P R E T T Y B O Y: Fabulous Fifties Hollywood, my new novel puts love back into your life. It makes you feel loved in return. Remember that nothing comes from anyone so accept your love and make it real. Publication to come in the summer of 2014.
Below is the third excerpt from P R E T T Y B O Y: Fabulous Fifties Hollywood
TONIGHT IS a Marilyn Monroe night. Womanly, charismatic, voluptuous, illusive and blonde, is all that method acting or reality? Either way, her new movie is going to be killer, not because of her fragility but because of my co-worker Judy rubbing her girly body against me again while we stood inside the doors at the back of the Roxie Theater. Getting turned on by the female persuasion was easy; turning it off was problematic.
Small conversations were quiet and controlled. Cigarette smoke drifted like silk. Packed on this Friday night March 1954, the theater was seldom overloaded except for when the Wild One played that one night two weeks ago. Well, the police riot squad had to close the theater early because of the hundred or so members of three motorcycle gang activities in the street. The sixteen hundred bikers inside watching the renegade Wild One movie, spilling into the street complicated matters of safety.
That night fists connected with faces, boots connected with groins, beer bottles smashed cop cars, middle fingers flipped, and unending cussing all happened out front of the theater only fifteen minutes into the movie. Sweaty gang members kicked over enemy gang members’ Harleys and Triumphs and Nortons, all in a day’s play and all in an evening’s recreation. The frustrated fifty member cop riot squad took control of the gangs with their batons and closed down the theater that night. They also outlawed my boss Mr. Henry from showing the movie again. That’s funny, the motorcycle gang members were outlaws and the cops outlawed the showing of the movie, or should I say, the cops banned the Wild One that night.
This is the first showing of River of No Return starring Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum. There’s no standing room, not even in the lobby. Actually, too many seats were sold and we had about twenty-five angry patrons at the ticket window outside waiting for a refund. The theater manager Mr. Henry wasn’t happy. Neither was Vicki in the outside ticket booth who oversold the seats. She had to refund the patrons and withstand their angry outbursts.
Judy kept nudging against me inside the darkened theater. Our backs were against the doors. We stood there waiting for the movie to start. I pushed Judy’s hand off my shoulder, acting like a professional employee. She kept rubbing my back and expecting me to kiss her or touch her body. Okay, she was infatuated with me. But we were theater employees and I wanted to keep that professional.
Over the course of the last four years while attending UCLA, studying drama and acting I’d met a few famous actors, and this past year while I’d worked the doors as a ticket taker at the Roxie I hadn’t seen a packed house once, even with last year’s popular movies like From Here to Eternity with Bert Lancaster, Deborah Kerr and Montgomery Cliff, House of Wax with Vincent Price and Phyllis Kirk, Shane with Alan Ladd and Jean Arthur, Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn or Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe.
There you go. Marilyn Monroe is back with a vengeance in her new River of No Return movie. Her popularity has tripled over the past few months and I’d read that she is now an international star. Some Hollywood critics call her the blonde bombshell and others call her a tortured or lost soul, but I like to call her misunderstood. The media has misjudged her talent, saying she is talentless and soiled. Movie studios executives overwhelmingly appreciated her acting talent and her personality, but they mostly unveiled and promoted her body to become recognizable and famous to fill their own bank accounts.
Photos of Marilyn are always in the social section of newspapers and previews of her movies show at this theater. I mean her movies like Niagara and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes just killed me. For Gentlemen, her acting was so good that she was nominated for an Academy Award for the Best Motion Picture Actress in Comedy or Musical.
Tonight at the Roxie Movie Theater, smells of perfume and aftershave mingled with popcorn. It was the counterpart of smelling leather jackets and pomade the night of The Wild One. These movie goers are gentle compared to the rowdy bikers, these patrons want to see the beautifully delicate, tamed sweetness of Marilyn Monroe and not the beefcake renegade, the rebellious agitator Marlon Brando that so many societal mavericks feel is necessary to shake up humanity.
All the lights dimmed and the theater went dark. People shuffled in the seats. Voices stopped talking and all of us focused on the screen, our eyes adjusting through the cigarette smoke.
The projector started and the movie drifted in the beam of light. My heart started pounding. My heart always pounded at the start of the movie. It didn’t matter what genre the movie portrayed; science fiction, horror, romance, musical, adventure or mystery, I was happy to see a new creation where color, action, culture and sub-cultures opened my eyes to new adventures. I was also happy when the door didn’t crack open with the small man slithering inside and asking me to help him find a seat.
Judy pinched my rear and rubber her breasts against my side. I ignored her. She needed way too much attention, all the time, and I couldn’t give her the courtesy. I was too mindful of my course in life and that is to become the best actor I can be.
Judy rose up on her tiptoes, massaged my shoulder and whispered in my ear. “Let’s go in the janitor’s closet and make out.”
My stink-eye told Judy that I wasn’t interested.
The projector stopped and the film melted on the screen. Can't help but love that visual as the film gets jammed in the gate and the intense heat of the bulb melts the celluloid. That doesn’t happen often but often enough. Patrons almost always expect it to happen so they can irritate theater employees with their profanities.
Hisses and hoots and catcalls exploded. Lights came up and heads turned looking for answers.
Judy floated down the aisle and raised her arms overhead like a landing signal officer on an aircraft carrier. “Give us a few minutes,” her voice raised across the theater. “Marilyn Monroe is worth it.”