Caffe Cino Pictures

The ‘OBIE’ and After Joe’s Death » Caffe Cino With a Curtain

As summons piled on summons, MICHAEL SMITH went to court to try to save the Cino. JAMES D. GOSSAGE took three photos of the Cino interior, (1) with chairs and tables and no playing space to prove that it was just a coffee house and not violating its license, (2) with the chairs and tables pulled back to make a playing space, proving that it was an avant-garde space that deserved support, and (3) with a conventional curtained stage to prove that it was a traditional (licensable) theatre. Poor Michael had to present these three photos to a judge in a specific order at specific spots in an intricate legalistic rubric. Alas, it did not avail and the Cino closed in March of 1968. JAMES D. GOSSAGE writes of photo (3) above: ” The photo of the curtained stage is CT 6162, photographed March 3, 1968. Inside the curtain is the set, background painting by Josef Bush for Tom Eyen’s ‘Who Killed My Bald Sister Sophie?” It is part of a series Michael Smith asked me to provide to help in getting or keeping a City license to keep Caffe Cino open.” I attended court with Michael and sat in the audience reading “Rosemary’s Baby” on my lap. It was no more unreal than what I was watching poor, brave Michael being put through. [NOTE: although the figure in the photo looks incredibly like JOHN TORREY, it cannot be. Jim Gossage speculates that it is MICHAEL SMITH.]

See how DONALD L. BROOKS expressed his grief dramatically HERE.

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