i grew up (literally) in a movie theater, the child of nyc artist parents. in the early 60's they moved upstate to the village woodstock, this was before woodstock became hippie central when it was still an artist community. both of my parents were big movie buffs, my father spent every weekend when he was growing up going to the movies with his dad. both saturday and sunday- a movie after breakfast, lunch, a double feature, dinner and a movie.
feeling the lack of good foreign and art movie in the country my parents opened a movie theater. at first it was only summers in a borrowed space, then year round in the town hall (when there weren't town meetings). when i was 5 a local church moved to a new space and my parents moved the theater into the renovated space. a few years later my dad turned an unused space in the back into a loft- like home for us. we had a secret entrance into the theater, so every night was spent at the movies. even my dog, harpo spent many a night in the theater. I would sit on the stairs to the projection booth and watch movies with my friends. when i was in my late teens my dad sold the business, moved back to the city soon after that and went back to photography. i am thinking about all this because recently after the theater being owned by people who never seemed to quite give it the love it needed it has been sold to upstate films. upstate films runs a similar theater in rhinebeck ny and will nurture the theater the way it was when my family ran it.

it's funny growing up i yearned for a conventional life- a "normal" house, and evenings spent in our own living room. know looking back on it i love my unconventional history.

my favorite movies that my dad played-

any marx brothers movie
charlie chaplin's - the great dictator, limelight and modern times especially
truffaut's - day for night
altman's - nashville and mcabe and mrs miller
woody allen - sleeper and annie hall
jaques tati- traffic and playtime
mel brooks - young frankenstein
john schlesinger's - midnight cowboy
scorsese's - the last waltz
hal ashbey's - harold and maude and shampoo
sydney lumet - dog day afternoon and serpico
lina wertmuller's - swept away, definitely not the madonna version

i tried to keep this list to 10 so as not to overwhelm you but this is actually the condensed list, perhaps i should make this a regualr feature??
so let me know your favorite movies, and try for ones that you haven't seen recently.



  1. Excalibur
    Being John Malkovich
    The Piano
    Kung Fu Hustle
    Little Miss Sunshine
    Accidental Tourist
    The Godfather
    West Side Story

  2. yes- love being john malkovich, moonstruck , west side story and little miss sunshine- my kids think it is hilarious as well and often quote grandpa!

  3. Oh wow what an incredible childhood! So fascinating :)

  4. When I was 13 my family moved from literally "A house on Main Street" to a large apartment above our store downtown, which was right across from an old-timey theatre. Naturally, I got a job at the theatre and worked there nearly every night from high school through graduate school. I did my homework there each night, occasionally having to stop and sell popcorn or candy to customers. I loved it there. I know all of the words to E.T., On Golden Pond, and Marathon Man. Here are just a few of my movie favorites:
    The Last Picture Show
    The Madness of King George
    Midnight Cowboy
    The Remains of the Day

    Thanks for bringing back some happy memories!

  5. when I first moved to nyc for college i (of course) got a job in a theater
    on 57th street. they played bette midler's "divine madness", it lasted for weeks and i probably saw it 100x. i was able to tell all of the jokes as well as do a mean imitation of bette doing sophie tucker for years.