like to know more?

Times Square U.K. Movie Poster
Times Square Movie Poster, Belgium
Locandina Times Square (Movie Poster, Italy)
“Toda la Basca!” … a Times Square – Times Square movie poster, Spain



Robin Johnson – a face of the 80’s
poster, AAT ID: 300027221
30″ (H) x 40″ (W)
a face of the 80’s
starring in

1442 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 359 kb (image)


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


Mick Rock

Posted on 1st August 2020 in "Times Square"

On June 1, 2016, Mick Rock did a signing for the “unlimited” edition of his book, The Rise of David Bowie, at Taschen in New York City, and I went.

Of course I got an autographed book, but I also took the opportunity to ask him about the photos of Robin I’ve been theorizing he took at the same time as the back cover of the soundtrack album.

I showed him a page with the four photos printed on it, and there ensued a conversation that went more or less like this:

Q: Could I ask you a quick question?

A: Yeah. I don’t know that I can answer it…

Q: I know you took the first photo here. Did you take the other three as well? I know this is yours.

A: How do you know that? But it is mine.

Q: Because on the back of the album, it says, “Photo by Mick Rock.”

A: Oh, yeah, yeah, not many people now even know about the film Times Square.

Q: I’m the one.

A: No, I did take that one. Very good, I haven’t had it come up in years.

Q: Did you take these others?

A: No…

Q: Because these are the only ones where she’s got that guitar. And it is —

A: I could have… no, I shot them both together. That was a long time ago… They paid me a lot of money…

ASSISTANT: Just take the credit!

SECOND ASSISTANT: Take the credit for it!


A: [laughs] Anyway.

ASSISTANT: “Is it rubbish? It’s good? It’s mine!”

A: [laughs]

Q: Thank you very much.

So I guess we still don’t have a definitive answer, and won’t unless someone else manages to get one from him, or he finds and releases the originals from his archive. But he certainly seemed to be leaning in that direction, and so I feel more certain than ever that these shots, and any more that might possibly turn up, of Robin in her “Aggie Doon’s debut” outfit, and with that Kent guitar, and any shots that may surface of Trini in the poncho she wears during the final sequence that aren’t obviously shot during filming, were all shot by Mick Rock in a session that yielded the back cover of the soundtrack album, and for which he was paid a lot of money.

Me and Mick Rock

Your humble narrator with the man himself. If he had taken the photo, I might have looked cool too.


Would you like to know more?

From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack TIMES SQUARE (songbook)
Times Square UK Press Kit (post 4 of 4)
Nicky Marotta in Limbo
Filmstar, Vol 1 No. 3, Thailand, August 1981


From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack TIMES SQUARE [detail, back cover]
564px (W) × 800px (H), 96dpi, 239 kb (image)
Photo by Mick Rock
©1980 Chappell & Co.

[TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo a]
1080 px (H) x 864 px (W), 96 dpi, 154 kb (image)

[Nicky with Her Kent]
8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
862 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 338 kb (image)

inscription: [on reverse:] [handwritten in blue ink:] D+P. EAST 170 mm deep x 115 mm wide PA77
[handwritten in black ink:] ROBIN JOHNSON. 20

Filmstar Vol. 1 No. 3, 15 August 1981, back cover (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
25.9 x 18.9 cm. (work);
Filmstar Vol 1 No 3_back_cover_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 777 px (W), 96 dpi, 679 kb


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


[THE RISE OF DAVID BOWIE, front cover], [Mick Rock’s autograph], photographed by Sean Rockoff, July 26, 2020
[Me and Mick Rock], photographed by one of Mick Rock’s assistants, possibly an employee at Taschen Store New York… now permanently closed… thank you for your service…


tl;dr: Broken image links…?

Posted on 11th March 2020 in Administrivia

I don’t think anyone actually reads these, but just in case…

As I may have mentioned before, I’ve filled up all the storage space on this account with pictures. Actually, there seems to a periodic fluctuation between being slightly over my allotted quota and being at about 80%; I don’t know what accounts for that. I know it’s not saved logs because I tried deleting them and it made only a negligible difference.

Anyway, once I’m over quota, I can’t upload anything new. Even worse, I can’t update the WordPress software running the site. I can only take advantage of those few moments when the amount of storage used drops down by itself. I’ve tried deleting old jpegs from the archived Old Site and linking to the new versions in WordPress, but there aren’t enough of them to make a difference.

Worst, my webhost has a fixed set of tiered services that they can’t deviate from. To go from the plan I’m on now to next highest would be at least four times as expensive as what I’m on now. I could shop around for a new host, but I like these guys. They’re a small business and have been extremely responsive whenever I’ve had a problem, but unfortunately that smallness seems to come with a lack of flexibility in pricing.

So this current time my storage has dropped low enough for me to make changes to the site, I installed an add-on that lets me serve images from Google Cloud. I already know it works for new items because that’s where the photos from my last post are coming from. I’m going to try moving the jpegs from all the old posts there next, but I don’t know how well that will work, since I tend to link to images directly from the text of posts. So, like the title of this post says, a lot of image links may break. If that happens, please let me know, but don’t complain about it unless you’re willing to pay me to fix them.

Then I’ll see what the Google bill is. I may yet have to find another webhost.

comments: 2 » tags: , , ,

Star of Pacific, Thailand, September 1981

Posted on 8th March 2020 in "Times Square"

Star of Pacific, Thailand, Sept 1981 cover
Times Square opened in Thailand in August 1981, but here’s a Thai magazine celebrating Robin in September. This was followed by Filmstar Vol. 1 No. 6 that featured a Thai translation of an interview with Robin that had appeared in Seventeen Magazine in October 1980. Did Times Square play in Thailand for three months?

Star of Pacific has no article, but page 49 features Robin on one of a number of full-page color celebrity pin-ups.Robin Johnson poster on p. 49 of Thai celebrity magazine "Star of Pacific" Sept. 1981 The main image was used in the first set of UK lobby cards, as the Mexican lobby card, and in the Japanese souvenir program book. The inset was also used in the Japanese program book as well as on a promotional flyer, and was also a UK lobby card, printed in Film Review Vol 31 No 1, in January 1981, and was one of the shots used for the Mexican movie poster.

My copy would appear to have been printed at the same facility that produced my copy of the Australian movie poster, in that the color registration is off, producing an annoying out-of-focus effect. Most annoyingly, this is the only page suffering from this defect. Fortunately for us all, there’s been a properly printed copy at DefeatedandGifted’s Times Square Fandom for ten years.


Would you like to know more?

Times Square UK Lobby Cards, 1st Set (post 3 of 4)
Times Square UK Lobby Cards, 1st Set (post 4 of 4)
Film Review, Vol. 31 No. 1, January 1981
Times Square Program Book, Japan, June 1981 (post 1 of 5)
Times Square Program Book, Japan, June 1981, pages 20-24 (post 4 of 5)
Times Square promotional flyer, Japan, 1981
Guerreras de Nueva York (Times Square lobby card, Mexico, 1981)
Guerreras de Nueva York (Times Square movie poster, Mexico, 1981)
Times Square movie poster, Australia, February 1981



Star of Pacific, September 1981, pp. 1 and 49 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
29 x 21.5 cm. (work);
Star of Pacific Sept 1981 cover 1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 796 px (W), 96 dpi, 515 kb
Star of Pacific Sept 1981 poster scan7 1080px.jpg
778 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 439 kb
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


Robin Johnson, signing autographs, late 1980

Posted on 17th October 2019 in "Times Square"

Robin Johnson signing autographs, approximately late 1980



“I’m convinced that if I do this long enough, I’ll have to start laying low in public, to endure the intrusion of strangers asking for autographs. I deeply admire Bette Midler, but I would never dare to ask her for an autograph; I wouldn’t bother her with nonsense like that.”
     — Robin Johnson, August 1981




Okay, this is the last item I’ve yet found dating from Times Square’s theatrical run, which started 39 years ago today.

I’ve been unable to find out anything about the photographer David Loar.





[Robin Johnson signing autographs], [approximately October-December 1980] : color slide, AAT ID: 300128366 : 35mm
inscription: [on mount] [printed on screen side:] COLOR TRANSPARENCY
[stamped on view side:] © DAVID LOAR
[handwritten in pen:] Robin Johnson
[3?] (work)
1080 px (H) x 749 px (W), 96 dpi, 216 kb (image)
© David Loar
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


Times Square UK Lobby Cards, 1st Set (post 4 of 4)

Posted on 5th October 2019 in "Times Square"

The final cards from the first set of UK lobby cards. These are the last of the items I have that were released contemporaneously with Times Square’s original release, so I’m going to take a bit of a break after this before continuing with the rest of Robin’s brief acting career. It seems right anyway, doesn’t it? After all, she took an (unwilling) three year break after Times Square. I should be back well before that.


Card #13, the WJAD staff dragging Nicky away from the mic, was used in the second set of UK lobby cards, on an Italian lobby poster, and on a Yugoslavian lobby card poster.








Pammy watching Nicky sing “Damn Dog” atop the Times Square Theatre marquee was similarly used in the second UK set of cards and on a Yugoslavian lobby card poster. It didn’t make to Italy though, apparently.









The crowd of Sleez Kidz blocking 42nd Street, looking at Nicky and Pammy, as Simon and JoJo watch from the marquee of the Apollo Theater with half a Blondell visible next to them, was later used on a German lobby card, with a wider crop revealing all of Billy Mernit.










And the final card made its only other appearance, as far as I know, on the Mexican poster for Guerreras de Nueva York.



[TIMES SQUARE UK lobby cards, set 1, 13-16 of 16]
UK : lobby cards : AAT ID: 300208593 : 28 x 36 cm. : 1981 (works);
837 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 499 kb
841 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 447 kb
841 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 507 kb
839 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 546 kb (images)


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


New Times Square digital transfer

Posted on 22nd September 2019 in "Times Square"

Kino Lorber announced yesterday a new 4K digitization of Times Square for release in 2020. Rumors of an impending blu-ray release have abounded for years; this time, I believe it.

Times Square UK Lobby Cards, 1st Set (post 3 of 4)

Posted on 12th September 2019 in "Times Square"

Cards 9 through 12 from what I believe to be the first of two sets of Times Square lobby cards distributed in the UK in late 1980 or early 1981:



David Pearl watching his daughter practice dance moves at the strip club was reproduced on the first Yugoslavian lobby card poster.









The girls dropping their first television was on the second Yugoslavian lobby card poster, and had previously been published in Film Review, Vol 31 No 1, January 1981, Movie 81, No 2, February 1981, and on the back of the Japanese promo flyer, and was also in the other set of UK lobby cards, and made its final appearance as a German lobby card.









Nicky with her guitar in the hideout was later used on the sole Mexican lobby card to come to light.










And Pammy and Johnny witnessing Nicky’s meltdown (off-camera) was later on the second Yugolavian lobby card poster, a on a German lobby card, and, reversed, in the Japanese souvenir program book.




[TIMES SQUARE UK lobby cards, set 1, 9-12 of 16]
UK : lobby cards : AAT ID: 300208593 : 28 x 36 cm. : 1981 (works);
840 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 506 kb
839 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 446 kb
842 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 461 kb
842 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 474 kb (images)


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


Times Square UK Lobby Cards, 1st Set (post 2 of 4)

Posted on 30th August 2019 in "Times Square"

Cards 5 through 8 from what I believe to be the first of two sets of Times Square lobby cards distributed in the UK in late 1980 or early 1981:


Nicky joining in as Pammy dances and Roberto (Miguel Pinero) looks on bemusedly, was in the other set of UK lobby cards, on the third Yugoslavian lobby card poster, a German lobby card, and on the back of a Japanese promotional flyer.










Aggie Doon at the mic with Artie Weinstein obscured behind her on drums was on the second Yugoslavian lobby card poster, and printed with Artie cropped out in Joepie No. 365.










The wider shot of that scene was used on the third Yugoslavian lobby card poster, and is most notable as far as I’m concerned for being nearly, but not, identical to this color 8×10 that as far as I know was first seen by the public on this very website.










Pammy and Nicky having a giggle performing “Your Daughter Is One” was repeated in the second set of UK lobby cards, and was used on the Yugoslavian lobby poster. The “Rickenbacker” nameplate on Nicky’s guitar was removed before the take used in the film.



[TIMES SQUARE UK lobby cards, set 1, 5-8 of 16]
UK : lobby cards : AAT ID: 300208593 : 28 x 36 cm. : 1981 (works);
848 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 484 kb
841 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 394 kb
842 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 550 kb
835 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 527 kb (images)


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


Times Square UK Lobby Cards, 1st Set (post 1 of 4)

Posted on 18th August 2019 in "Times Square"

I first encountered lobby cards from this series several years ago in the collection of DefeatedandGifted, and I assumed they were Australian, partly because that’s where she was, and because they used the American form of the logo which was used on the Australian movie poster while listing EMI as the distributor. The movie posters also, however, have a logo for another distributor, either GD or GL Film Distributors, which is absent from the lobby cards.

Well, what should turn up as part of a massive sale of British lobby cards, but an apparently complete set of them. And although I suppose they could still really be Australian, the seller assured me that they were indeed from the UK. So, since other than the distributor being EMI, these cards replicate the design of the American publicity materials, and since there’s also a set of UK lobby cards that does use the logo used on the rest of the UK publicity materials, I conclude that these are a first set of cards made for the British market before the British publicity designs had been finalized. Maybe they’d originally been created for the USA, and then repurposed when someone realized that lobby cards weren’t really a thing in America anymore.

So, the UK had two separate set of Times Square lobby cards. Or, these really are Australian. Either way, this series of cards was definitely the source for the posters printed in Yugoslavia some months later.

They’re not numbered, of course; I’m presenting them in more or less the order they would have appeared in the movie.

The first, Tim Curry as Johnny at the mic, was published in Movie 81 No 2, February 1981, and appeared in the other set of UK lobby cards, on a German lobby card, and on one of the Yugoslavian lobby card posters.

Kathy Lojac as Nurse Joan introducing Nicky and Pammy made its debut here, and appeared with Pammy mostly cropped out on a Yugoslavian lobby card poster.

Nicky and Pammy walking along 42nd Street is from the deleted scene of the girls looking for and finding Nicky’s dad. There were plenty of stills shot during the filming of this but the entire sequence, along with the scene of them dyeing each other’s hair by the banks of the Hudson River, was cut and replaced with the brief moment of them on the subway. (The part where they find Nicky’s dad may not even have been filmed — there’s only photographic evidence of their walk to Times Square.) This photo appeared in the “Robert Stigwood Presents Times Square” folder, and in the other set of UK lobby cards, and as one of the German lobby cards.

Nicky cutting Pammy’s wrist for the blood sisters ritual was reprinted from here on the same Yugoslavian lobby card poster as the hospital photo, they only other place either of them appeared. The moment before this, Nicky cutting her own wrist, was shot from a different angle that showed the boom microphone and printed, mic and all, in the center spread of the Japanese souvenir program book. In the film, we don’t actually see the knife touch Pammy’s wrist, and we see Nicky’s wrist cut only in close-up.



[TIMES SQUARE UK lobby cards, set 1, 1-4 of 16]
UK : lobby cards : AAT ID: 300208593 : 28 x 36 cm. : 1981 (works);
847 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 427 kb
848 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 476 kb
847 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 504 kb
848 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 432 kb (images)


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+