42nd Street - Cruising the Deuce

posted by AllenWindsor on February 23, 2006 at 5:57 am

Allen Windsor, author of “Cruising the Deuce … in Movie Houses on 42nd Street, Times Square, and Greenwich Village in the 1940s to 1980s” (available from http://chelcpress.com), recently gave a reading at the 13th Street Gay Center on 14 Feb 2006 that was televised and will be shown on Channel 34 some time in February.

He describes each grind house on 42nd but also details what went on in upper balconies and toilet areas elsewhere around the city. With him was Willy, the porter in the old Variety Photoplays on 3rd Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets.

The book is filled with many tales of that era, and John Waters asked for and received permission to use the book as a prop in a movie he’s making. Foreword is by a former president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex.

Sensational material!

Comments (3)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 23, 2006 at 10:18 am

Sounds like a book I’d be very interested in reading. I remember being pelted from the balcony of one 42nd Street theater with popcorn and lord knows what else. From that day forward, my freinds and I decided that our seats of preference at any grind-house theater would be center orchestra a few rows BEHIND the balcony over-hang! Of course, brave as we were to venture into some of these theaters, we knew instinctively that neither the balconies nor the restrooms were places that we wanted to visit under any circumstance! And I don’t mean this to imply that we would have been subject to homosexual advances, but these areas in those theaters (sparsely attended as they often were) seemed desolate and dangerous. I think we were more fearful of gang violence or getting mugged, than anything else. As for sexual activity… I can recall on more than one occasion noticing a John being serviced in the back rows of a Duece grinder.

I look forward to getting my hands on a copy of this one.

Lamonte on August 23, 2006 at 9:51 am

During the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s the old movie theaters on 42
street were a wonderful location for Gay men to meet up with other Gay men and enjoy what has been going on since recorde history..
Men having sex with other men. Thousands or more of us had sexual pride and when nature supplied natural arousal, we could count on being sexually relieved. Hey, I met a guy who became my lover for the next 12 years. (Not bad, huh!) Later, we knew that AIDS did
not come from having sex…but from a virus. We had been having
gay sex all our lives. Why don’t they bash the virus and stop bashing human sexuality? We all know, by now, how to practice
safe sex. Besides, the strongest urge for all living creatures is
the sex drive. Without it each species would disapear. Nobody is
just going to say “No.” But, now that those wonderful theaters
are gone we find other ways to be alive. Sure do miss those old cavernous theaters, though.

OlivierPicard on February 19, 2007 at 4:43 pm

The book is hard to find except at chelcpress


Sociologists don’t seem to know about it.


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