Then a buzzer sounded: No words were spoken; no words are needed in a place like this. Daniel Maurer After my eyes adjusted, I noticed a long empty bar, opening out over a dark room where a handful of men wandered around looking lost. As I did a lap through the corridor that hugs the cinema in a U-shape, they stepped to the doorways of dark, cell-like booths outfitted with wooden benches. Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones even took a turn at the theater in , launching a music club that seems to have lasted a red hot second. There was a framed poster on the wall: Latifah contemplate suicide on the ledge of a hotel. As I moved through the darkness, men circled me like lions around a jittery gazelle, and I lept from space to space, eluding eye contact, which works as a kind of consent here: Daniel Maurer Back at the Bijou, I clocked the age and builds of the other men: Since its halcyon days, in other words, the black door has hidden queers and iconoclasts, letting them do whatever they want, street-level society be damned. Daniel Maurer It took me three passes before I could bring myself to open the unmarked black door on East 4th Street, the one an older man had entered after trying to cruise me near a rack of Citi Bikes. Daniel Maurer The modest screening room contained about seats. I did a circuit, sticking my head in a small locker room and nodding to the older man from the Citi Bikes. By the time Ewalt came along, these Times Square theaters were already pretty run down — mold on the walls, water in the basement — but they retained a certain voyeuristic appeal, and men came to trawl for sex, watch drag queens like Chi Chi LaRue, or, like Ewalt himself, revel in the subversive thrill of it all. Telenovelas playing on a small-screen tv. Daniel Maurer As I descended to the lobby, the smell of cleaning fluid wafted up.