Film Aficionado and Chlotrudis Board members Dies at 74

Bruce KingsleyNEW YORK CITY – Bruce Chase Kingsley, 74, formerly of Dixon, passed away suddenly, Friday, June 16, 2017, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he was attending the Provincetown International Film Festival. The cause of death was a heart attack.

For the past 13 years, Kingsley, who resided in New York, was an active member of the Boston-based Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film, where he was a film reviewer and where he had been on the organization’s board of directors for the last 8 years. In New York, Kingsley, with Arnold Himelstein, ran Talking Pictures, a film-appreciation course offered at Penn South Senior Center in Chelsea. For the past decade, Kingsley also sponsored a popular movie night in his apartment, screening classic films every Monday for a loyal following. Kingsley’s film work also included serving as chief researcher on Richard Alleman’s “The Movie Lover’s Guide to New York” and “The Movie Lover’s Guide to Hollywood.”

An avid art collector, Kingsley owned a sizeable number of works by artist, Dinah Maxwell Smith, and plein-air painter, John Laub, who was his life partner until his death in 2005. Mr. Laub’s work is on view at the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia in an exhibition titled “The Journeys of John Laub: Fire Island and Beyond.”

The adoptive son of Frank and Margaret Kingsley, Kingsley grew up in Dixon. A survivor of childhood polio, Kingsley graduated in 1960 from Dixon High School and went on to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After university, Kingsley moved to Chicago, where he worked for several years as a computer systems analyst at Commonwealth Edison Co. Kingsley moved to New York in 1969, where he was a systems analyst for Equitable Life Insurance Co. and later for Prudential Life Insurance Co. After retiring in the mid-1990s, Kingsley worked as a volunteer researcher on an HIV drug study at Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York. He later worked as a volunteer staffer on a Red Cross program for survivors of victims of 9/11.

Mr. Kingsley was a long-term survivor of HIV-AIDS. Before his relationship with Mr. Laub, he was preceded in death by two previous partners who died of the disease, Pierre Ludington and Paul Scott.

A man of many passions along with film and art, Kingsley loved theater, travel, horse racing, dogs, and above all, friends. He had many and he will be fondly remembered for his compassion, support, sense of humor, and generosity.

He is survived by his partner, actor Scott Barton, with whom he shared the last decade pursuing the arts with a vengeance. Nicknamed “Cultural Warriors” by their friend, actress Beth Grant, Kingsley and Barton were out on the town practically every night, seeing the latest offerings on-, off-, and off-off-Broadway. They also frequented the New York cabaret scene, and loved opera, attending performances at Metropolitan Opera and Opera Philadelphia, as well as traveling nearly every year to opera festivals in Santa Fe and Glimmerglass in Cooperstown, New York. They were avid followers of the careers of Rufus Wainwright, Barbara Cook, and Baby Jane Dexter. And they were regulars at the New York Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and Provincetown International Film Festival, which dedicated the closing-night film of this year’s event to Kingsley’s memory.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Theater Breaking Through Barriers, the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film, or Provincetown International Film Festival.

A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date.

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