Michael J. Weldon at the Selwyn on 42nd St. From Rolling Stone (1984).

MJW rolling stone 42nd st

This picture was taken for Night Creatures, a feature article in Rolling Stone (August, 1984 double summer issue) by Kurt Loder. Other pictures were taken of me on a ladder changing the Selwyn marquee letters, but weren’t used. The article, about 42’nd St., me and Psychotronic, and (the late) Bill Landis (a book could be written about that guy) and his Sleazoid Express, was reprinted in Loder’s book Bat Chain Puller (St. Martins’ 1990), in-between chapters on Blondie and Springsteen. The picture was re-used in my 2’nd book, The Psychotronic Video Guide (St. Martins’, 1996). The Selwyn Theater opened in 1918 in the Brandt Building, headquarters of the Brandt company which owned the majority of theaters on 42’nd St. between 7th and 8th Ave. (the Deuce). During the 80s, the Selwyn  usually screened major studio new releases – and was next to the convenient Grand Luncheonette b. The long poster photo of 42’nd St., once sold to tourists and currently on my office wall, shows the Fox hit Aliens playing at the Selwyn in 1986,  along with the forgotten Dungeon Master from Charles Band. I saw Aliens with Carol Florentini, a cool, red haired Brit lady who I worked with at St. Marks Sounds, a record store that people lined up in front of every morning, waiting to buy the latest promo albums (priced by Binky Phillips of the Planets). The Apollo next door to the Selwyn had Night Of The Creeps, which I also saw and liked, billed above  the older  “Rambo II.”  The Brandt building partially collapsed in 1997 and the Selwyn is now  the American Airlines Theater, a place I will never watch a play in. I left Cleveland after my favorite downtown “grindhouses”  (the Embassy and the Hippodrome) finally closed for good, and I left Manhattan after the Deuce was remade as a family friendly block known for The Lion King.

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