Kickstarter Campaign: Continental (A Documentary) Directed by Malcolm Ingram

Looking for a great documentary project to throw some money at? I might suggest this new project from Malcolm Ingram, director of ‘Small Town Gay Bar’ (a Sundance ’06 Official Selection), ‘Bear Nation’ (a SXSW ’10 Official Selection) and former guest on our very own Documentary Blog Podcast! Speaking of podcasts, he also co-hosts a show called ‘Blow Hard’ on Kevin Smith’s Smodcast podcast network. Malcolm has a new project he’s working on called Continental, which will trace the history of the Continental Baths, the seminal New York City gay bath house, from the late Sixties/early Seventies. It sounds like a pretty interesting look at gay history and a worthwhile project to get behind. Here’s some info pulled from the Kickstarter page:

The Continental Baths was a seminal gay New York City hotspot that existed from the late 60s to 1974. The baths themselves were a lavish Roman-style affair, which were opened in the late 60s in a newly post-stonewall NYC. Owner Steve Ostrow wanted to create a decadent and luxurious clubhouse where newly liberated men could explore with wanton abandon.

“A gay man with $15 can get both sex and entertainment at the Continental and know he is mixing with the beautiful people. He might still turn up to work on Monday and be fired for being a fag.” – Dennis Altman -1971

Along with the baths, The Continental was home to glamorous shows that attracted first class performers such as Cab Calloway, Peter Allen, Wayland Flowers, Patti Labelle and a then unknown Bette Midler, who (with her piano player Barry Manilow) became ringmaster to the revelry.

Continental is a stylish examination of a lively and lascivious piece of real estate that transcended sexual identity and acted as a beacon to the hip, beautiful and infamous. Housed at the former site of the legendary Ansonia Hotel at 230 W. 74th St., the Continental ultimately became one of the most important metropolitan keystones for a sexual revolution, fostering an environment of tolerance and indirectly contributing to a level of mainstream gay acceptance the likes of which has never been seen again.

Told through archival footage, photographs, music and the voices of owner Steve Ostrow as well as patrons, performers and opponents, Continental will be a thorough examination of a time and a place not so long ago, when the word positive wasn’t so negative.

As you know, Kickstarter projects must reach their proposed monetary goal in order to get ANY of the donations made. Malcolm is asking for $20,000 to cover various costs, including a trip to Australia to interview Steve Oscar, the man who opened up the Continental Baths.There are benefits to donating and depending on the size of your contribution, Malcolm is offering various rewards ranging from a thank you in the credits for $25 (or more) to an Associate Producer credit and a consultation with the creative team on making documentaries for $1500 or more! Continental has 17 days left to reach its $20,000 goal so why don’t you head on over to the official Kickstart page and make a donation? DO IT.

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