Allan Moyle, still at work

Posted on 8th February 2017 in "Times Square"
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Allan Moyle directs Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson in the WJAD studio

And here’s another shot of Allan Moyle giving the girls direction, this time for the “Your Daughter Is One” sequence. I can only imagine what Trini and Robin are thinking, based on their expressions. I wonder what Moyle was telling them.

Behind Moyle, on the left and out of focus, is the assistant director, Alan “Hoppy” Hopkins. We can’t see the headstock on Nicky’s guitar, so we can’t tell if this was taken before or after the “Rickenbacker” nameplate was removed (it doesn’t appear in the film).

And again, surprisingly for what should be one of the most interesting Times Square finds ever, that’s all I have to say about this. Here are the stars and director hard at work months before things started to go bad.

I still wonder occasionally whether the WJAD interiors were shot at the top floor of the Candler Building, where the exteriors were shot, or if they were on a set built somewhere, and if so, where. I’ve checked with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting, and they’ve long since disposed of all the records of location permits for productions that long ago.

The back of this photo has the handwritten notation, “116-16A.” I don’t know when that was written, who wrote it, or what it might mean.

 

 

[Allan Moyle directs Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson in the WJAD studio]
black-and-white photograph : AAT ID: 300128347 : 20.8 x 25.4 cm : 1979 (work);
116-16A auto_1080px.jpg
882 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 330 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Allan Moyle at work

Posted on 28th January 2017 in "Times Square"
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Allan Moyle directs Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado on 42nd Street

Way back in October 2014, I posted a photo of Robin and Trini getting ready to shoot a scene that was later cut from the film, and complained that although the vast majority of Times Square publicity stills don’t actually come from shots of takes used in the film, there was a dearth of genuine behind-the-scenes images.

Frame grab from "Times Square"Well, that dearth is slightly less dearthy now. Here’s Allan Moyle directing the girls on 42nd Street. Judging from the neon sign at the left, it’s just as they duck into and get kicked out of the adult novelties shop. That shot was made from the street, not the sidewalk, so the movie camera is likely directly to our right.

Handwritten on the back is “45/35”. I have no idea what that might mean, or when it was written.

And that’s about all I have to say about this, despite the fact that it’s one of the things I’ve been most excited to find. Except maybe to note that Moyle seems to be wearing the same sweater we saw half of in the other photo. I’m sure, though, that quite a few comments will be inspired by the expressions on Robin and Trini’s faces.

 

 

[Allan Moyle directs Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado on 42nd Street]
black-and-white photograph : AAT ID: 300128347 : 20.8 x 25.4 cm : 1979 (work);
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frame grab from Times Square
480 x 853 px, 96dpi, 522 kb

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Odds and Ends

Posted on 8th April 2015 in "Times Square"
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Before moving on, I mentioned some time ago some pictures I’ve only seen on the Web and not found any physical copies of. So, here they are. Some of them anyway.

I’d found a bunch of these at Cineplex, having been digitized by Baseline Research, but as I was assembling this post I found that about half of them were taken from a set of 1981 UK lobby cards. Since they’re all the same size, that would lead me to suspect that there are more lobby cards that I haven’t found yet. (There also seem to be two entirely different sets of UK lobby cards, but I’m getting ahead of myself.) But without knowing for sure, these are just free-floating publicity stills with no provenance before being scanned in 2010, and I’m putting them here.

I posted these first two awhile back, on November 6, 2014:
o-TIMES-900 M8DTISQ EC001

The first was used to promote the May 21, 2014 screening of Times Square at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. I’d never seen it before. The second is the most complete version of that image I’ve seen, and it turns out to have been a UK lobby card. (I’ll post the lobby cards when Times Square opens in England. Right now, they’re still trying to put the soundtrack and US ad campaign together.)

 

MSDTISQ EC002
 
This one was also printed in black and white by Associated Film Distribution in the format of the photos used in the US press kit.

You can see it here at DefeatedandGifted’s “Times Square Fandom” blog, along with 3 other photos I don’t have. Strangely, those photos are copyrighted 1981 by AFD, and as far as I know AFD wasn’t promoting the film after it closed in the US in November 1980. They certainly weren’t included in the US Press Materials folder. Back to this particluar image, it’s the other shot that shows some behind-the-scenes action that I mentioned here: you can see a crowd of kids behind a barricade watching the filming.
 

TIMES SQUARE, Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson, 1980

 

 

 

 

This one was used many times, but this version shows more of the background than any other I’ve seen.

 

TIMES SQUARE, Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson, 1980

 
 

Both Trini and Robin just look so angelic here. I love it.

 
And, look closely at Nicky’s guitar. Compare it to the picture above. This photo was taken before they taped over the word “Rickenbacker” on the headstock. There are a few publicity stills where the guitar’s make is visible, just like there are quite a few of Robin holding a Kent with its big distinctive “K,” but in the film the guitar brands are both blacked out.

 

 
And, finally,
TIMES SQUARE, 1980. (c) Associated Film.
Robin Johnson, "Times Square"

 

 

 

 
If I come across physical copies of any of these in the future, you’ll be the first to know.

 

 

Times Square (1980) directed by Allan Moyle shown: Robin Johnson, Trini Alvarado (o-TIMES-900-300×199.jpg)
900 px (W) x 598 px (H), 300 dpi, 140 KB (image)
1979/1980
retrieved on 2014-05-01 from Brooks, Katherine. “12 Films That Pay Homage To Punk Rock Girls.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc., 1 May 2014.

 

TIMES SQUARE, from left, Robin Johnson, Trini Alvarado, 1980, ©Associated Film . (86548_full.jpg)
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retrieved on 2014-10-22 from “Times Square.” Cineplex. Cineplex Entertainment LP, n.d.

 

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MBDTISQ EC001 (102361_full.jpg)
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retrieved on 2014-10-25 from “Times Square.” Cineplex. Cineplex Entertainment LP, n.d.

 

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1979/1980
retrieved on 2014-09-04 from http://38.media.tumblr.com/cace6ebffbc484224e3fe281421b0837/tumblr_n92trfhqfw1sfnn0mo4_r2_250.jpg

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square isn’t a punk picture”

Posted on 21st March 2015 in "Times Square"
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Cover of Mediascene Prevue 42, Vol 2 No 2, Sep-Oct 1980
 
Magazines are dated ahead by their publishers to try to keep them on the stands longer than their competitors. The date on a magazine usually refers to when it is supposed to be replaced by the next issue, not when it actually comes out. Anyway, although this issue of Prevue was probably still current when Times Square opened in October 1980, “Musicals” by Jim Burns is another case of an article having been written months before publication, before Associated Film Distributors and RSO has designed their marketing plan.

The two photos accompanying the article are the same ones that had been used by The Aquarian back in April, although they’re cropped differently: there’s more of Robin and Trini, and a bit less of Tim. Along with the shot of Nicky with microphone in the Cleo Club, these were the first images released to the press, but they weren’t included later in the official press kit.Photo of  Pammy and Nicky in the WJAD studio From: Mediascene Prevue Vol No 2, Sep/Oct 1980, p 16

The article describes Times Square as a product of Robert Stigwood’s media powerhouse, but also features Allan Moyle defending what remained of his original vision for perhaps the last time in the press: “Times Square isn’t a punk picture,” he says. “The girls’ particular rebellion or societal anger has to do with their own little heads. They’re not making any statement; they’re just two runaways.”

That much is certainly true: Times Square was not conceived as a story that takes place within an environment where New Wave rock is actively being created, as opposed to films like Breaking Glass (1980) and Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1982) (but shot mostly in 1980), where the main characters deliberately set out to start bands and are surrounded by other bands. If it had been, the location would probably have been moved to CBGBs and the title changed to The Bowery. Nicky’s spirit and determination to do everything herself at whatever cost, however, fit in perfectly with punk’s DIY ethos.

Mediascene Prevue Vol No 2, Sep/Oct 1980, p 17
 
But he then goes on to say, “New Wave music was in our script from the very beginning, before we had had any contact with the Stigwood Organization. The music is keyed to the texture of the screenplay.” Although we don’t know exactly when the soundtrack became a vehicle for New Wave music, we do know that in the original script the soundtrack was Classic Rock, Adult Contemporary, Disco, and Oldies. The closest thing to New Wave was “Sweet Jane” by the Velvet Underground. While it is entirely possible that Moyle and Jacob Brackman had started changing the music before Stigwood got his hands on the script, I believe that changing the focus of the soundtrack was Stigwood’s idea. It was a deliberate attempt to cater to a new segment of the market; as much of the publicity material says, to make a New Wave Saturday Night Fever. It may have been a cynical business-driven move, but it improved the film no end. Although it does create the strange situation of New Wave music being everywhere while there are almost no visible signs of the city’s vibrant punk scene that hadn’t yet started to fade.

Mediascene Prevue Vol No 2, Sep/Oct 1980, p 19

Finally, the article states, “Despite Moyle’s claim that Times Square isn’t a ‘punk picture,’ the film’s soundtrack will offer seven New Wave songs, including Desmond Child and Rouge’s ‘The Night is Not,’ Tom Petty’s ‘Refugee’ and Talking Heads’ ‘Life During Wartime.'” That one sentence contains three facts proving how long before publication it was written. First: Allan Moyle had not yet been fired for refusing to cut scenes in order to accommodate more music. Second: seven New Wave songs? The final soundtrack album contains 20 songs, at least 12 of which are New Wave (depending on how much of a pedant you are over the definition of “New Wave”), plus one more song that didn’t make the album. So, this was also before Stigwood had the idea to produce a double-album, thus necessitating the cuts to add more music. And third: Tom Petty? Again with the Tom Petty? Now I dimly remember that when “Refugee” first came out, Tom Petty was marketed as being something of a New Wave act (although of course he wasn’t), and “Refugee” does seem to be a good thematic fit for Times Square, but why were they so insistent for so long that it was going to feature in the soundtrack? Might it have had something to do with Robert Stigwood putting Bill Oakes and Jimmy Iovine in charge of assembling the soundtrack? Jimmy Iovine, who in 1979 co-produced Tom Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes album? That album came out as Times Square started shooting. The single reached #15 in January 1980. It probably seemed like an obvious and easy choice for Iovine to shepherd a cross-promotion deal with a major motion picture whose soundtrack he was putting together. Luckily for all of us, though, the deal fell through. I like “Refugee” but it belongs on the Times Square soundtrack even less than “Help Me!”

tl;dr: “Does Times Square merely use New Wave in the same way that Stigwood highlighted disco in Saturday Night Fever?” the article asks. The answer at the time: Not yet, but just you wait.

(One last piece of evidence of how early the article was written: RSO hadn’t yet removed one of the L’s from Allan Moyle’s first name.)

Here’s the Times Square material from the article, so you don’t have to strain your eyes:

Some upcoming features which offer new artists include Heading for Broadway (starring Rex Smith and co-scripted, directed and produced by Joseph Brooks (You Light Up My Life)), Idolmaker (based on the life of Bob Marcucci, the rock entrepreneur who discovered Fabian and Frankie Avalon, with music by Jeff Barry and Hall and Oates), Rude Boy (starring The Clash), The Apple (a science-fiction musical set in 1994), Running Hot (a Smokey and the Bandit-type film about a female rock trio heading cross-country to Los Angeles where they hope to find success, starring Hot), and the Robert Stigwood Organization’s (Saturday Night Fever, Grease) Times Square.

The latter relates the adventures of two teenage runaways — Pamela, a shy, inhibited girl whose wealthy father, a city commissioner, is directing a Times Square rehabilitation program, and Nicky, a rebellious street delinquent — who evolve into singing stars on their adopted home of Manhattan’s 42nd Street. The film showcases the actresses portraying the runaways: Trini Alvarado (Pamela), who debuted in Robert Altman’s Rich Kids, and newcomer Robin Johnson (Nicky). But just how important could Times Square be to their careers?

“Trini Alvarado is already very well established. Somebody looking for her type would find out about her within a matter of phone calls in the feature film world,” says Times Square’s director, Allan Moyle (Montreal Main, The Rubber Gun). “But Robin Johnson, a complete unknown, has the more glamorous role. I mean, she’s Jimmy Dean. It was a potential problem to give such a heavy role to a novice. Robert Stigwood and I did not see eye-to-eye on that decision at all. He didn’t want to send the picture down the tubes with an unknown. I wanted to take the chance, because Robin’s a natural with a great, gruff singing voice. Robert now agrees that when Times Square is released, Robin Johnson is going to explode.”

As Times Square progresses, the runaways’ story is promoted by Johnny Laguardia, a DJ who “eggs Pamela and Nicky on, turning them into minor media celebrities.” Laguardia is portrayed by Tim Curry, famous for his role as the transsexual alien, Dr. Frank N. Furter, in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Towards Times Square’s finale, Pamela and Nicky give an illegal concert above a 42nd Street theater marquee as “The Sleaze Sisters,” a high-style version of bag ladies. Inspiring others to “reject the plastic culture and go sleaze,” hundreds of teen-age girls arrive at the concert dressed as “Sleaze Sisters.” Undoubtedly, critics will perceive them as a parody of New Wave culture.

Times Square isn’t a punk picture,” Moyle counters. “The girls’ particular rebellion or societal anger has to do with their own little heads. They’re not making any statement; they’re just two runaways. We don’t spoof New Wave either. Pamela and Nicky are dead serious about their trip.”

Despite Moyle’s claim that Times Square isn’t a “punk picture,” the film’s soundtrack will offer seven New Wave songs, including Desmond Child and Rouge’s The Night is Not, Tom Petty’s Refugee and Talking Heads’ Life During Wartime. The movie’s score indicates Hollywood’s apparent desire to popularize New Wave music.

If New Wave rock does become the next multi-million-dollar music trend, won’t that automatically make punk rockers hypocrites, since the underlying core of the so-called “New Wave mores” is anti-establishment?

“It’s an unfortunate cycle,” [Lech] Kowalski agrees. “That’s essentially what happened to the Sex Pistols. They couldn’t handle the potential monster they created both financially and artistically. There are a lot of producers looking for the next massive cultural phenomenon they can exploit. For the moment, it’s New Wave. It’s a self-destruct situation. That’s why my film’s called D.O.A.—Dead on Arrival.”

Kowalski’s attack on exploitative producers could be directed at the moguls behind any film featuring New Wave music. Most suspect, however, is Robert Stigwood’s and Allan Moyle’s Times Square. Does Times Square merely use New Wave in the same way that Stigwood highlighted disco in Saturday Night Fever, or does the film remain true to New Wave ethics?

“Look, American New Wave politics are a hoot, because it’s all art students slumming,” says Allan Moyle, “but the music does have that special new feeling. New Wave music was in our script from the very beginning, before we had had any contact with the Stigwood Organization. The music is keyed to the texture of the screenplay.”

 

 

Burns, Jim. “Musicals.” Mediascene Prevue Vol. 2 No. 2, Sept.-Oct. 1980: 12-19. Print.

 

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Mediascene Prevue ©1980 James Steranko

 

“The Trend Settles in New York”

Posted on 13th February 2015 in "Times Square"
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I confess I don’t quite understand what that title means. Am I missing something clever?

 
"The Trend Settles In New York," by Tony DeSena, "The Aquarian," April 23-30, 1980, p. 22 (10-A)

This article was published at the end of April 1980, from an interview done when there were two weeks left of principal photography, and is chock full of things to raise an eyebrow at. To start with, director Allan Moyle starts off saying that the lab ruined the footage of the crane shot of the crowd at the concert in Times Square. Evidently enough survived to edit into the film, since the movie closes with a shot exactly as he describes, but more interestingly, that was one of the first things shot, and he’s only now finding out that the footage was destroyed? Wasn’t it shot in November of 1979? How long was the shooting schedule anyway? I’m guessing the interview was probably done in December 1979, and then held until the timing was better for advance publicity. (On the Anchor Bay Times Square DVD commentary track, Moyle describes all sorts of things going wrong during the concert shoot, and footage being destroyed during production isn’t one of them.)
 

Moyle is described as “optimistic,” and Robert Stigwood

has been described as “very supportive,” which usually translates into, “He’s not breathing down our necks — he’s letting us work.”

Stop laughing. Oh, you’re crying? I’m sorry.

Regarding the soundtrack, the first artist mentioned is Tom Petty, who isn’t on the soundtrack. This announcement is later repeated in other pre-release articles.

On the day I spoke with him, Allan Moyle was shooting inside the old San Juan Theatre, on 165th Street on Upper Manhattan’s West Side. The scene being shot was a tender reconciliation between father and daughter, near the end of the film.

No such scene appears in the film, or in the early draft of the screenplay we have. This theater must have been doubling for another location, or perhaps had a set built inside it, or the article’s author was describing the scene incorrectly… we may never know. Maybe it was a wrong description of Mr. Pearl’s speech that sets Pammy off?

Also, unlike the movie, the article spells Allan Moyle’s first name correctly.

The article concludes saying the production is “aiming for a late summer release date next year,” which would be 1981. Times Square opened October 17, 1980; assuming the article was written in 1979 and not re-edited when it was published five months later, it’s correct.

I can’t say with 100% certainty, but so far it looks like the two images that accompany this article were published in other magazine articles, but didn’t appear in any of the publicity packages released by AFD or EMI. If I find them, though, you’ll be the first to know.

One last thing: although I may very likely have been reading The Aquarian in April 1980, I never saved any of them, and this article at the time wouldn’t have meant anything to me anyway. This item is a photocopy I came across while going through my Robin Johnson stuff for this project, and I don’t know where it came from.

 

 

“The Trend Settles In New York”
DeSena, Tony; “The Aquarian,” April 23-April 30 1980, p. 22 (10-A) [photocopy of article]
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Times Square Blue

Posted on 4th February 2015 in "Times Square"
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Promotional slide "18-5" of Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta at the conclusion of "Times Square" (1980) This is the last of the… well, what should I call them? The objects that have no publication information printed on them, or aren’t contained in some other package (although some of them turn up again later that way). Although… there’s at least one more image that fits that definition coming, the difference being that it wasn’t created by the production company.

It’s also the last of the slides. Well, no, that other image I mentioned above is also a slide. We’ll get to that in good time.

And when I say “the last of the” anything, I mean the last ones I have. I know there’s more out there, because I’ve seen them on the Web. At some point I’ll collate and re-post those too.

This slide has 18-5 written on the mount, and shows Nicky as she looks during the final concert scene. Another photo taken at the same time was printed in black and white and used in the US Press Kit. The lights behind her would seem to indicate that she’s on street level, and I know there’s at least one photo of Robin and Trini on the street in the outfits they wear in the final sequence, even though in the film they’re never both on 42nd Street dressed like that.

So this picture was taken either before she went up to the marquee, or after she came down. (Or, I suppose, during a break in the filming, but it would have had to be one long enough for her to come all the way down and go all the way back up. Doesn’t really matter. Moving on.) When the time came to get the image ready for posting, I was struck by how blue her sweater was, especially since I remembered it being a sort of sea-green. In the stills, it certainly looked greenish, although they were a little yellowed with age themselves. So I went to the film and compared it with frames like these:

So, yeah, green… I figured something had gone screwy with my original scan of the slide, and altered the color balance so that the sweater matched the bluish-green in the film. It was surprisingly easy, which I took to be proof that I was right, and then I went to find the “closest frame from the film” which I knew (since the slide is just a headshot and doesn’t represent a moment from the movie) took place in the previous scene, before her costume change and makeup touch-up… and there was this:

Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta, resigned to her fate - frame grab from "Times Square" (1980)

Bright royal blue. I looked in some of the magazines that published photos from this scene… some were green, some were blue… Did she change into an identical sweater of a different color? Was it just a costume or continuity error? As we’ll see in the next post (I think), at least some of the footage from the concert was destroyed by the processing lab… was there a reshoot with the wrong sweater? Well, none of the above… thanks to the last few posts, I’ve been through the concert scene way too many times, and for every shot where the sweater looks green, there are two where it looks blue. And worse, there are no shortage of shots like this one:

Nicky leaps into the air - the closest frame from the film to B&W still 34

Blue on one side, sea-green on the other. I dug out the actual slide and had another look at it, and my scan was accurate: the sweater was pure blue. Under proper controlled lighting, it’s blue. But anywhere else, out on the street, running back and forth under the neon lights of Times Square, it changes color and looks more or less greenish. It’s a case of wool vs. film and there’s no clear winner.

There is a series of minor continuity errors in the concert scene: if you watch it too closely, the sweater’s sleeves jump up and down Nicky’s arms several times of their own accord. But it’s not really changing color. The blue in the slide above is the sweater’s true color. I’m pretty sure.

 

 

18-5
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inscription: [written on slide mount:] 18-5

 

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frame capture from Times Square (1980)
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Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

The Concert in Times Square

Posted on 26th January 2015 in "Times Square"
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I’m breaking my rule of one picture per post again, but these are so similar to each other it seemed silly to stretch them out over three posts. These are the last of the Kodak 8 x 10’s: three shots of Robin atop the Times Square Theater marquee. In the first one, you can see not only Robin’s safety cable, but Trini’s as well, along with a couple crew members keeping an eye on them. You might think it’s JoJo and Simon from WJAD, but in the film they can be clearly seen sitting on the Apollo Theater’s marquee with the Blondells. These guys are production safety deputies.
 

The Times Square Theater seems to be cursed. It’s the one property on New 42nd Street that no one has been able to do anything with. Plans are continually being made, a tenant is announced, and then nothing happens. At least the facade is visible now; for years it was completely hidden behind a canvas shroud announcing the opening of a Marc Ecko store, which needless to say never opened. At the heart of Times Square is the plan by Pammy’s father to clean up Times Square, and that actually happened less than ten years later… now, every property in Times Square is actively serving a thriving tourist trade… except the Times Square Theater, which remains empty.

The Facade of the Times Square Theater, April 20 2014

The facade of the Times Square Theater, April 20 2014

In my opinion, its best use would be as an Alamo Drafthouse, screening the kind of repertory films that used be in small theaters all over the city until the little cinemas that showed them closed one by one. But odds are there’s no way to make such a venture sufficiently profitable in that space, since it apparently isn’t sufficiently profitable in no end of less desirable properties. Part of the problem is that apparently the Times Square Theater has no back entrance; directly behind it, along 43rd Street, was the auditorium of the Apollo Theater (now the Lyric), whose entrance ironically ran through the front of the Times Square Theater (confused yet?). What this means is, the only way to load in and out is through the front on 42nd Street, making it very difficult to work with, especially as a performance venue. (All this information comes from the Wikipedia pages for the Times Square and Apollo Theaters, and the sources linked there as references.)
 

With that in mind… towards the end of the film, Pammy drags Nicky out of the radio station (to the faint strains of “Help Me!”), and around the block to the rear entrance to her father’s offices. This is quite clearly on 43rd Street, where it should be;Nicky and Pammy head west on 43rd St between Broadway and 8th - frame capture from "Times Square" (1980) behind them we can see the sign of the Strand HotelThe Concert in Times Square - frame capture from "Times Square" (1980) which was located at 206 West 43rd Street. Later we get a clear shot establishing that the “Times Square Renaissance” project has taken over the Apollo Theater, so the door Pammy and Nicky go in does indeed lead into the Apollo. The Blondells and the WJAD people load in the Blondells’ equipment through a pair of large theater doors that are not the door Pammy got in through, and are not on 42nd Street, so it’s safe to assume they’re the main theater exit from the Apollo (the kind of doors the Times Square Theater does not have), and they go through the Pearl offices and up to the Apollo’s marquee. But how did Nicky and Pammy get into the Times Square theater next door, unseen by the growing crowd in the street,Apollo Theater's back doors - frame capture from "Times Square" (1980) and at what point did JoJo or Simon… well, Paul Blondell and JoJo carry equipment through the Times Square Renaissance offices - frame capture from "Times Square" (1980)there was room for a great little shot where someone setting up equipment on the Apollo marquee tosses a wired microphone over to the Times Square marquee.

No, despite the Apollo’s lobby running through the Times Square’s facade, these are two separate buildings, only one of which opens onto 43rd Street. While there may possibly be some emergency door between the two, really the only way Pammy and Nicky could get to the Times Square Theater’s marquee is with the magic powers they used during their escape through the Adonis Theater, materializing from roof to roof and walking through buildings that are next to each other but not actually connected.
 

Or, maybe I should “just repeat to yourself ‘It’s just a show, I should really just relax.'” But where’s the fun in that?
 

And now, the closest frames from the film.


 

One last thought… Nicky first appears out of a crowd of people, walking west on 42nd Street, right in front of the Times Square Theater and past the entrance to the Apollo. At the end of the film, she leaps from the marquee of the Times Square Theater, heads west on 42nd, and disappears into a crowd of people just past the entrance to the Apollo. This is of course because Nicky doesn’t really exist: she’s a spirit of the city, a personification of the visceral life in 42nd Street Johnny is always talking about, called into being to help Pammy, and when her job is done vanishing back into the street until she’s needed again. I need more sleep.

 

 

[Pammy Watches Nicky Sing Atop the Times Square Theater Marquee]
color photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work) [w/o border 6.5 in x 9.5 in];
857 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 628 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [photo paper stamped] THIS PAPER / MANUFACTURED / BY KODAK

 

[Nicky Marotta on the Times Square Theater Marquee]
color photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work) [w/o border 6.5 in x 9.5 in];
866 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 624 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [photo paper stamped] THIS PAPER / MANUFACTURED / BY KODAK

 

[Nicky on the Times Square Theater Marquee]
color photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work) [w/o border 6.5 in x 9.5 in];
862 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 631 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [photo paper stamped] THIS PAPER / MANUFACTURED / BY KODAK

 

The Facade of the Times Square Theater, April 20 2014
1000 px (W) x 599 px (H), 72 dpi, 386 kb (image)
Photo by Sean Rockoff

 

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853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi (images)
frame captures from Times Square (1980)
captured 2015-01-04

 

vlcsnap-2014-11-04-20h17m48s255.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 882 kb (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-11-04

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

“34”

Posted on 17th January 2015 in "Times Square"
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Here we have an 8″x10″ black and white print showing Nicky leaping into the air at the start of the concert in Times Square (as opposed to her leaping into the air at the end of the concert). Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta leaps into the the air, beginning her performance at the conclusion of "Times Square" (1980). It has a tiny number “34” printed onto its front. The back bears a stamp reading “TIMES SQUARE,” a handwritten “34” in black ink, and in blue ink a different hand has written “Robin Johnson, Trini Alvarez.” It’s probably safe to say the last was added by a memorabilia dealer who wasn’t too familiar with the movie.

 

This moment in the film is comprised of two shots: one of her kneeling and starting the jump, the other of her in the air and landing. In the frame that would Nicky leaps into the air - the closest frame from the film to B&W still 34match this exact moment, her head is facing the other way and mostly out of the shot. Don’t believe me? Here it is:

 

This photo is in black and white. An almost identical shot that looks like it was taken a fraction of a second later was published in color in a German magazine in 1982. This leads me to speculate (as I may have before, but I can’t be bothered to check now) that all these photos were taken in color, and some were distributed in black and white… for newspaper reproduction? To save money on printing costs? — or that some of them at least are edited movie frames from unused takes. I doubt this though because there’d be a lot more motion blur in them. You can see the blur in the frame capture above, while the still is sharp.

 
And that’s really all I have to say about this. Sorry to disappoint you. But I will leave you with one question… Take a look at that frame capture from the movie, and tell me: what color is Nicky’s sweater? Whatever your answer, we’ll continue to ask that question for a couple more weeks at least.

 
What’s that? You want to see the picture in the German magazine? I told you, that was published in 1982. It’s barely 1980 here. Hold your horses.

 

Times Square Production Still 34
black and white photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
863 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 451 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: 34 at bottom right
[On back:] [stamped, black:] TIMES SQUARE
[handwritten, black:] 34
[handwritten, blue:] Robin Johnson, Trini Alvarez

 

vlcsnap-2014-05-04-17h40m40s228.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 848 kb (images)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-05-04

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Pammy’s Dancing Career Cut Short

Posted on 9th January 2015 in "Times Square"
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Uncropped 8x10 photograph of Trini Alvarado as Pamela Pearl in the movie "Times Square." The shot replicates, but does not duplicate, the shot as it appears in the film.
Despite recent appearances, this is a Robin Johnson site, not a Times Square site. But, for better or worse, there’s far more Times Square material out there than for the rest of her career combined. Plus, the vast majority of her fans (though not all) found her through Times Square. So I’ll be posting the occasional Times Square item that Robin isn’t in. And today, I’m also breaking my general rule about one item at a time, because these two are so close together in the film.Times Square Slide 63-25: Trini Alvarado as Pamela Pearl
 

The first is one of the 8″ x 10″ color prints on Kodak paper, and shows Pammy in the middle of demonstrating her new moves to another Cleo girl. The second is the second of the slides, and shows her reacting to seeing her father in the club. Again, they don’t match up to the shots used in the film, mostly because the POV seems to be standing directly behind where the other dancer is sitting. The first shot might conceivably have been taken during the actual take, but Trini’s hands and feet are in different positions in the second one than they appear in the film.
 

This scene is notable for containing one of the few appearances of the “Doomsday Book,” the giant ledger Pammy bought to document her and Nicky’s lives in a scene cut from the film, and which Nicky methodically burns page by page at the end. It’s visible lying on the keyboard in the first picture. It’s the one thing Pammy grabs as she runs out of the club.

That’s all I have to say about that. I’ve been unsuccessful so far in figuring out the location of whatever bar served as the Cleopatra. If I ever do work it out, you’ll be the first to know.

Here, for tradition’s sake, are the closest frames from the film:

David Pearl finds PammyPammy Takes a Walk on the Wild SideDavid Pearl finds Pammy

 

 

Times Square Color Production Still / “Walk on the Wild Side”
color photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
866 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 595 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [handwritten:] 60-6A

 

Times Square slide 63-25
35mm color slide, 2 in (H) x 2 in (W) (including mount) (work);
727 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 573 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [handwritten:] 60-6A

 

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853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi (images)
frame captures from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-12-07

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

42nd & 6th

Posted on 6th November 2014 in "Times Square"
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Nicky and Pammy walk the streets in this black and white print of a color publicity photo for "Times Square," which depicts a scene not actually in the film.

 

 

So: the girls are east of Times Square and headed for it. They’ve already traded clothes, and are on foot. In the film, this happens after they’ve been on the subway in those outfits, except they’re on their way to “the hideout” (as it’s called in the script). The hideout is described in the script as being a pier on the Hudson River near 42nd Street, but Pier 56 as it appears in the film is actually closer to 14th Street, and the walking we see in the film looks to have been shot there in the meatpacking district back when meat was actually packed there. We never see Nicky and Pammy walking through a populated city street in those outfits.

o-TIMES-900

 

Wait… they’ve just come out of the subway, on their way to the hideout, and are now walking to 14th Street? That doesn’t make any sense; why get off the train when they still have 30 blocks south to go? The thing is, this is maybe the second most heavily edited part of the film, the first being the sequence immediately before this one, where they cut and dye each other’s hair on the Jersey side of the river, which was eliminated entirely. The shot in the film on the subway doesn’t happen in the subway in the script, it happens on the street. These photos are the beginning of the scene which was almost totally removed, in which Nicky goes to her father for help.

"Times Square" Screenplay p. 49

All of these pictures which were ultimately only used for publicity purposes were originally shot from this page, in which the girls emerge from the subway and go to a Nedick’s, looking for someone who might know where Roger Marotta is, and then continue on their way. The scene in the film on the subway originally happened out on the street after Nicky realizes her dad won’t be able to help them find a place to stay. In the script, her saying to Pammy “We are going to do everything ourselves” is a direct reaction to her father’s inability to help. In the film, it’s a statement of general opposition to the world, and in my opinion, it may be less realistic, but it’s more powerful. Take that, original cinematic vision! The scene on the subway is all that remains of the sequence, and as I said, it wasn’t written as happening on the subway.

If you looked real closely, and I’m sure you did, you noticed that in this script Pammy christens them The Sleaze Sisters. (Nicky comes up with the phrase “Sleaze Sister” on the previous page.) There’s no dialogue written in the script when they find the junk-filled trunks in the pier. This would seem to indicate that either the excised riverside scene was heavily rewritten before it was shot — sadly since it’s long lost there’s no way to compare it with the pages — or that the “exploring the pier” scene was rewritten after the riverside scene had been shot and cut.

My main purpose on this site is to show pictures of Robin Johnson and place them in some sort of context, not to analyze Times Square to hell and back. There are others who can do that much better than I. But I will throw in a little here and there, just to get you talking amongst yourselves, hopefully. With that in mind, here’s a tiny peek into the mindset of the film’s creators: note that at the top of the screenplay page, our two protagonists, having abandoned civilization, achieve “an effect of … savage beauty” by darkening their skin. Make of that what you will. At least the beta carotene pills seem to have been dropped from the script before filming, otherwise we’d have all been wondering for years not only what happened to their hair, but where’d they get the tans.

M8DTISQ EC001
The first shot above is a black-and-white print. The photo was taken in color, as it was published that way many times, but I haven’t found a primary source image for it. And it bugs me, because as you can see this color version I found on the Web actually shows more of the image. Why it was printed in black-and-white, I don’t know. It’s one of a number of prints I believe to be contemporary with the film, as they all bear the stamp on the back “THIS PAPER MANUFACTURED BY KODAK,” which was used on Kodak photo paper from 1972 to about 1989. Some have numbers written on the back, but nothing to give a clue as to what they were for originally. Some are in black-in-white, some are color. The one thing they have in common is that they depict a shot from the film without actually being from that shot. Even when you take into account that the photographer wasn’t standing in the same spot as the movie camera, the things and people in the frame are in different positions. “What exactly do you mean?” I hear you ask. Well, since this particular photo is an exception, as it’s a shot not in the film at all, you’ll have to wait till next time for a demonstration.
Nicky and Pammy walk to the pier - frame capture from 'Times Square' DVD

 

 

 

But, here’s the closest shot in the film. It’s several blocks west and a long way south.

 

 

“Nicky and Pammy on the Street”
8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
863 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 535 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on reverse:] [handwritten:] Times Square
[stamped:] THIS PAPER MANUFACTURED BY KODAK

 
o-TIMES-900-300×199.jpg
900 px (W) x 598 px (H), 300 dpi, 140 KB (image)
1979/1980
retrieved on 2014-05-01 from Brooks, Katherine. “12 Films That Pay Homage To Punk Rock Girls.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc., 1 May 2014. Web.
 
TIMES SQUARE, p. 49
Screenplay by Jacob Brackman
1979

 
TIMES SQUARE, from left, Robin Johnson, Trini Alvarado, 1980, ©Associated Film .
1000 px (W) x 685 px (H), 300 dpi, 113 KB (image)
1979/1980
retrieved on 2014-10-22 from “Times Square.” Cineplex. Cineplex Entertainment LP, n.d. Web.
 
vlcsnap-2014-10-18-18h53m27s204-300×168.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 922 KB (image)
screen capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-10-18
 
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+