Pammy and Nicky On the Run

Posted on 15th November 2014 in "Times Square"
Production still of Pammy and Nicky running from the police

“Oh, we ran all day long.” — Robin

 

 

 

This is an 8×10 print, showing the full 35mm frame, of Nicky and Pammy running from the plainclothes detective, about to turn left and duck into the adult theater. The paper it’s printed on, as are most of the next batch of photos I’ll be posting, is stamped “THIS PAPER MANUFACTURED BY KODAK,” which was used on Kodak paper from about 1972 to 1989, leading me to believe it was printed at the time of the film’s production.

vlcsnap-2014-10-19-21h20m59s138
The most interesting thing about that shot is that, like the rest of these Kodak paper stills, it doesn’t actually appear in the film. The shot in the film is from in front of them, not from across the street, and even taking that into account, there’s no point in the film where the girls are in quite those positions relative to each other. This screencap is the closest image in the film. These pictures (and nearly all the other promotional photos as well) are from either rehearsals or unused takes, and I find it hard to believe that with their relatively low budget and tight schedule, and the problems involved in filming on a New York City street, they would have done a full run-through like that without rolling film, just in case.
 

In the commentary track on the 2000 Anchor Bay DVD, Allan Moyle identifies the theater as the Victory, and remembers it being the one Robin performs on the marquee of at the end of the film. He asks Robin to confirm it, but she has no memory of it. This was the first time he’d seen the film in 20 years, and he might not ever have seen the released version until then, so he can be forgiven for being wrong on every point there.
 

The Victory was on 42nd Street just east of the Times Square Theater, atop the marquee of which Nicky sings “Damn Dog.” The girls here have run from their 3-Card Monte hustle on 47th Street and Broadway, and have just passed 50th Street, heading north on 8th Avenue. The theater they run into is the Adonis, which was the largest gay theater in the city until it closed in 1989. Fortunately for we students and historians of cinema, this theater had been immortalized two years earlier in the porn film A Night at the Adonis, so we can compare:

The lobby of the unnamed Times Square porn theater in "Times Square" (1980)

“Times Square” (1980)

The lobby of the Adonis Theater in "A Night at the Adonis" (1978)

“A Night at the Adonis” (1978)

The box office in "A Night at the Adonis" (1978)

“A Night at the Adonis” (1978)

Chelly Wilson in the Adonis ticket booth - screencap from "Times Square"

“Times Square” (1980)


Looking up at the balcony of the unnamed porn theater in "Times Square" (1980)

Looking up at the balcony – “Times Square” (1980)

The balcony of the Adonis Theater in "A Night at the Adonis" (1978)

Looking across the balcony – “A Night at the Adonis” (1978)

Unfortunately, the theater interior isn’t lit quite as well in A Night at
the Adonis
, but all that seems to have changed in the two intervening
years are the flowers.
Photo of Chelly Wilson c. 1968
 

To top it off, the unflappable woman in the box office booth who watches Nicky and Pammy and the cop jump the turnstile is either Chelly Wilson, owner of the Adonis (as well as most if not all of the other gay theaters in the city), given a closeup in return for the use of the theater through a deal with location manager Ron Stigwood; or an extra carefully made up to look exactly like Chelly Wilson, because someone thought it was funny…? My money’s on the first option.

Here is your essay topic: The largest gay male theater in the city was redressed as a straight porn theater for this scene in Times Square. Discuss this in terms of (1) the portrayal of the city in general in the film, and (2) what we know about changes made to the film during its production. For extra credit, discuss the significance, intended or unintended, in part of the set redressing taking the form of a “Coming Attractions” poster for A Woman’s Torment.
Nicky and Pammy duck under the theater turnstile and run past a poster for "A Woman's Torment" (1977)

 

“Nicky and Pammy on the Run”
8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work) [w/o border 6.5 in x 9.625 in];
857 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 622 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on reverse:] [stamped:] THIS PAPER / MANUFACTURED / BY KODAK
 
vlcsnap-2014-10-19-21h20m59s138.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 925 KB (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-10-19
 
vlcsnap-2014-11-02-19h48m33s206.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 922 KB (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-11-02

 

vlcsnap-2014-11-11-22h25m05s10.png
vlcsnap-2014-11-11-22h27m37s122.png

853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi (images)
frame captures from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-11-11

 

vlcsnap-2014-11-11-22h32m39s104.png
vlcsnap-2014-11-11-22h36m55s128.png
vlcsnap-2014-11-11-22h34m51s104.png

853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi (images)
frame captures from A Night at the Adonis (1978)
captured 2014-11-11
 
vlcsnap-2014-11-13-23h27m11s241.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 850 kb (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-11-13

 

tumblr_na00ux93gM1r2zfpso1_1280.gif
1280 px (W) x 1531 px (H), 72 dpi, 946 KB (image)
retrieved on 2014-11-02 from Timessquareblue. “Chelly Wilson, Owner of the Adonis, Eros, Venus,…” Times Square Blue. N.p., 8 Aug. 2014. Photo Source: New York Times
 
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

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