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The streets of New York have never been "safe," per se, but back in the 1970s, they were practically a warzone. As recounted in the recent documentary Rubble Kings, young men and women all throughout the five boroughs, namely the Bronx and Brooklyn, established unified fronts and dressed in uniform-like garb to form various gangs. Their names included the Ghetto Brothers, Savage Nomads, and Imperial Bachelors, and they functioned like mini armies, with distinguished rankings among their members and strategic maneuvers all across their neighborhoods.
In 1979, director Walter Hill fictionalized NYC’s gang culture with The Warriors, a campy and at times silly look at the city’s all-too-real world that was largely clowned by critics upon its release but has since developed a massive cult following. Its quotes are ubiquitous: "Can you dig it? Can you dig it?" "Warriors, come out and play-ay!" It's a rambunctious and entertaining time capsule of a movie; whenever someone’s compiling a list of NYC’s most important films of all time, they’d be foolish to overlook it.
And now, 36 years after its debut, The Warriors is being honored with what could be its final in-person celebration. This Sunday, September 13, the film’s cast will reunite at the place where the movie’s climactic sequence unfolds: the Surf Pavilion on Coney Island. Organized by star and producer Eric Nyenhuis, the reunion will include members of the titular Warriors gang as well as actors from the film’s memorable antagonist crews like the Baseball Furies, all of whom will rock their The Warriors costumes and makeup one last time. For the fans, there will be autograph signings, meet-and-greet sessions, a cosplay contest, and musical performances. To top the event off, there’s also a screening of the movie.
"The film is lightning in a bottle, and the casting is lightning in a bottle," Nyenhuis told The Village Voice last month. "If I had to honestly say what’s more famous, Nathan’s or The Warriors in Coney Island, I would have to definitely say The Warriors."
Michael Beck, who played Warriors leader “"Swan," elaborated: "It is a quintessential New York movie and it captured the city in a way that is unique to The Warriors... I don’t know what makes a cult film, or what it is that resonates throughout the generations and makes people go, 'I love this movie.' I really don’t know what that is, because none of us—including the director, the studio, the producers, certainly none of the actors—had any idea when we were making this movie that it would have this kind of legacy."
The event starts at 10:00 a.m. and is expected to run until after 11:00 p.m. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
"This is about remembering the greatest time of our lives growing up," Nyenhuis told The Village Voice. "It’s history. It’s Hollywood history. It’s New York history. It’s Coney Island history."