So it’s finally done. Nostalgiac films are only available for homes with massive theatrical treatment and many, many independent fillmakers are being given to expose their movies exclusive, thanks to the economy and severe lack of interest. It’s a really rough bit of news but 42nd Street Pete explained what happened and why the future of more revival theaters is just wishful thinking.
1. What do you think of the Two Boots Pioneer going under? And is his a symbol of the extermination of movie theaters or the horrible economy?
The theater never made money. It was subsidizing by the guy who opened it with his other businesses. It was the last sigle screen, 99 seat theater on the East Coast. The landlord raised the rent to $25,000 a month. You could sell out every night and not even come close to breaking even. What sucks is that the new manager/programmer Lee Peterson was doing things that started to draw good crowds.
2. Any memories that stick with you prior to the closure?
There are a lot of memories from the last six months of hanging out there. The first impromtu porn show had me doing an unschedualed Q&A to a packed house. Jamie Gillis was the big surprise of the night and he also did a Q&A. The last Wildeye grindhouse show, Keith Crocker was thanking the fans for coming out and mentioned my name which got a round of applause. It was cool to be appreciated.
3. What do you think this means for New York moviegoers looking for something different?
New York movie goers are going to be stuck with the same old crap unless someone steps up and tries to do this all over again. My thoughts are that something is better than nothing. Who’s going to move into that space for that kind of money? As a business man, I would have made some kind of deal with the theater to keep it open and have some money coming in. An empty space= nothing.
4. Are Revivalist theaters doomed to disappear?
I honestly don’t think there are too many left. I thought of doing these grindhouse revivals a couple of years ago. People won’t come out , I was told. Unfortuanly I don’t have a big wallet or an extensive 16 & 35mm film collection. Keith from Wildeye did have the films, the Pioneer was the venue and some of those shows were SRO. So we did what was considered impossible: we got people out from behind their computers and got their asses in the seats. The fans were great and I’ll miss that comraderey.
5. If you could express your thoughts about Two Boots closing what would they be deep down and unabashed.
My thought on the closing were that it sucked. Thanks to Lee, Keith Crocker, Rob Hauschild, and a lot of other cool people & fans, we brought the grindhouse back to NYC. We also brought hardcore XXX porn back to the big screen in NYC. Just as 42nd Street’s many theaters fell due to greedy landlords. The Pioneer suffered the same fate. You would figure in this fucked up economy that some revenue would be better than no revenue. Obviously the landlords don’t see it that way. So Lee loses his job, the fans are left with no place to see the old classic stuff, I lose a place to vent my creative screen, and the city loses an indy film landmark.
Here’s hoping that all involved can make this happen in another venue. And a special “fuck you” to those who ruined this thing just for the sake of money.
Thanks to 42nd Street Pete for taking the time out for this brief interview. We’ll miss the Two Boots Pioneer greatly.