On Tour: Wilmington, DE

17 Apr

April 13th, 2014  | United in Anger: A History of ACT UP | Wilmington, DE

It was gorgeous day in Wilmington. I dropped my stuff at the place I’m staying and walked down Market Street to the Queen Theater. The old downtown of Wilmington is quite charming, with numerous buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. There is a wonderful Art Deco Walgreen’s (née Woolworth’s), a Second Empire opera house and several 18th century houses around a tiny square.

The Queen was a wreck of a theater left to rot. In the last few years, the Light Up the Queen Foundation has returned it to use and restored some of its former magnificence. Brava to Tina Betz and all the other people at the foundation.

Inside of Queen Theater

Inside of Queen Theater 2

Inside of Queen Theater 3

We watched the film from the restored balcony and then after the film, we pushed some tables together, snacked on cheese and cold cuts, and talked about the AIDS epidemic. John Gardner, Executive Director of AIDS Delaware talked about the current situation in Delaware, which disproportionately affects African-Americans and women.  Joe Scarborough talked about coming out at 16 into a world of AIDS, marching with ACT UP Paris. Barbara Watson spoke movingly of her 20-year struggle with AIDS and addiction and her family’s response, which included both support and rejection.

Her story was the second time in just a few days that I’ve heard descriptions of families who couldn’t deal with people with AIDS, not touching them and serving them on paper plates. Since the beginnings of the AIDS crisis, so many families have behaved very badly toward PWAs and it’s shocking to hear current stories that sound like the 80s.

After-Screening Discussion

After-Screening Discussion 2

Post by OSIP touring filmmaker, Jim Hubbard.
To listen to a podcast interview with the filmmaker, click here.


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