Forty-First Street Cinema

Forty-First Street Cinema

125 W 41st St, New York, NY 10036


Early in their tenure at the Factory, the Velvet Underground performed at the Forty-First Street Cinema as part of a mixed-media show named Andy Warhol, Up-Tight.


Andy Warhol, Up-Tight at the Cinematheque


In early 1966, Paul Morrissey booked a multimedia show, Andy Warhol, Up-Tight, as part of Mekas’s Cinematheque series, which was then based in the Forty-First Street Cinema. “Hey, we’re doing a gig tonight at the Cinematheque,” Gerard Malanga told Bibbe Hansen one afternoon in February 1966. “We need go-go dancers. Will you come?” Hansen and others danced on the front sides of the Cinematheque’s stage while Warhol projected Banana, Blow Job, Sleep, and other films that were blended into a primitive light show. Malanga also danced onstage as he twirled a long strip of phosphorescent tape while the band played in the shadows. The Velvet Underground repeated this event in March 1966 at Rutgers University, and again at Paraphernalia, a hip boutique that sold clothes designed by a young Betsey Johnson.

From Chapter 11 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore