Celebrate Harvey Milk Day With “The Times of Harvey Milk” at the Castro Theatre with Rob Epstein & Tom Ammiano
This coming May 22nd will be what has come to be known as Harvey Milk Day in the Sate of California. It is, in fact, his birthday and if Harvey was still with us he would be 85 years old.
In the The Times of Harvey Milk, Harvey Fierstein narrates, “At first, Harvey Bernard Milk showed few signs he would make history.” Eighty-five years later it is hard to conceive of what our collective history would be without that unassuming kid from Woodmere, Long Island.
Being an international destination, The Castro will see thousands of visitors this Memorial Day. On a normal weekday, if I’m slinging hooch at Twin Peaks, I’ll get multiple requests from tourists inquiring as to where his camera store is, where this scene or that scene from Milk was filmed and undoubtedly this will quadruple with holiday.
To be honest, though, in terms of truly “getting” that experience; of feeling what Harvey might have felt, attending a screening of The Times of Harvey Milk in the resplendent Castro Theatre, our very own town hall, is about as close as I could recommend.
In full disclosure, I’m helping to put on this event, but the reason why is because of the impact it had not just on myself, but so many who after seeing it, realized that we too were part of a movement, a candidacy. Milk is a fine, well-acted film, but Rob Epstein’s documentary chronicling Harvey’s short but pivotal role on our world still hits me like a ton of bricks nineteen years after I first saw it.
When the film premiered here in 1984, it was only six years after the assassinations and yet part of why it was so important was that it premiered in such a drastically different time. The hope Harvey spoke of seemed distant under the crushing weight of AIDS and a government that refused to acknowledge it. Reagan was our president and privilege and health were luxuries reserved for the top. Watching the documentary and hearing his words, Harvey was able to galvanize again, to give them hope. Thirty-one years later his words, hope and galvanizing are just as needed.
Joining the evening on stage will be the director Rob Epstein and the film’s participants Tom Ammiano, Tory Hartmann, and Henry Der in addition to Gwen Craig and Harry Britt. Some of them for the first time since the film’s premiere.
So whether you’re a local, a visitor, or soon-to-be-local, make the requisite pilgrimage to his camera store, but skip the disingenuous heartburn at Harvey’s (the owner of Harvey’s and the Poho not only forced Harvey out of said camera store, but then forced his friends out of that spot as well), and instead spend an evening with Harvey and his closest friends under the gentle pink glow of the Castro and the hum of her glorious Wurlitzer, watching the bravery, value and conviction of those times flicker on the screen once more.
For a limited number, all BAS readers can get tickets for only $10 a piece. Go here and enter in BrokeAssStuart as your promo code before supplies run out!
The Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
The Times of Harvey Milk, in Celebration of Harvey’s 85th Birthday
With Special Guests Rob Epstein, Tom Ammiano, Harry Britt, Gwen Craig, Tory Hartmann and Henry Der
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 6:00 p.m.
The Castro Theatre
429 Castro Street (btw 17th & 18th)