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Authors in the Park

Gore Park 1860

Hey folks all is good here at HardBoiled. I am working away slowly on the follow-up novel: Fallen Angels. I’ve been attending some writing workshops with the Quebec Writers Federation as I am now relocating full-time to Montreal.

I am in Hamilton this weekend , and will be participating in a cool event featuring local writers called: Authors In The Park. The show takes place Aug 1 from 1-4 pm and will feature a plethora of local talent hawking their wares, including your truly.

Swing on by this Sunday and say hi; and pick-up a signed copy of :When The Luck Runs Dry. The event takes place in Hamilton’s historic Gore Park, steps away from the Hunter Street Go-Transit station. Hope to see you there:)

Stephen

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Sneak Peek

Well folks I hope everyone is well. We are making progress on art work and typesetting for the up coming Neo-Noir novel: When The Luck Runs Dry. The project is nearing a completion date in mid February, with a launch date tentatively set for March 17, 2021. Due to the pandemic the launch may have to be a virtual event, depending on the Co-Vid situation here in Canada. I am working on the social media sites related to the book, which you can find in the About and Contact menus above. Otherwise I am slowly writing away at the sequel novel: Fallen Angels, and I had a nice workshop with the #QuebecWritersFederation on the weekend that helped move that along. So here is a small excerpt from the upcoming book and if you are chomping at the bit to read it, you can watch the 2012 film version on I Tunes in North America here: https://factoryfilmstudio.com/portfolio-item/lucky-7/

Excerpt:

I step out of the cab into the now brisk air, and the cab driver helps me gather my things from the trunk. He lays them on the sidewalk while I light another cigarette. He reaches into his breast pocket and pulls out a business card and hands it to me. –
Taxi Driver: “Anytime you need a lift, here’s my number. Big tippers like you don’t come around very often!”
He chuckles and slides back into his taxi, pulling away into the darkened night, leaving me alone with my thoughts.
The sign from Farleys’ is lit from the side swinging slightly in the wind. But another light is glowing now from the downstairs storefront, a neon red and violet glow from an illuminated cross in the window. Strange to see. This was and old hardware store last, I remember-—Millers’?
Now as I look up, I see a new sign: The Church of The Universal Prophet. Jesus. You can thank the tax-free status of churches for all these store-front operations. Usually run by some crackpot or another—or some Mafia clan doing some old school money laundering. I try and peer through the drawn shades, but the view is obscured. Yet my ears can make out the sounds of an electric church organ filtering out onto the street. Sounds like an old school Protestant hymn from way back. Well, to my untrained ear at least.
But duty calls, and I turn toward the doorway to the right of the building and open the door. Farley’s is a strange old building, and the main oddity of it is that the pub is located on the upper floor. Many an inebriated patron has taken a tumble down this flight of stairs over the years, but no casualties so far—that I know of, that is. Other than a few livers, but those are a self-inflicted wound.
As I open the door, I hear the organ music from the church being overpowered by some Irish folk rock emanating from upstairs. The Irish—the Blacks of Europe. “No Dogs or Irishmen need apply, etc.” No longer: once shunned like the Italians in throughout North America, now everyone runs out to drink green beer and knows all the words to every song by U2. Kind of funny really. And the music only gets louder as I ascend the stairs.
I round the corner at the top of the stairs and enter a time capsule. The music and lights and pool tables and bar stools: they are all just as I remember them. The two guys tending bar are familiar as well, except a few years older. They’re my brothers, Allan and Brian, and the barfly at the end of the bar—he is still here as well: Alex Quigley. It was Quigley who first notices me standing silhouetted in the doorway, as I drop by duffel bag to the floor.
Quigley: “Well. If it isn’t Lucky 7; like Lazarus back from the dead!”
Lucky 7. That was nickname bestowed on me at a young age, being the 7th kid in a brood of 8. The only one younger than me was Frankie. I was deemed to be the one to bring good fortune upon the family, being the 7th born, but the only luck I seem to have brought was bad. Or so it may seem up to now anyways.
And, just now, my luck seems to not be taking too much of a positive spin either, as my brothers catch sight of me and advance from behind the bar with a mix of shock and anger in their eyes. Allan stands back while Brian advances forward blocking my path.
Brian: “Jesus Fucking Christ.”
Not the best wording for a conversation starter I think, but before I can reply, a flash of fist rises from below and a powerful pain shocks my jaw. And then the lights go out. For me anyways. Some homecoming.

Photo Credit: Sabrina Armani

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Cinema Fever takes hold on Sherman Ave. North in Hamilton

After a long drought it now seems Hamilton has not just one, but two repertory cinemas in the lower city.  This March saw the rebirth of two of Hamiltons  movie palaces to their former glories: The Westdale Cinema and the Playhouse Cinema.

John and Wendy Tutt have a long history with repertory cinemas. In Waterloo ON in 1985, when your humble writer was just entering Film Studies at U of W, Tutt took a gamble and opened the Princess Cinema at the back of an almost derelict Kent Hotel in Uptown Waterloo, ON.

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The Kent (Heuther) Hotel in Uptown Waterloo

The  cinema blossomed through the  years, and also was an early anchor in the revitalization of the entire hotel building complex through the years. It now contains a brew pub, pool hall, cafe, jazz club, bar, and deli.

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The Original Princess Cinema in Waterloo

Later, the Tutt’s took their success down the street, and  purchased an old furniture store on King Street in Uptown Waterloo. Here they had a chance to build & retrofit from scratch a twin screen cinema, w cafe, restaurant and wi-fi lounge, which opened in 2005.

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The Princess Twin-opened in 2005

In the Fall of 2017, I received a call from Terrance Odette, a local filmmaker about a “For Sale” sign he had seen on Sherman Ave. N. in Hamilton. I knew the real estate agent of the listing,so put them in touch. The property in question, was an old vaudeville hall/cinema from 1914 . It had been used by a church group for many years, and was now sitting vacant.

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The Playhouse Cinema circa 1970

After a few visits, and a thorough inspection, the Tutt’s took another gamble on a down on its luck building and neighbourhood. They purchased the property on Sherman Ave. in the Winter of 2018, and  recent business school graduate and cinema buff Jacob Tutt came on board to help  handle the task of much needed renovations; and to become the General Manager upon the cinema’s opening in Spring 2019.

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John & Wendy Tutt w filmmaker Terrance Odette

 

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Jacob, Wendy, andJohn Tutt

The renovations tuned into much toil and trouble, but with the help of the local trades the Tutt’s were able to honour the legacy and design of this wonderful building ,while bringing it into the modern era.

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Renos under way @ the Playhouse – Fall 2018

With excellent acoustics, a renovated theatre fly system, and a retractable cinema screen (is this the only one in Canada? ); The Playhouse is primed not just for film but as a new concert and theatre venue as well.

But film is at the heart of The Playhouse, and that was very much on display with the sold-out opening night screening of Cinema Paradiso on Friday March 1, 2019.

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Opening Night @ The Playhouse-A soon to sold out theatre opens it’s doors on March 1-2019

With a full printed monthly schedule, and membership card in hand, I enjoyed every aspect on this “new” cinema. From the excellent accessible seating and washrooms, to the snack bar (soon to be licensed), to the comfortable seats, layout, and projection image; it was a great night to revel in the joy on cinema.

Plus, it was a great occasion to catch up with some old friends and maybe meet some new ones. I even had the chance to see Jan Uhde ,my Film Professor from the University of Waterloo, which was really cool.

And it was nice to see the old Westdale Theatre manager Geoff Tressider as part of the new staff at The Playhouse. He spent many years keeping independent cinema screening alive in Hamilton-and hat’s off to him for that!

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Reno Relief Detail @ The Playhouse Cinema

If you want more information on the cinema and their current schedule go to: https://playhousecinema.ca

Plus here are a couple links to some interviews with Jacob on 93.3 CFMU-FM

http://cfmu.ca/episodes/13542-soundtrack-episode-for-2019-03-06

Episode 262 (Mar. 15/19)

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General Manager Jacob Tutt at CFMU Radio

See you at the  the movies!