I was the proud programmer/publicist for the Parkway Speakeasy Theater for twelve years, though patrons knew me better as either "the white guy in the Parkway video" or as "Will the Thrill," host/producer/programmer of my live cult movie cabaret, "Thrillville." Initially, Speakeasy CEO/co-founder/entertainment lawyer Kyle Fischer asked me, their movie geek friend, to create and host a weekly midnight movie show, primarily to promote the novel of mine, he and his wife, Speakeasy Theaters president/mastermind/chef Catherine Fischer, had published with their small publication company, Wild Card Press (which has since folded, along with Speakeasy Theaters.) The book was called Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me, the first in my Vic Valentine, Private Eye series, and it's since been optioned for a movie by Christian Slater, with production finally on the fast track. The Parkway opened in January of 1997, and I hosted my first live show - initially called "The Midnight Lounge," every Saturday at midnight (or technically, Sunday), beginning with the David Lynch classic, Blue Velvet, in April that same year.
Naturally, this is my favorite Parkway memory, since I'm still reaping the dividends. Since then, many other couples have mated and sometimes married after meeting at The Parkway.
I'll be recounting many more memories of "Thrillville" and the Parkway in this blog, daily for the next 30 days, counting down to the grand opening of The New Parkway on Friday, November 30, 2012. I am proud to be serving as their publicist/special events consultant. Though now busily employed as a freelance writer and novelist, I'll be programming two regular repertory shows a week, "Parkway Classics" on Thursday nights, beginning with The Big Lebowski on December 6, and "Thrillville Theater"on Sundays, kicking off with Forbidden Planet on December 2, both former crowd-pleasing favorites at the "old" Parkway. I don't plan to host any more shows, except for an occasional "Shatfest" (my popular annual tribute to Shatner), but more on what we do have in store for you later. Don't worry, you'll love it.
The moral of this particular story? Get off your butt and go out for dinner and a movie at The New Parkway. You never know who you're going to meet there. A random encounter may just change your life. Cheers.