This month, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), in conjunction with HBO, is dusting off, sprucing up and re-railing a 1920s IRT subway train to promote the September 25th premiere of the network’s Jazz Age drama, Boardwalk Empire.
HBO’s Marketing Department approached the MTA about ideas for a “nostalgic” marketing campaign that would stand out in the proverbial “city that never sleeps,” explained transit spokesman, Eugene Ribeiro. Eager to accommodate, the MTA offered up a still-operational Art Deco subway car currently preserved in the Brooklyn Transit Museum’s yard.
HBO executives loved the idea and paid over $150,000 to unleash the locomotive shrine on the 2/3 line. And the live-art fun doesn’t end there. Over the next couple of weeks, don’t be surprised if a time-traveling flapper or wise guy offers you a free metro pass “on Nucky” – the show’s nefarious, yet loveable, protagonist. It’s all a part of the elaborate, art-imitating-life marketing operandi.
City residents can catch the vintage ride between 42nd and 96th every weekend in September.
The much praised Boardwalk Empire is a visually stunning, well-written cinematic hybrid of fact and fiction, which chronicles the adventures and exploits of Atlantic City-based, prohibition-era politician, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, and his band of power-hungry cronies and gangster acquaintances.
Featuring a cast with strong connections to the Big Apple, the series stars New York natives and favorites Steve Buscemi, Paz de la Huerta, Michael Pitt and Vincent Piazza. In addition, many of the scenes are filmed in and around Brooklyn. Tune in to HBO on Sundays at 10:00 p.m. to check it out – and be sure to hop a ride on the Art Deco express to see what all the hype is about.