A Horror Fan Forged in the Fires of Hell

Why am I posing in front of the Paris Theater in Columbus Circle at 59th Street in New York City?

Why would I pose in front of a non-descript theater marquee when so many other historical sites are in that area of New York City?

Why am I bothering you with this meaningless information and random photo op?

Because it is not random nor not historical. At least for me anyway.

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Silvio can trace the roots of his horror movie fandom to this theater in Manhattan.

In that theater 44 years ago, a new horror fan was forged, tempered at a young age, in the fires of hell by means of the first-run theatrical showing of “The Exorcist.”

“The power of Christ compels you!!!!!!”

A 9-year-old me begged and pleaded for months to his mom to go see this movie.

“The Exorcist” debuted Dec. 26, 1973. I saw it in March or April of 1974 after much pleading.

I was a student at St Brendan’s Elementary School.

I mentioned offhand that I was going to see the movie. My teacher, Sister Mary Helen, tried to talk me out of going.

Mom and I waited on line as two showings sold out in front of us and still we waited and saw it.

I vividly remember two young girls sitting right in front of me who turned around and told me I was very brave.

And then she told me she would scootch down low so I could see.

I had promised my mom that I knew it was all a movie and would not have nightmares so I kept to myself the fact that after that movie I could not sleep normally for weeks.

I still today love the movie and I credit it for making me a fan of horror.

On my bucket list is to visit “The Exorcist” steps in Georgetown in Washington, D.C.