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goodbot
goodbot commented about Uniondale Mini Cinema on Feb 13, 2011 at 6:06 am

I remember once going to the Mini in the summer of 1977. The ticket salesman was whispering to all the young ticket purchasers like me “no toking inside tonight… only outside!”… Once inside, my buddies and I were really startled to discover that no one inside was lighting up. We started asking the other young strangers around us in the dark “what’s going on?, why no smoking?!?” The hushed replies came rolling in “kool it man!, the place is crawling in under-cover fuzz!”. This was way odd… the authorities had never hassled this crowd at all, and suddenly they’re here? I couldn’t tolerate this ban, and a half hour later (I don’t remember now what was playing), I went out front to smoke some weed… there were three other young guys like me smoking, a worker of the cinema, and two plain-clothes (misplaced disco-looking/obvious undercover cops) milling about out front… The other young guys were smoking weed in the presence of the cops, so I lit up also. Soon all of us tokers were gathered together, questioning one another as to what was going on. Buzzed (by this time) as we were, one of us smart guys thought up the brilliant idea of approaching the plainclothes cops (with the dobies in our mouths) and just asking them what was going on. I’m the smart guy, I do the talking: “Officers, excuse me… my friends and I were wondering about your presence here tonight… the place is crawling in plainclothes guys working like you guys… but no action yet… what’s going here, what are you looking for, what are you waiting for?” Maybe the cop was pissed with my up-frontedness, or the dobies (a la “lack of respect for The Law”, etc)… he acted really annoyed with us, with our toking in front of them, with his inability to take out his nightstick and wack us a few… He points to an empty storefront on the totally opposite end of the deserted mall (easily 1000 feet away)… there’s a second story window opened, not boarded up like all of the other deserted storefronts. He says “There’s a police marksman in that window with a high powered snipers rifle pointing directly at us right now… he can kill any of us at a moments notice”. Either as a move of self-preservation, or my innate sense of good humor, I quickly position myself in front of the officer so that I’m protected by his body between me and “The Police Sniper”. The stoners catch my move and all start laughing, but the cop is clueless. He moves… I move again to shield myself from the unseen sniper. Eventually the cop catches on, and also laughs. I’m around 20 at that time, and my eyesight is better than excellent. The cop pleads with us “I’m honest about the sniper… just look over there… but not too obviously, like just be kool about it…” I focus over the cops shoulder (he’s still guarding me from a direct line of fire), and like sht! There’s a frigging guy up there in that window with a big frigging hunting rifle with a scope on it (in an upward non-focused-on-us position)… At this revelation… my buzzed head is totally spinning… What The Fck is going on here at The Mini Cinema?!? Plainclothes cops all over the place (in misplaced disco attire and gold chains)not busting anybody for toking weed… and a Police Sniper in a nearby deserted storefront with an easy bead on any of us young kids standing out front!?! I imagined that there was an impending military takeover of the central government that these guys were in on… and at the word that The President(Jimmy Carter) had been “removed”… my new buddies and I standing in front of The Mini Cinema toking our weed were the national priority to be Number Two in line… The plainclothes cop discerned my obvious stress… “You young guys don’t need to worry about us or our marksman… we’re here to protect you…” The other young guys and I were speechless. “we’re here to protect everyone tonight from Sam, from The Son of Sam… that crazy guy killing the young people all over the area? Our intelligence informed us there’s a very good chance he’ll be here tonight looking for his next victim… but we’re prepared, we’ll get him this time!” Time for my next move! “Thank you officers! Thank you very much… good night!” I scuddled back inside to find my friends that I’d driven in. I told everyone (me +5) that there was an emergency, and that we had to leave the theater quickly. I guess the whole scene with the no-smoking, and undercover cops all over the joint was enough for them not to question me, but to get up and follow me out to my car quietly, quickly. Everyone was relieved to get in the car and light up. As we were driving out of the lot, I told everyone about the plainclothes cops up front, the sniper, the Son of Sam… everyone was laughing that this was an outrageous stoner story that I had just made up… we drove a few miles away to a deserted area we were familiar with out on the Parkway to Jones Beach, and we pulled off the main road. My buddies and their girls started smooching, etc… but I couldn’t do it with my girl… the Son Of Sam WAS still lurking out here in this neighborhood, and we WERE his type of targets! We survived those days… we did better than our beloved Mini Cinema… I guess her needed demographics disappeared with our generation… scurrying off (as we did) to other more important things in our lives… or was it the VHS (and the wide-spread VHS rental shops) that bought her down? Hmmmm…