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Marquee anagrams / aqua ear man germs
October 11, 2007 3:19 PM   Subscribe

After the Flatbush Pavilion theater in Brooklyn closed down, people started rearranging the letters on the marquee to spell their own messages.

It looks like they come in two sets: anagrams made out of the letters in “Van Helsing” and “Man on Fire,” the last movies to be screened at the theater, and the letters in “Now open! American Apparel,” the store that moved into the building.

Of course if you’re dissatisfied with the anagrams in the photos you can always roll your own.
posted by tepidmonkey (25 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love Brooklyn. What we lack in originality, we make up for in persistence.

That's a compliment, I swear.
posted by hermitosis at 3:32 PM on October 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


New York Times [October 2005]: Cinema Parodies? Oh.
posted by ericb at 3:33 PM on October 11, 2007


Q: What do Brooklyn and pantyhose have in common?

A. Flatbush!
posted by dersins at 3:34 PM on October 11, 2007


I thought "Now open! American Apparel" was the cleverest one. Until I found out it was real. Sigh.
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 3:37 PM on October 11, 2007


I love Brooklyn. What we lack in originality, we make up for in persistence. American Apparel stores.

I was so sad to see this theatre go... I have some great memories of watching R-rated movies there while surrounded by the noisy packs of elementary school kids that were somehow always in the audience.
posted by activitystory at 3:42 PM on October 11, 2007


I'm partial to titles —
(a) comparing filmgoing to literary pursuits:
FANNIES HARMING NOVEL
and
(b) supporting Dakota's lesser-known brother:
MENORAH FANNING LIVES
posted by rob511 at 3:53 PM on October 11, 2007


Menorah Fanning? That's my Drag Show stage name!
posted by sourwookie at 4:14 PM on October 11, 2007


NICE neon, there.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:15 PM on October 11, 2007


American Apparel. How depressing.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:24 PM on October 11, 2007


"...surrounded by the noisy packs of elementary school kids that were somehow always in the audience."

One of the last films I saw in a movie theater was South Park's Bigger Longer Uncut thing. It was a weekday matinee and I had expected to be relatively alone in viewing it, but when I got there, the front two rows were covered with a swarm of children who didn't simmer down until at least fifteen minutes into the film, and were in various ways just annoying enough to be annoying without giving me enough reason to vacate and get my money back. There were two or three middleaged women in the back of the theater sharing their thoughts about homeschooling. The kids wanted to see the movie, so the adults were going to have them write a report about it when they got home. I kid you not. I thought it was no one admitted under 17 period, but apparently one of the ladies knew the doorman...

Nowadays, I just wait for the DVD.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:41 PM on October 11, 2007


NICE neon, there.

Actually, Ambrosia, if you're referring to the colored lights on the "ceiling" under the marquee, those are fluorescents, not actual neon. I'm just being nitpicky here, cause I'm a big fan of neon, which is rapidly disappearing from the cities of the world. Now, there's still some pretty serious neon action going on in my adopted hometown of Tokyo, and Hong Kong has some major neon happening as well. But even in these bastions of neon glory, the warm, buzzy, multicolored glow is vanishing, bit by bit, being replaced by cheaper and far less beautiful alternatives like the fluorescent bulbs seen in the Flatbush Theatre pictures.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:00 PM on October 11, 2007


Holy shit! James Brown is really dead?!
posted by humannaire at 5:01 PM on October 11, 2007


Wow, flap, how totally apparent that is on more than a perfunctory glance! I get stoopid for sparkly coroful things. Real neon's way better. Too bad. My local theater still has coordinated flashing neon, and I love love love it.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:03 PM on October 11, 2007


FLATBUSH AVENUE REPRESENT

American Apparel. How depressing.

It won't last (it's always empty).
posted by eddydamascene at 5:28 PM on October 11, 2007


Holy shit! James Brown is really dead?!

Whoa! Time for a new FPP!!!

It won't last (it's always empty).

I hope you're right, but I also imagine that even if it does go under, it'll simply be replaced by some other GapStarbucks. The mall-ification of NYC is particularly, soul-crushingly depressing, as I always felt that New York was really pretty much the last bastion in America of genuine, city-with-a-history urban-ness. The anti-suburbia. The real deal. That was one of the big reasons I moved there many years back, and was happy to call NYC (Brooklyn, specifically) home for many years as well. Sadly, it has gradually been invaded, and not-so-gradually over the past decade in particular, by the corporate identity that is so prevalent throughout the rest of the nation.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:50 PM on October 11, 2007


I get stoopid for sparkly coroful things.

Hey, Ambrosia, I didn't know you were Japanese! ;-)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:53 PM on October 11, 2007


flapjax at midnite: "...by the corporate identity that is so prevalent throughout the rest of the nation."

That would be because America became a corporate oligarchy some time ago. It started happening around the time when Shop Around the Corner hit theaters and was firmly enough entrenched to say it was pretty much done by the time You've Got Mail made box office numbers.

Frankly, it's a miracle Flatbush Pavilion theater in Brooklyn lasted as long as it did. Maybe Vermont is still holding out, but I bet by now there's a Walmart there, and a McDonalds as well... and no Flatbush theater.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:23 PM on October 11, 2007


That would be because America became a corporate oligarchy some time ago.

Noted and agreed. It was just nice that they stayed out of New York as long as they did. That is, their chainstores and all. When they really started their full-on invasion, though, I fled. The rent in my old nabe began its helicopter-like ascent, the Starbucks started sprouting up on every corner, and I said, allright, let's cross the great waters and dine on ramen every day!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:32 PM on October 11, 2007


Is Pintchick Hardware still doing the oracle thing on their big LED sign down the street? I enjoyed that.
posted by vrakatar at 6:56 PM on October 11, 2007


Ah, yes, I remember Pintchik! Now, any of you Brooklyn old-timers remember the Tiger Sign Company, just a few doors down on Flatbush, on the other side of the street from Pintchik? That guy's stuff was great!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:59 PM on October 11, 2007


What? Nobody's made any wisecracks about Cory Doctorow's anagram fetish?

I am very disappointed in you guys.

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posted by blasdelf at 7:21 PM on October 11, 2007


A number of years ago, a local service station was proud to announce on their portable sign with flashing arrow that "Bill is Back!" on both sides of the sign. Someone rearranged it on a Friday to say "Lick Bill's ball sack" and it stayed that way all weekend. Wisht I'd had a camera then.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:49 PM on October 11, 2007


There was a VHS floating around following Death By Stereo's tour, and one of the things the band kept doing on the road was rearranging signs like this. I remember my favorite one was on a motel -- they rearranged whatever was there before into "people fuck here" (or something to that effect). I wish I had that tape.
posted by spiderskull at 10:02 PM on October 11, 2007


Sadly, it has gradually been invaded, and not-so-gradually over the past decade in particular, by the corporate identity that is so prevalent throughout the rest of the nation.

Somebody tell that to Queens, Inwood, etc. I don't think they got the message yet.
posted by sondrialiac at 10:08 PM on October 11, 2007


Somebody tell that to Queens, Inwood, etc. I don't think they got the message yet.

As a former New Yorker who only got over to Queens a handfull of times over the years (Jackson Heights for Indian restaurants, Jamaica, Queens, for some lessons with drummer Milford Graves) I admit to, well, leaving Queens out in my assessment of what's happening to NYC. But if the borough is indeed staying free of that rampant onslaught of creepy gentrification and J.Crew and Gap and what have you, then that's a good thing.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:49 PM on October 12, 2007


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