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Gee, I am baffled by the folks who wrote how “awful” the old Theater 80 was. I guess they are either not from NYC, and/or prefer huge soulless multiplexes. It certainly wasn’t perfect, but it was charming and unique.
, Theater 80 was where I was privileged to discover great film. When my mom worked late and couldn’t pick me up right after school, I’d go to Theater 80 and go see double features [no child care lectures please, tis was the 70’s and a different time.] I was 12 or so, and was enchanted by Astaire and Rogers; Cocteau’s “beauty and the Beast (always on a double with "Rules of the Game”), and films like “Citizen Kane”, “39 Steps”…oh, so many!!! There were cardboard cutouts of old movie stars in the lobby, and “Grauman’s Chinese Theatre” style footprints in the sidewalk outside…for a kid, it was magical. As I grew up, I came to appreciate how very New York City it was, as well: eccentric, stubbornly true to an ideal, individual, cozy and a wee bit cranky.
When it closed, I was absolutely heartbroken.
I am so glad Mr.Otway has taken back his legacy!!