The U.S. Movie Poster

Posted on 7th July 2015 in "Times Square"
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The "Times Square" US movie poster.  Text:  In the heart of Times Square a poor girl becomes famous, a rich girl becomes courageous and both become friends. TIMES SQUARE ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents "TIMES SQUARE" Starring TIM CURRY ● TRINI ALVARADO  And Introducing ROBIN JOHNSON Also Starring PETER COFFIELD ● HERBERT BERGHOF ● DAVID MARGULIES ● ANNA MARIA  HORSFORD Executive Producers KEVIN McCORMICK ● JOHN NICOLELLA Directed by ALAN MOYLE Screenplay by JACOB BRACKMAN Story by ALAN MOYLE and LEANNE UNGER Produced by ROBERT STIGWOOD and JACOB BRACKMAN Associate Producer BILL OAKES An EMI Release Distributed in the U.S. and Canada By AFD (Associated Film Distribution) R RESTRICTED UNDER 17 REQUIRES ACCOMPANYING PARENT OR ADULT GUARDIAN Soundtrack available on RSO Records and Tapes AFD T.M.   ©1980 Associated Film Distribution RSO TM Records, Inc. 262 GAU GRAPHIC ARTS INTERNATIONAL UNION OFFICIAL UNION LABEL 796 PRINTED IN U.S.A. Property of National Screen Service Corporation. Licensed for use only in connection  with the exhibition of this picture at the theatre licensing this material. Licensee  agrees not to trade, sell or give it away, or permit others to use it, nor shall  licensee be entitled to any credit upon return of this material. This material  either must be returned or destroyed immediately after use. 800099
The final design for the movie poster retains the two overlapping askew rectangles from the poster side of the double-sided poster. That poster had a black rectangle over a purple rectangle over a red background; here it’s changed to yellow over blue over white. The colorized collage of Nicky and Pammy remains, but Pammy’s head has been lowered in relation to Nicky’s, and Nicky’s right shoulder and arm have been removed, and her collar shortened, to make room. The button with Johnny’s face has been placed on Nicky’s left lapel. It’s the same colorization job, with Nicky’s blue eyes and a ton of eye shadow, although there’s less contrast and there isn’t as much detail in the hair.

The round splotch of vivid fuschia with its outer drops turning to musical notes (which started as a cloud of red-orange smoke with its outer edges turning to notes) is now a streak of red paint whose splatters are just splatters.

The logo is exactly the same, just a little faded-looking in comparison because of the lowered contrast.

The tagline, “In the heart of Times Square a poor girl becomes famous, a rich girl becomes courageous and both become friends,” … well, they had to say something. It seems momentous until you start to think about what it actually says. It is literally what happens, but it’s not exactly what the movie is about.

Finally, the fantastic strips of DYMO label tape from the double-sided poster have become a clear italic sans-serif font on strips of fuschia (gotta have that fuschia somewhere). It looks great if you don’t have the original idea to compare it with. They sacrificed the design for the sake of clarity (it is easier to read), which is always the way, and is usually the right decision. Although… it is a watering down of the marketing towards a New Wave audience, to market the film more to a mass audience, and in hindsight we all know how well that worked.

 

 

“Times Square” Full Color One-Sheet Poster 800099
color, 27 in (W) x 41 in (H) (work);
706 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 432 kb (image)

1980
inscription:
In the heart of Times Square
a poor girl becomes famous,
a rich girl becomes courageous
and both become friends.
TIMES SQUARE
ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents “TIMES SQUARE”
Starring TIM CURRY ● TRINI ALVARADO
And Introducing ROBIN JOHNSON
Also Starring PETER COFFIELD ● HERBERT BERGHOF ● DAVID MARGULIES ● ANNA MARIA HORSFORD
Executive Producers KEVIN McCORMICK ● JOHN NICOLELLA
Directed by ALAN MOYLE
Screenplay by JACOB BRACKMAN
Story by ALAN MOYLE and LEANNE UNGER
Produced by ROBERT STIGWOOD and JACOB BRACKMAN
Associate Producer BILL OAKES
An EMI Release Distributed in the U.S. and Canada
By AFD (Associated Film Distribution)
R RESTRICTED
UNDER 17 REQUIRES ACCOMPANYING PARENT OR ADULT GUARDIAN
Soundtrack available on RSO Records and Tapes
AFD T.M.
©1980 Associated Film Distribution
RSO TM Records, Inc.
262 GAU GRAPHIC ARTS INTERNATIONAL UNION OFFICIAL UNION LABEL 796
PRINTED IN U.S.A.
Property of National Screen Service Corporation. Licensed for use only in connection
with the exhibition of this picture at the theatre licensing this material. Licensee
agrees not to trade, sell or give it away, or permit others to use it, nor shall
licensee be entitled to any credit upon return of this material. This material
either must be returned or destroyed immediately after use.
800099

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square Press Material folder (post 3 of 5)

Posted on 14th May 2015 in "Times Square"
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“… in one of those inexplicable chance occasions, out of the blue, Robin Johnson appeared…”

 

Four more stills from the Times Square U.S. press kit.

Publicity still of Trini Alvarado and Peter Coffield from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder.  Text:  (on image) TS-117-13/15 (on border) TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

TS-117-13
Trini Alvarado stars as the troubled daughter of an ambitious New York politician, played by Peter Coffield, and his lack of attention turns her into a rebellious runaway in “Times Square.”

Publicity still of Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado in the "hideout" in Pier 56 from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder.   Text:  TS-94-10A/13 TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

TS-94-10A
Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado co-star as two runaway teenagers in New York who create their own bohemian life style in a revolt against authority in Times Square.

Publicity still of Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado on the northwest corner of 50th Street and 8th Avenue, from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder.   Text:  TS-61-14/10 TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

TS-61-14
Trini Alvarado as Pamela Pearl and Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta become minor media celebrities when their bizarre runaway escapades are reported on radio by an all-night disc jockey in “Times Square.”

Publicity still of Robin Johnson, Trini Alvarado, and Miguel Pinero in the Cleo Club, from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder.  Text:  (on image) TS-104-17A/7  (on border) TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

TS-104-17A
Trini Alvarado is a novice dancer on the runway of a sleazy Times Square nitery but keeps the job as a teenage attraction with the encouragement of her fellow runaway, played by Robin Johnson (lower left), in “Times Square.”

I don’t really have anything to say about these, but when have I let that stop me.

It means nothing, but I notice in the first pic, Pammy’s dad is on the right, looking down at her, and in the rest, Nicky is to the left and is looking up at Pammy (or would be if her head was turned; her eye level is below Pam’s). This is just an artifact of the four pictures I happened to post here, but, still…

The second pic: Robin sure rocked that Union suit, huh?

The third pic: this is another shot from the girls’ escape from the plainclothes cop in the Adonis Theater, as they’re about to descend into the subway at 50th Street and 8th Avenue. There’s a screengrab of this shot towards the bottom of this post and another photo from this scene is the third image in the gallery of close-ups in this post, in a collage with images of Times Square (the street).

The fourth pic of Pammy’s dancing debut is from the session that produced this. There’s yet another shot that will be used on a UK lobby card.

As usual, none of these are the actual shots from the film.

To punch up the Robin content in this post, here are the first five pages of the eight-page “Production Information” text packet. (Robin isn’t mentioned on the last three pages.)

The Robin stuff reads as follows. For the rest, you’re on your own, unless I get requests from the audience. (That’s you.)

TIMES
SQUARE

PRODUCTION INFORMATION

About The Motion Picture…

“Times Square” bursts on the screen with the earthy exuberance of the famed New York City crossroads, itself, and depicts the energy and antics of adolescents imbibing the heady rush of rebellion. It is set to the sound of today’s most outstanding rock music and showcases the excitement of three vividly strong performances–the transformation of an inhibited, awkward teener, done to perfection by Trini Alvarado; the radiance and effervescence of a new discovery in 16-year-old Robin Johnson, and an image-breaking character study of a disc-jockey on-the-edge by Tim Curry.

A contemporary drama that focuses on two teenage girls from opposite sides of the economic scale, “Times Square” needed two strong, young talents to work effectively as a film. Director Moyle was convinced that his leads would have to be found outside the normal casting pools and talent stables.

“I wanted two girls who were those characters,” he affirmed. “We sent out flyers, took ads in the Village Voice, Soho News, Aquarian, and contacted record stores and half-way homes. We scouted every rock dive, every disco, every club we could find.”

The final result of the massive search saw professionally trained Trini Alvarado cast as Pamela, the shy and inhibited only child of a successful politician, a widower who forgets his daughter amid the demands of his career. Trini had just won rave reviews for a stunning performance in her first film, Robert Altman’s “Rich Kids.”

For the demanding central role of Nicky an abandoned youngster reared in foster homes and the school of tough times, Moyle intended to cast an established, slightly older actress. But, in one of those inexplicable chance occasions, out of the blue, Robin Johnson appeared. She had been given the casting director’s number while standing on the steps of her high school in Brooklyn. An exceptionally bright, well-adjusted student, Robin certainly didn’t fit Moyle’s preconceived notions of what his Nicky was going to be. But with her raspy, husky Brooklyn style of vocalizing, a quick-witted sense of humor and a total lack of pretense, she stunned and charmed not only the director but producer Robert Stigwood as well. “Robin brought a great deal of warmth and an incredible amount of native humor to Nicky,” Moyle says admiringly.

About The Cast…

ROBIN JOHNSON, who makes her film debut as the explosive Nicky Marotta, was discovered outside her high school, Brooklyn Tech. That chance happening concluded a five-month nationwide talent hunt to find the dynamic, young singing actress for the demanding role. Robin had never acted previously. The 16-year-old New Yorker lives at home with her mother and a sister, Cindy. Her audition, both singing and reading script, overwhelmed everyone within hearing. Robin Johnson was Nicky Marotta.

I believe this is the first time the story of Robin’s “discovery” is told. It will quickly become one of the major selling points for the film.

 

 

TS-117-13/15
1080 px (W) x 868 px (H), 96 dpi, 277 kb (image)
TS-94-10A/13
1080 px (H) x 855 px (W), 96 dpi, 328 kb (image)
TS-61-14/10
1080 px (W) x 859 px (H), 96 dpi, 323 kb (image)
TS-104-17A/7
1080 px (W) x 862 px (H), 96 dpi, 310 kb (image)
black and white photographic prints, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (works);

1980
inscriptions: [on photos] TS-117-13/15; TS-94-10A/13; TS-61-14/10; TS-104-17A/7;
(on borders) TIMES SQUARE
AFD
©1980 Associated
Film Distribution

 

TIMES SQUARE PRODUCTION INFORMATION, pp. 1-5
8.5 in (W) x 11 in (H) (works);
1080 px (H) x 838 px (W), 96 dpi, 271 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 838 px (W), 96 dpi, 376 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 835 px (W), 96 dpi, 482 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 835 px (W), 96 dpi, 354 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 836 px (W), 96 dpi, 356 kb (image)

 

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)
1000 px (W) x 685 px (H), 300 dpi, 98.4 KB (image)
1979/1980
retrieved on 2014-10-22 from “Times Square.” Cineplex. Cineplex Entertainment LP, n.d.

 

MSDTISQ EC002 (262141_full.jpg)
1000 px (W) x 664 px (H), 300 dpi, 113 KB (image)
MSDTISQ EC001 (262140_full.jpg)
1000 px (W) x 667 px (H), 300 dpi, 83.3 KB (image)
MSDTISQ EC003 (262142_full.jpg)
1000 px (W) x 673 px (H), 300 dpi, 79.4 KB (image)
MBDTISQ EC001 (102361_full.jpg)
808 px (W) x 1000 px (H), 300 dpi, 134 KB (image)
1979/1980
retrieved on 2014-10-25 from “Times Square.” Cineplex. Cineplex Entertainment LP, n.d.

 

tumblr_n92trfhqfw1sfnn0mo4_r2_250.jpg
250 px (W) x 350 px (H), 96 dpi, 51.7 kb (image)
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 Press Folder

Posted on 30th March 2015 in "Times Square"
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At least that’s what it was called when I got it. It’s only a folder though in the sense that it’s folded, not that it contained something else like the press kits which have pockets to hold papers and photos. This is just a big piece of heavy glossy stock, folded over.


It’s not really a “press” folder, either. It looks like promotion to theater owners, to get them to book the film. I’m not an authority on film publicity; if you know a technical term for this kind of object, please leave a comment!

One thing is for sure, though — this was created, like the articles in my last few posts, before the advertising campaign had been designed. The outside is an extremely cool yet rather anonymous collage of Times Square by night, and most of the photos inside are not the ones used later for publicity. The background image is a collage of the collage with a photo that will turn up in black and white in the press kit. The last image at the bottom right is a cropped version of the one I talked about here, which got used a lot. The shot of the concert in Times Square and the close-up of Nicky will both later appear in the Songbook, I think. The close-up of Tim Curry looks like it was taken a second before or after the photo that was printed in black and white in The Aquarian and Prevue. The other pictures may be unique to this folder.

Ironically, the image of the girls with the “Times Square-42nd St.” sign superimposed over them was, as we’ve seen, taken on the corner of 8th Avenue and 50th Street.

The text… well, judge for yourself. It misspells Nicky’s name “Nikki.” Lots of people do that, sure, but, but, no. She spells her first name “Nicky.” The film isn’t even out yet, and it looks like someone may be worried she’s not girly enough.

ROBERT STIGWOOD
PRESENTS
TIMES SQUARE

AFD
Associated
Film Distribution

Robert Stigwood, whose multimedia touch produced such movie-record super hits as “Grease”… “Tommy”… “Saturday Night Fever”… and “Jesus Christ Superstar”… will now usher in a new wave of youthful excitement:
TIMES SQUARE

Set in the neon nerve center of young New York. Crammed with colorful, careening characters. Ablaze with the light of a million midnight suns. Tuned to a furious rock beat… amps up… full power on. The new wave. It’s called:
TIMES SQUARE

It’s about the most rollicking runaways since Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Pammy Pearl… bright… pretty… shy of love… from a Fifth Avenue penthouse overlooking the park. Nikki Marotta… tough… funny… hooked on dreams… from the mean streets of the east Village.

They’ve ridden a wild river called 42nd Street. Now, they’re hiding on the exciting, eccentric, busy dizzy, dangerous island that’s Times Square.

Half the city is hunting for them. The other half is cheering for them… to stay “lost.” The only one who knows their whereabouts is all-night disc jockey Johnny La Guardia, perched in a skyscraper studio, playing their song. And he won’t tell.

Because any moment now… Pammy and Nikki will reappear as the spectacular “Sleaze Sisters”… to stop traffic… live their dreams… and turn on the whole town.
TIMES SQUARE

It’s a dazzling youth-market-musical that will pack theatres this October… like TIMES SQUARE on New Year’s Eve.
Get in on the action…
TIMES SQUARE

©1980 Associated
Film Distribution

By popular demand (meaning Deb asked), here are close-ups of the inside pictures. Their actual size is pretty close to the thumbnails below, so the gallery will give a good view of the individual pixels.

 

 

“Robert Stigwood presents Times Square”
12 in (H) x 18 in (W) (folded) (work);
1080 px (W) x 718 px (H), 96 dpi, 525 kb (outside image)
1080 px (W) x 721 px (H), 96 dpi, 647 kb (inside image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Post edited on 4 April 2015 to add the detail image gallery.

The Last Word

Posted on 3rd March 2015 in "Times Square"
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The May 1980 issue of Photoplay mentioned Times Square’s production in Ken Johns’ Last Word column.

Edit from Photoplay's Last Word, Photoplay Vol. 31 No. 5, May 19
The image of Nicky singing “Damn Dog” in the Cleo Club was later published in at least one more magazine after the film’s release, but I haven’t yet seen it anywhere else, or in color.

This was the version of Photoplay published in the U.K. Times Square wouldn’t open there until the following January.

For the benefit of all the search spiders out there, here’s the relevant text:

Newcomer Robin Johnson stars in Times Square

The beautiful Trini Alvarado (from Rich Kids) gets the star role in Times Square, produced by Robert Stigwood and Jacob Brackman. Said Stigwood: “The film reflects the tragedy of grown-ups who cannot relate to kids, who view the world very differently. It is a tough raw film, but with lots of humour.” The film features a rock score written and played by many talented stars. Tim Curry stars in the movie as a dee-jay. The story concerns two young girls (Trini, and newcomer Robin Johnson) who meet in the ward of a psychiatric hospital and decide that the shrinks are crazier than they are and so go on the run. The DJ (Tim Curry) carries their exploits to the world via his all-night radio show…

Robert Stigwood is quoted. Allan Moyle isn’t mentioned. Hmm.

 

 

Photoplay Vol. 31 No. 5, May 1980, cover
8.5 in (W) x 11 in (H) (work)
800 px (H) x 627 px (W), 96 dpi, 435 kb (image)

 

Johns, Ken; “Photoplay’s LAST WORD Column”
Photoplay Vol. 31 No. 5, May 1980, p. 62
8.5 in (W) x 11 in (H) (work)
800 px (H) x 622 px (H), 96 dpi, 372 kb (image)

 

Edit of Photoplay Vol. 31 No. 5, May 1980, p. 62
(Johns, Ken; “Photoplay’s LAST WORD Column”)
1080 px (W) x 728 px (H), 96 dpi, 488 kb (image)

 

Photoplay ©1980 The Illustrated Publications Company Limited

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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
2 in x 2 in (including mount) (work);
1080 px (H) x 730 px (W), 96 dpi, 758 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [written on slide mount:] 18-5

 

vlcsnap-2015-01-11-17h30m33s45.png
vlcsnap-2015-01-11-17h44m25s253.png

853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi (images)
frame captures from Times Square (1980)
captured 2015-01-114

 

vlcsnap-2015-01-04-16h18m45s184.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 882 kb (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2015-01-04

 

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

 

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

 

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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

 

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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+

 

Nicky Marotta in the Studio

Posted on 1st January 2015 in "Times Square"
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Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta holding her Rickenbacker in the WJAD radio studio. Image is identified as 69-34A-4 in the lower right-hand corner. Photo is autographed by Robin Johnson (probably around January 1981).The WJAD studio, that is. This is an 8 x 10″ print with no border, with the little handwritten identification number 69-34A-4 added to the print in the lower right-hand corner. It was shot during the filming of the “Your Daughter Is One” performance, but doesn’t come close enough to any shot from the film to even try to find a similar image. At no point in the film does Nicky turn to her left and smile; she spends the entire scene facing the microphone.

This photo will appear again at least once, in the American press kit folder. That version is smaller, to allow for a border, and is cropped at the top and bottom, but shows a tiny bit more along the left edge. It has the same number, but it’s rewritten in a slightly different format, because the one that appears here is cropped out. I don’t know for sure that this one predates that one, but I have to make some kind of decision of what order to put these in. This series are all photos that don’t have “Times Square” printed on them.

Not on the front, anyway. This object has handwritten on the back in black ink, “Robin Johnson / ‘TIMES SQUARE'” at the top, and “Times Square” in yellow ink at the bottom. Those were probably added by memorabilia dealers or previous owners. You’ve probably noticed that it’s also signed on the front by Robin… yes, that’s really her signature. No, I’ve never met her. That’s an autograph from back in the day. This item came from England, so it was probably signed during her publicity tour for Times Square in January 1981. Should I have waited to post this until I get to the stuff from her trip to England? Too late, here it is.

 

69-34A-4
B&W photographic print, 8 in (W) x 10 in (H) (work);
862 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 338 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on front:] 69-34-A [autographed:] Robin Johnson
[on back:] [handwritten in black ink:] Robin Johnson / “TIMES SQUARE”
[handwrtitten in yellow ink:] Times Square

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

“Damn Dog”

Posted on 24th December 2014 in "Times Square"
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8"x10" color print of Robin Johnson performing "Damn Dog" - shot not as it appears in the film

Left to right: Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson, Artie Weinstein, Paul Sass. Just beyond the periphery: Billy Mernit


Back to the 8 x 10 Kodak prints… here’s another shot of Robin as Nicky dressed up as Aggie playing “Damn Dog” in the Cleo Club, and as always, there’s no frame in the film that matches up. The frame I’ve chosen is the only one where Robin has both hands on her guitar, is singing into the mic, and most importantly Artie has his hand up spinning his drum stick. But, not only is the shot framed entirely differently and from a different position, Robin isn’t even facing the same direction, and may not be singing the same word.Aggie Doon (Nicky Marotta [Robin Johnson]) perfoms "Damn Dog" - Frame capture from "Times Square" (1980)

 

“Aggie Doon.” In the commentary audio track on the 2000 Anchor Bay DVD, Robin asks director Allan Moyle why they went with that name, and he doesn’t remember. I seem to remember hearing something about Nicky using a pseudonym because, after all, she’s wanted by the police, but I don’t remember where it was I came across that idea. That doesn’t really make sense, though, since Pammy is dancing under her own real name. The screenplay doesn’t explain it either.

 

"Times Square" Screenplay by Jacob Brackman, 1979, p. 77
 

Also on the commentary track, in the previous scene where Nicky reads her poem to Pammy, Moyle claims that Robin wrote part of it, and she’s gobsmacked because although she was writing and performing poetry at the time of the commentary’s recording, she has no recollection of contributing to “Damn Dog.” The reason for that is simple: she didn’t. The poem she recites in the film is almost word-for-word the poem Jacob Brackman wrote in the early draft of the screenplay, months before she was discovered; and unless she changed her name to Norman Ross, she didn’t contribute any of the changes made when it was turned into the song."Damn Dog, by Billy Mernit, Jacob Brackman, and Norman Ross"

What’s my point? I guess it’s that Allan Moyle, bless ‘im, is something of an unreliable narrator when it comes to the making of Times Square.

 

More importantly, though… if Robin isn’t Norman Ross, then who is?
 Norman Ross (left), co-writer of "Damn Dog" and "Your Daughter is One," playing guitar. Photo provided by Billy Mernit.


“Norman was one of my closest friends and was the backbone of my band for many years – a stellar guitarist. He was the soul of rock’n’roll incarnate. He died a number of years ago due to a lifetime of wretched excess.

“Specific to ‘Damn Dog,’ he’s responsible for the guitar phrasing of its signature lick – that ‘Dat-DAT-dut! Da-DAH-da-da-da…’ figure, which was in a sense Norman channeling Keith Richards. (The lyrics are Jacob’s with some revisions/additions of mine, and the melody and chord structure is me.)”

— Billy Mernit

 

If you’re here reading this odds are the chords that kick off “Damn Dog” are burned permanently into your brain. If you play guitar you’ve had a bash at them more than once. They mean something to you in a visceral way. Can you imagine “Damn Dog” without that lick? Can you imagine “Times Square” without a song featuring that lick? Norman Ross created this specific thing without which the effect and the affect of the movie would have been immeasurably diminished. There’d be something missing from your life and you’d never know it.
 

It’s a shame he’s not around so we could express our appreciation directly, but at least we can now keep his name alive whenever we hear “Damn Dog” start up.
 

I dedicate this to Norman Ross, and all the other dinosaurs that got kicked outta the band.

 

 

“Damn Dog, 60-6A”
color photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
866 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 491 kb (image)

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

 

vlcsnap-2014-12-07-13h01m02s187.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 737 kb (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-12-07

 

TIMES SQUARE, p. 77
Screenplay by Jacob Brackman
1979

 

“TIMES SQUARE” Songbook, p. 47 (detail)
800 px (W) x 194 px (H) (image)

 

Norman Ross in Action
329 px (W) x 632 px (H), 72 dpi, 100 kb (image)
Photo courtesy Billy Mernit
provided 2014-12-15, edited 2014-12-21

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+