With most 'Empire' cast members, HBO producers and executives, local dignitaries and media, historians, and even showgirls, plus a big band all on hand, Atlantic City turned back the clock to 1920 on Thursday, Sept. 16, for an extraordinary HBO bash held at several Caesars venues, including a 1920s-themed party at One Atlantic.
It was a windy and rainy mid-September night in Atlantic City.
As regional storms pounded the beach and Boardwalk with crashing ocean waves and assaulting wind gusts, the premiere night of the much-anticipated new HBO series Boardwalk Empire, was underway at Caesars Atlantic City,
By 10pm, the media, local dignitaries, Harrah's Entertainment officials, Empire cast and crew members, HBO folks and guests, had previewed the 70-minute first episode of HBO's new drama series Boardwalk Empire, based on 1920 Atlantic City and a few chapters of Nelson Johnsons's 2002 book of the same name. (Johnson wasn't in attendance at the Atlantic City premiere, but is rumored to have attended the one in New York held the night before.)
Ironically, just as shots were being fired in the Martin Scorsese-directed Empire pilot, which includes a fair share of graphic violence, the same thing was happening in the streets of Atlantic City 90 years later.
Around 10pm, many of us would find out the next morning, four men were shot at a nearby Atlantic City housing complex, the Stanley Holmes Village.
(Will the violence ever end?)
There were actually several parallels between the Atlantic City premiere party and the show itself. And meeting members of the several entities responsible for throwing this bash and seeing them in action, it was meant to be that way.
Four hours earlier, the balmy and windy evening on the ocean side started with a Boardwalk photo shoot with Boardwalk Empire cast members and producers on hand, including Paz de la Huerta, Michael Pitt, Michael Kenneth Williams, Kelly MacDonald, Vincent Piazza and others, many of whom also attended the New York premiere of the HBO show the night prior, standing in front of the shoreline and a group of rolling chairs, clinging to a 1920-era automobile as cameras flashed. Soon Boardwalk onlookers began to gather around the group, many of them snapping pics on their cell phones.
It was then back up to Caesars' Forum Lounge, where members of the media interviewed cast members, HBO executives and local executives including Don Marrandino, the eastern regional president of Harrah's Entertainment, which owns Caesars.
I spoke with Michael Kenneth Williams (that's what he likes to be called now) and got a chance to tell him how big a fan of I was and still am of The Wire, the five-season running HBO series in which he starred in as Omar Little.
Veteran actor Dabney Coleman, who is terrific as the Commodore in Empire, was accessible all night.
I saw him standing in a corner near the men's room. I asked him if he'd ever been to A.C. before. He rolled up his suit-jacket sleeve to show me the Rolex watch he was wearing, and told me he won it in Atlantic City about 20 years ago — the last time he'd been to Atlantic City. I told him how much my younger brother and I used to love the movie Cloak & Dagger. Although he looks heavier — and different — as the Commodore, he assured me that he hadn't gained any weight for the part.
He also revealed that he has a glass eye.
Soon it was off to the Circus Maximus Theater — where the free Sunday, Sept. 19, "Conversations & Storytelling, Plus Viewing Party Event takes place — to watch the premiere of Boardwalk Empire.
About 800 people watched, all engaged from the start.
After the 70-minute pilot, which was prefaced with a funny speech by Empire writer and producer Terry Winter, most agreed that the Boardwalk looked stunning in Empire.
Among the genres of music A Night at the Speakeasy embodies are country (catapulted into popularity in the mid-1920s by the Grand Ole Opry radio broadcast, which originates from Tinnon’s home town of Nashville, Tennessee) and gospel, also made widely popular by radio in the 1920s.
"The game has changed quite a bit. Things have gotten a lot more violent, a lot more competitive, and Nucky has sort of had to up his game as well in order to survive. "
The famed seaside resort that is portrayed in HBO's hit drama series Boardwalk Empire celebrated the show's second season premiere on Sunday, Sept. 25, in a number of ways over the weekend.
Terry Winter, the executive producer, creator and one of the chief writers for the award-winning, Martin Scorsese directed HBO drama series Boardwalk Empire, has finally wrapped filming on the second season's last episode as of Wednesday, Sept. 7.
Cable TV giant HBO has released an official trailer for the second season of its award-winning and milti-Emmy nominated drama series Boardwalk Empire.
At Missouri Avenue, for many years, was the carnival-looking stand of the “weight guesser.” If he didn’t guess your weight within three pounds, after you stepped on his huge scale, you received one of the many prizes displayed.
Judge Nelson Johnson's latest book 'The Northside,' on Atlantic City's history of African-Americans, is missing key components says community leader. Johnson's previous book Boardwalk Empire was turned into the 2010 HBO series, the second season of which is filming now.
Early in the premiere episode of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, a crowd of dapper Atlantic City movers and shakers, partying well into the night in a spiffy supper club, make a familiar countdown, cocktail glasses held high...
With Sunday’s debut of Boardwalk Empire fast approaching, let’s look back on the period during which the series takes place, specifically the year 1920, the dawn of the Prohibition era.
By 2000, Hammonton-based historian Nelson Johnson had compiled the first comprehensive history of Atlantic City between two covers, and enlisted the help of two New York literary agents in structuring and marketing the manuscript. His book, called Nucky’s Town (after political boss Enoch “Nucky” Johnson), presented a road map through the storied city by the sea, complete with detours, pitfalls, and pockmarks.
‘Boardwalk Empire’ Trivia In anticipation of the debut of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire — which is really something, trust us — we begin our ‘Boardwalk Empire Trivia’ contest. After reading the question below, leave your answer in the comments portion below. If you leave the correct answer on our Web site, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $20 gift certificate for a dinner at the legendary Fedeli’s Restaurant in Margate. OK, here’s the question (no cheating by looking up on Internet): How much money did Enoch “Nucky” Johnson alledgedly make each year off of Atlantic City’s “vice” industry in the 1920s? Daly, Sanford Swing for Kids’ Sake The Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City...
As a Boardwalk native and the author of one of A.C.’s definitive history books, curiosity should have long since replaced emotion for Vicki Gold Levi...
Back in the 1920s, A.C. was a hub for all sorts of different nightlife and entertainment, and not just the kind that would be frowned upon by puritan society. There were theaters, amusement parks, music and dance clubs, and some of the biggest names in entertainment appeared regularly or got their career starts on A.C.’s bustling streets.
The free and open-to-the-public AC Weekly partnered event, "Conversations & Storytelling - Plus Viewing Party," will feature a riveting panel discussion and Q&A segment with local historians and Atlantic City experts including Vicki Gold Levi, Allen "Boo" Pergament," Ralph Hunter, Pinky Kravitz, Israel Posner and James Waltzer on Sunday, Sept. 19, with doors opening at 6:30pm.
In real life, Nucky Johnson, Atlantic City’s Boardwalk emperor during the 1920s, did eventually marry a former showgirl and actress, a local woman named Flossie Osbeck. But that didn’t happen until one day before Johnson began serving a four-year prison term for tax fraud in 1941. There’s little historical evidence to support the fact that Lucy is patterned after Osbeck.
The Web site – atlanticcityexperience.org – provides some of the extensive resources contained in the library’s Alfred M. Heston Collection. The collection contains books, photographs, postcards, audio, video, digital files and memorabilia pertaining to the city’s history.
In the 10th episode of this ongoing web video series, hear the panel of Atlantic City historians tell stories about the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Tune in next Friday, Dec. 10 for part two.
Answer the following trivia questions correctly and be entered to win a large Boardwalk Empire poster. We have two available. Participants must be 18 or older and provide correct e-mail address when answering (in the comments portion below) so we can contact you for shipping of the winnings. OK, here they go: 1. What did Senior Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden claim to be the cause of death of his partner Agent Sebso? 2. Which of the following six themes have not yet been presented in the multi-part Atlantic City Weekly web video series "Atlantic City History: Conversations & Storytelling"? The web video series was filmed at Caesars right before the viewing party for the debut episode of HBO's Boardwalk Empire on Sept. 19 and included a panel discussion of the following topics by Atlantic City authors and historians including Vicki Gold Levi, Allen "Boo" Pergament, Ralph Hunter, Jim Waltzer, Pinky Kravitz and Israel Posner. a. "Entertainment & Nightlife" b. "The Boardwalk" c. "Nucky Johnson" d. "Gambling (Legal or Otherwise)" e. "The African American Experience" f. "Sports in AC and Camp Boardwalk" Leave your answers below in the comments portion. Two winners will be contacted....
In the 11th episode of this multi-part series, a distinguished panel of Atlantic City historians and authors continue to discuss the history of Atlantic City's famed Boardwalk.
The next-to-last Webisode in this 13-part series, "Success in A.C." aka "Gambling (Legal or Otherwise)" featuring Stockton College's Israel Posner