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Conversations Episode 6: Interview with George Figgs

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For this episode of Conversations, Dwayne Butcher interviews George Figgs.

George Figgs was born in 1947 in Baltimore.  He is a musician, actor, film historian, and visual artist. He grew up in Hampden, where the neighborhood movie theaters became his home away from home.

Figgs is one of the original “Dreamlanders” and appeared in a number of early John Waters productions including Pink Flamingos, Mondo Trasho, and Female Trouble. He later worked in film production and then, from 1991 to ’99 was the proprietor of Baltimore’s Orpheum Cinema, a celebrated art house theater that showed noir, foreign, cult, and underground cinema classics.

In this conversation, George talks about his eclectic career, including his early years as a musician, bohemian life in Fells Point, participating in John Waters films, and how his lifelong obsession with cinema began. George currently divides his time between Baltimore and Toronto, Canada. Recently he has announced a new monthly film series at the Ideal Theater in Hampden.
George, Age 6. 1953. At St Michael's on the Eastern Shore with fathers side of the family, from Snow Hill.

George, Age 6. 1953. At St Michael’s on the Eastern Shore with fathers side of the family, from Snow Hill.
gangatthe-fellspointgateFells Point Gate. 1967.
Eddie  Dixon Peranio’s Hot Rod shop where George and friends hung out and worked.
Located at 1724-6 Thames st. Fell’s Point next to the Cat’s Eye Pub. (where the Orpheum was later located)
Georgeandben_albumAlbum cover for “Boa Constrictor & A Natural Vine” by psych-folk duo guitarists George Figgs and Ben Syfu who recorded their sole record, for Vanguard Apostolic. Click on this text to hear the full album! 
GeorgeandEddiePeranio70sGeorge with Eddie Dixon Peranio (brother of John Waters set designer Vince Paranio). Eddie was another guitar player on the scene.
incambrige_harmoica
Playing harmonica at the Cambridge Commons in Massachusetts, with a number of well known blues bands.
george_Guitar_bandw
Guitar man, 1970’s.
Jesus_MultpleManiacs_George Figgs as Jesus in John Waters’ film Multiple Maniacs.
originalposter_multiplemaniacs
Original Poster for Multiple Maniacs
Dribbles_in_FemaleTrouble George-Figgs-in-Female-Trouble-dreamlanders-9104570-839-451
George Figgs as “Dribbles” in John Waters’ film Female Trouble.
Figgs_Baltimore_Nocturne_1989
Painting by George Figgs. Baltimore Nocturne 1989,
acrylic on canvas, 5′ X 4′
orphuemtheaterFounded by George Figgs in 1991, the Orpheum was an arthouse movie theater in the Fells Point section of Baltimore. Located at 1724 Thames Street, you can click here to sample some of the films shown at the Orpheum.
Georgetoday_playingguitar
George Figgs playing guitar in his current  home in Woodberry.
figgs_outsidehomeGeorge Figgs on the front porch of his current Woodberry area home. Baltimore. 2015
figgs_insidehome01
Ephemera from inside George Figgs’ current home in Woodberry.   figgs_insidehome02
Ephemera inside George Figgs’ current home in Woodberry.  figgs_insidehome04
Ephemera from inside George Figgs’ current home in Woodberry.

Georgetoday_poehouse George Figgs at a reading at the Poe House, Baltimore. 2015.

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