This week's Culture Vultures recommend: | Culture Vultures | Chicago Reader

This week's Culture Vultures recommend: 

Chicagoans recommend a labor memoir, the Walking Dead comics, and Reggie Wilson's dance work in progress

click to enlarge crimes_of_a_christian-magnum.jpg

Rebecca Hall, Northwest Chicago Film Society president, is delving into:

Crimes of a Christian Crimes of a Christian is a memoir by a guy named Kent Dickinson who went to prison in the early 2000s for crimes he committed as a member of Chicago's infamously corrupt projectionist union, Local 110. I've been obsessed with labor history lately, and this book is a slice of a very local (and violent) piece of that history that people in the film scene in Chicago don't know anything about, unless they're of a certain age.

Basically, the Chicago projectionist union was having contract-negotiation difficulties with certain theater chains and the inner circle of the union organized—essentially—a campaign of terrorism against the chains who weren't cooperating with them. They set off smoke bombs in various theaters around Chicago (and as far away as New York City), and did other nasty things like flushing socks full of hydraulic cement down the toilets in the theater at Water Tower Place, even slicing theater screens (a horrifying act for any true projectionist).

It's recent enough history to still be a very sore spot for many people, I think—but that's part of what makes Dickinson's memoir worth reading.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Related Locations

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
April 24
Performing Arts
Henchpeople Jarvis Square Theater
July 09

Popular Stories