March 23, 1973 – George Romero’s The Crazies Opens in New York

3-23-73, New York City – George Romeo’s cult classic The Crazies opens up in New York at three theaters – The Times Square area’s Forum 47’th on Broadway and two UA cinemas on the east side in the East and Eastside Cinema. Romero fans knew that even if the film was not the biggest of hits it would still remain relevant through the years and I can imagine some might be tempted to say that this is a perfect fit for the Coronavirus era we’re in now and that the rawness makes it feel more like a documentary when seen recently.  Distributed by Exploitation legend Cambist Films who also carried Romero’s There’s Always Vanilla as well as some classic Roughies including 1967’s Aroused (which I feel provided some inspiration for other classics not least Maniac), it was sold like a common Drive In flick by necessity although it was much more and today’s viewers might say that it is one of the Director’s most direct and effective films.

In recent times, the Forum, which closed in 1989 was demolished and turned into the W Hotel after the demolished building once hosted the Roxy Deli while the UA East (Yorkville) shut in 2012 and the Eastside in 2003 to make way for an office building


5-17-73, Toledo – In this local area post script, The Crazies appears with Romero’s legendary Night of the Living Dead at the East Side and Telegraph Drive Ins. The later was demolished shortly after the release of Dawn of the Dead in 1980 for what was supposed to be another part of the North Town Square across the street from the main building although now it sits like a dead strip mall years after the shopping center’s closing with only the base of the Drive In’s sign being used. The East Side turned into the Butch Cassidy, possibly remembered by a few for it’s Horror shows that opened and closed the seasons in it’s final years, and later had it’s land used for the New Sportsmen’s Club.

~ by screen13 on March 23, 2020.

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