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Saturday, December 15, 2012

"Thunder Road" Movie Pleases Skateboard Fans But Others Beware



PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- December 14, 2012

NO SKATEBOARDING?  Not at ROTA Gallery Friday evening.

Skateboarder fans whooped and applauded during the premier of the locally produced movie "Thunder Road."  The "grindhouse" venue was packed, every seat taken, by many young viewers with a few graybeards in the mix.

The technically well-made documentary is almost non-stop thrasher action.  There are no interviews with any of the boarders.  If you want to find out what makes them tick you'll have to go elsewhere.  If you enjoy seeing skateboarders perform impressive maneuvers and stunts – and also take some nasty spills – for an hour then this movie will suit you.

Most in the audience didn't mind seeing skaters repeatedly riding their boards down long metal rails or grinding along the edge of concrete structures.

The movie shows the boarders in action in various places around the area but not all of the spots are skate parks.  In one scene videoed on private property a sign proclaims NO SKATEBOARDING.   But if you're young and reckless, hey, why worry about a stupid sign?

The thrasher life philosophy was summed up by a bumper sticker I saw one time: WORK IS FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN'T SKATEBOARD.  It was plastered near a stop sign in downtown Plattsburgh, the same stop sign that some skaters would ignore.

Skateboarders would use Marion Street as their own park.  They would zip down Marion without looking, speeding across the intersection with Clinton.  One building on the corner was tight to the sidewalk, creating a blind spot.  Someone walking or driving up Clinton Street would have to watch out for skaters coming out of nowhere.

A barbershop used to operate out of the same corner building.  The owner would complain to the police to no avail that the skaters were causing problems, scaring away customers, even sitting outside on the ledge of her picture window.

She wasn't alone in her complaints.  The First Presbyterian Church which borders Brinkerhoff and Marion streets spent a lot of money fixing up its property, including the installation of new stonework.  Skaters came along and started grinding, ruining all the recent work.  The police were called.

One of the skating locations in "Thunder Road" is – yup, you guessed it – the same church.

In some cases skateboarding is for people who don't own property.

Don't expect to see "Thunder Road" playing at the Presbyterian Church.  It doesn't have a prayer.



NOTE: Each image was digitally photo-edited, combining separate exposures for audience and screen. 

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