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Bluenote: 1020 Vision

Be on the lookout for the November and December issues of The Blue & White, on campus this week everywhere you look in Butler. As we always have done, Bwog will honor our heritage/amorous affair with our mother magazine by posting features from the upcoming issue. Below, Tom Humphreys asks a very important question: who chooses the movies at 1020?

Illustration by Louise McCune

A man walks into a bar in which a bad movie plays on several TV screens. Thirty minutes later, he freezes. “Wait…why are they playing Donnie Darko? Wait, wait, wait, that’s not Donnie Darko…why are they playing…the sequel to Donnie Darko?” This man is at 1020, where taste is relative and, perhaps, ultimately irrelevant.

The second favorite Morningside dive bar of the staff of The Blue & White (Tap-a-Keg takes the cake), 1020 has a tradition of favoring, shall we say, unorthodox cinema. Except for special occasions, the bar shuns traditional options such as Top Gun or baseball. Whether screening the atypically cerebral (Mulholland Drive), the disturbingly grim (Monster), the grotesquely violent (District 9), or the shockingly insignificant (Cuba Gooding Jr.’s direct-to-DVD works), patrons have come to expect, and even revere, the not-quite-irony of the screenings and their environs.

The reason turns out not to be as sinister as might be feared. Friday night bartender Thalia Dergham, CC ’12, explains, “Nobody ‘picks’ the movies at 1020. We simply pick a channel at the beginning of the night and usually leave it on unless something particularly disturbing comes on, even though usually when that happens we leave it on anyways.” She recalls Silence of the Lambs and The Lovely Bones as two—ahem—favorites. “The bartenders usually don’t know what is play- ing, because their backs are turned to the screens, so it’s a bit useless to ask them,” Dergham explains with a laugh. It appears that the randomness of 1020’s lineup is, indeed, random.

Just because the selection is governed by serendipity doesn’t mean that there is no accountability. 1020 lore has it that one Wednesday this semester, an uncensored porn movie ran for almost ten minutes. Eventually a middle-aged woman inquired at the bar. “I just wanted to see how long it would last,” the bartender replied.

Editors note: Last night Bwog was intrigued and disturbed by the insane samurai movie playing at 1020. If you have any information about this film, please email

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  • That's 1020 lore? says:

    @That's 1020 lore? I’ve been in there with porn playing before.

    – Irregular 1020 visitor

  • confused says:

    @confused b&w is distributing after the end of finals? did i miss out?

  • 1020 Regular says:

    @1020 Regular I’ve sat through all of sandlot in 1020. Twice. And loved every second of it.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Haha awesome- I can’t wait for the day when they shock everyone and play CNN

  • can anyone explain says:

    @can anyone explain what a heritage/amorous affair is?

  • CC '12 says:

    @CC '12 I think Starz is usually 1020’s channel of-choice; they always seem to have something on that’s strange for a bar

  • ... says:

    @... one of the bartenders there is an old movie buff. he keeps some kind of classic movie almanac behind the bar and usually has tons of backstory on anything that’s playing. whenever he’s working, the tvs tend to be tuned to amc. i’m surprised he wasn’t mentioned…

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous which bartender?

      1. ... says:

        @... i forget his name now (i haven’t actually been to 1020 much this year), but he’s fairly short, pretty heavy and bald. he wears glasses and frequently says things like “how’s it going guy?”

  • 1020 Regular says:

    @1020 Regular That would be Ray.

    1. also known as says:

      @also known as the most wonderful person on earth. Spread the Ray love!

  • dudes says:

    @dudes you pay three dollars for a beer and you wanna discuss the movies the bar plays. is there a bar tender liz? she is sensationally attractive

    1. Haha says:

      @Haha You pay $3 a beer and you spend your time flirting with the waitress? The one that works for tips and realized the lucrative power of the boobs + smile combo on college guys pretending to text?

      Yeah, no, you’re in a position to impart.

    2. ... says:

      @... yeah it’s generally more fun to talk to attractive people at the bar that are on the same side of it as you and are talking to you because they want to. if the bartender wants to bullshit about life, everything, the universe and movies from the 50s as well, all the better.

  • '08 alum says:

    @'08 alum Porn at 1020 is no new thing. Back in ’05-’06 it was on almost every night after midnight. Fucking hilarious to watch people walk in and see nothing but a cock ramming a twat. I love that place. And the bald dude someone referred to is indeed Ray, the best person in all of Morningside

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