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Fascinating clip-as are most from the Nelson Sullivan vid archives-of a train ride to Coney Island with Nelson Sullivan, a young NYC columnist/writer Michael Musto and friends in ‘87. Besides marveling at their train’s state of disrepair, look out for their train passing the Oriental marquee at about 4:25 in this clip. Film titles showing then are easy to read. Hope you enjoy this forgotten slice of long ago NYC.
Upy, I’m sorry for your similar experience. Perhaps, I should’ve posted earlier on this but I tend to be a progressive rather than regressive person. I was also hesitant to expose such a past, unseemly event of what is generally a wonderful and admirable profession. But certain things should to be brought to light because it may help with future thought and care for young people to engage in this or any other career or hobby. Happily in today’s world this ill is being exposed, sanctioned and dealt with more authoritative effort, efficiency and most importantly-belief of those affected.
I apologize for this comments length. I feel it important, though, for prior young male U.A. workers in the 70’s-80’s (for whom I worked at multiple locations at for near a decade). Esp. for people associated w/the Forest Hills Theatre, Midway or Continentals then.
Although, it is considered ill mannered to speak poorly of the departed, some cases are worthy of that breach of etiquette. Such is the case with 70’s-80’s long tenured N.Y.C. 5 boro U.A. Division Manager (whom I’ll refer to here as the cinematic molester ‘Freddie Krueger’). Regretfully this testimony may bring pain to “Krueger’s” relatives or social circle. That is sincerely not my goal. However, forthrightness & a scarred memory compels me to speak. On the surface “Krueger” was a pious, “religious” man. Twice married with kids. Underneath that veneer, he was a serial sexual predator. His prey was often teen or young adult male ushers, male candy staff or young male managerial staff.
As the sad multiple priest scandals & the Jerry Sandusky Penn State scandal show…the cliché that you can not trust a book by it’s cover is sometimes true. Such was the case here. Or actually it was not. Because “Krueger” was always vulgar, lewd & obvious to most people.
His victims today show-the pain, anger or whatever residual feelings there may be that never go away completely. I am sad for all the young people who were affected by this vile, real life ‘Freddie Krueger’.'
Some were willing participants drawn by his tenured power, more were coerced or pressured. I was one person who said no adamantly. I knew one manager who said yes and unfortunately filled me in on the ugly, gory details as if he were proud of his ‘happening’ w/‘Krueger’ which happened in the candy stockroom of the (still opened today)U.A. twin theatre on Austin street in the late 80s.
It’s fair to ask, am I telling the truth. I can only answer that one Saturday late morning in ‘87 (I think), while summoned to “Freddie’s” D.M. office in the Forest Hills Midway at the time, before the theatre was open, he made his move on me. And to this day I still wish I didn’t have the knowledge of knowing that “Krueger” was uncircumcised. He dropped his trousers mentioning his hernia. Exposing everything to a shocked me. That was his way of “enticing” me in his warped mind. Later, I thought how dumb & naive of me to show up when the theatre was closed. Never made that mistake again.
He often held bible meetings for young men in Forest Hills when he became a mgr. Of course these sessions were in the morning when the theatre was closed.
It was wonderful, when the “Krueger” dynasty finally came to an end in the late 80’s. He was unprepared/unable to handle the oncoming great expansion into the multiplex and computer era. A new, very smart, & fair D.M. replaced “Keueger” who was demoted to being a mgr. to a Forest Hills triplex then. Free from the yoke of being ‘blacklisted’ for not sexually complying to “Krueger”, I was free to advance on my merits alone finally. Within the first few weeks of the new D.M’s run, I was suddenly promoted. Surprised not. A year later, I confided to the new D.M. at his new office in the Sheepshead Bay multiplex, the horror of “Krueger’s” crude advances and comments to me. It was then that the long term D.M. secretary (and a former mgr. herself) there had also clued in the new D.M. of “Krueger’s” true nature & validated my words. He was just speechless. Although then, quite young, I’m happy to have been, at that moment, brave enough to be honest and not suppress the ugly truth. At that time, in the late ‘80’s, that kind of abuse sadly was just not brought up. Victims feared that they would be the guilty or labeled ones. That they had done something wrong to bring about such behavior from their sexual aggressor.
Happily now, more and more, kids and teens are encouraged and more important BELIEVED when something aberrant like this happens. And I say to any young people seeing this post who are unfortunately in any similar bad situation-say something. Please don’t suffer. You will be listened to & helped by the right services/people.
In the mid to late ‘90’s, ravaged by ill health from excessive smoking, “Krueger” became a doorman at the Midway in the weekday afternoons. In ‘97, when going to see a film there, he still made a crude statement to me when I came across him. Sad. This old man at the ticket stand in the garish colored clown costume tops U.A. made their employees wear in place of the old style jacket & bowtie unis of the past. He had always been a scary looking man with his dark tinted glasses and his hard, haggard, very wizened face with the phlegm while talking. Old age rendered him even more creepy looking. From D.M. to doorman. Near him & the ticket stand was a small oxygen tank. Outside the theatre was his outdated even in the ‘80’s, old, big & ugly dark blue Oldsmobile Delta 88 car that I used to see roll into theatres when he was D.M.
Am I harsh. Cruel. Yes. But if it was you or you had a child, relative or someone you knew that was affronted by a sexual predator how would you feel. His latent homosexuality isn’t the issue here. I want to absolutely stress that. It doesn’t matter. There is enough bigotry of that in the world. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s that he forced, coerced or enticed so many innocent, impressionable teens & young men that forever lingers with me. And that one regrettable Saturday when I was ambushed. I said no. I am sorry for those that felt pressured/accosted to say yes.