USA, 2013, 94 Minute Running Time
Topics: Documentary, Gay/Lesbian
Program: True Stories
Everyone knows that Bette Midler first achieved notoriety by singing in a New York bathhouse, but have you ever stopped to think about that? What kind of bathhouse presented live musical performances? Why Steve Ostrow’s Continental Baths, of course!
That gay rights’ landmark and its visionary owner finally get the recognition they deserve, thanks to Malcolm Ingram’s bold and funny documentary that is as moving as it is inspirational.Ostrow was an entrepreneur and aspiring opera singer who saw a niche market – gay men, many closeted, looking for a place to have sex – and filled it. (That he paid off the cops to the tune of $8,000 per week to keep it open tells you just how well he filled it.)
Anecdotes from, among others, writers Edmund White and Michael Musto, as wells as performers Nona Hendryx, DJ Frankie Knuckles and Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn are interspersed with archival footage and jaw-dropping trivia (Alfred Hitchcock was one of numerous straights to tour the New York hotspot).
The result is a big-hearted celebration of a near-mythical time and place.
Filmmaker(s) attending: Director
DIRECTOR: Malcolm Ingram
Producer: Malcolm Ingram, Richard Cote, Nhaelan McMillan, Herb Campbell Jr., Diesel Fox, Salah Bachir
Editor: Sean Stanley
Screenwriter: Malcolm Ingram
Cinematographer: Jonathon Cliff, Andrew MacDonald
Principal Cast: Steve Ostrow, Edmund White, Michael Musto, Nona Hendryx, Melissa Manchester, Bette Midler, Holly Woodlawn
Filmography: Bear Nation (2010)
Small Town Gay Bar (2006)
Tall Lights Fade (1999)
Official Film Website