Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Lansdowne Theater, Lansdowne PA

Walking around The Lansdowne Theater was a bit how I imagine it might be diving into the Mary Rose or the Atocha, parts that are fragile and coming apart and other parts still reflecting the same elegance it had when it opened in 1927.  After its sixty-year run, the movie theater would close in 1987 due to an electrical fire and remain closed, losing financial backing for repair and renovation.  Matt Schultz, President of The Lansdowne Theater Corporation has made his devotion to reviving the theater his full time occupation.

Restoring the theater has less to do with nostalgia than it has to do with generating business and reinventing the theater itself.  Matt Schultz's vision is to turn the space into a multifaceted performance venue, whether it be for cinema, live music or live theater, making the Lansdowne Theater a valuable piece of property both culturally and monetarily.

Matt asked if NYC would let an abandoned movie theater sit around, locked up for decades.  I did a little digging.  The answer is no.  It'd become a Duane Reade.  City Cinema RKO, built in 1926 on Lexington & 86th is now a Duane Reade.  The Meserole in Greenpoint Brooklyn, built in 1928 is now a Rite Aide.  The Forest Hills Theater in Queens, built in 1921 was closed and bought out by Duane Reade and Bleecker Street Cinema at 144 Bleecker has most recently been taken over by Duane Reade, the Captain Ahab of retail, steadfastly waging some perverse vendetta against cinema.  Jesus!  What did cinema ever do to you?

Thanks for the wonderful tour Matt.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Undoing Giants: Vinicio Capossela, Empassioned Music Man

Vinicio Capossela, born in Hanover, Germany in 1965, raised in Reggio Emilia, Italy, inventing his own musical genres I call Italian hardcore cabaret, the gritty love song and the psychedelic ballad.

With his latest album release, The Story-Faced Man (Warner Music Group, 2010), Capossela has nine studio albums and three live albums to his name.  Perhaps only more recently building a larger following in the United States, Capossela is one of the most original and influential living artists in Italy today.

His verses, often rooted in the mythological, fantastical, philosophical and of course, in love, could never be mistaken for anyone else's, for they are uniquely Vinicio. 

"On a dark ship someone's trembling like a swan, the shadows create and undo giants in the sky after a rainfall, and men have turned the lone dragon into a god..." 

                                                                                           --Vinicio Capossela, Lanterne Rosse
                                                                                              (my translation)

                                                                                                         Le Poisson Rouge, NYC

Official Website:  www.viniciocapossela.it/
Hear his songs on Myspace:  www.myspace.com/viniciocapossela


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Johnny Rozsa, Untouched, Christopher Henry Gallery, Oct. 22nd, 2010

Johnny Rozsa channels an old kind of romance:  Prohibition parties, Oscar Wilde,
Fellini's 8 1/2, Gang of Four.

Johnny's photos are a winding narrative of someone who reaches into in.  It's his factory.

He touched my head and twirled my hair.  I felt loved.

                                                                                                     Johnny Rozsa, Krys Fox

                                                                                           Jean-Philippe Boucicaut, Marco Testa