One of the treasures of our city is the Stephen Crane House, a museum and community resource tirelessly and lovingly managed by Frank D’Alessandro.


Stephen Crane House, Fourth Avenue, Asbury Park


Built in 1878, the “Crane House” – where the author of “The Red Badge of Courage” lived while in his teens – regularly honors its most famous resident’s legacy and our city by featuring literary, music, film and other cultural programs in an intimate and welcoming at-home setting.

D’Alessandro and I spoke about a special film screening he has planned next Saturday for Gay Pride.

TBP:  Each time I leave the “Crane House” I feel richer after learning something or experiencing something I would not have normally taken the time to appreciate.  What do you have on deck next Saturday for Gay Pride?

Frank:  Every June we try to celebrate a Pride event, usually with a documentary and discussion of the sacrifices, sometimes tragic, that people had to endure to move the human rights movement forward.  We need to celebrate those awesome peoples’ lives with gratitude and admiration.

This year, we are observing Pride Month on the day before the big parade in New York City with a screening of “Out of the Past” a 75 minute documentary released in 1997, narrated by Gwyneth Paltrow and Ed Norton and produced by Andrew Tobias.  The film – which won the “Audience Award” at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998 – traces the gay rights movement beginning with literary figures of the 19th Century up to struggles of the more recent past.

After the screening there will be time for refreshments, discussion, and general schmoozing.

At 8 pm, we will screen the German silent movie “Different from the Others.”  This is a 92 year-old cinematic plea for tolerance.

“Different from the Others” stars the great Conrad Veidt.  You may remember him from “Casablanca” and scores of other wartime dramas.

Also, on display will be a venerable old Asbury Park icon, namely the sign of “Chez L” a local bar from the 60’s.  The very resolute women who ran that bar were fighting for the rights for gays and lesbians to assemble – and winning.  This was even before the Stonewall Riots in New York.

Iconic "Rainbow Room" sign from the Albion Hotel needs your help to be restored

TBP:  Every event at the Crane House benefits a worthy, local organization.

Frank:  Along with celebrating Pride, we have another mission, and that is to help the Asbury Park Historical Society restore the famous “Rainbow Room” sign that graced the late, lamented Albion Hotel in Asbury Park for decades.  It will be a costly process involving neon restoration – an art in itself.

There is no charge to come to the screening, however we will be accepting donations for the Historical Society.

The Historical Society hopes to eventually place it in Asbury Park’s Transportation Center.  Imagine what a great old and new icon the sign will be for our city – greeting visitors from all over.

“Out of the Past” screening, Saturday, June 25 at 6 pm.  Stephen Crane House, 508 Fourth Avenue.  Admission is free.  Donation appreciated.  Seating is limited, email has upcoming events.