March 2006 composite image of JATC mess hall's 'tile wall' with motto but
'tiles' as well as the motto were painted 'on' for a movie. In effect, a mural.

Above derived from 4 merged images of mess hall at JATC, formerly Rikers Island Penitentiary.

In March 2006, when NYCHS was photographing Anton Refregier's WPA mural and various inmate murals at the James A. Thomas Center (JATC), formerly the Rikers Island Penitentiary, Correction Officers and other staffers mentioned a different kind of "mural" in the mess hall.

The facility has not housed inmates in recent years. But converted office space on the second floor is used for some inmate parole hearings and for some video-teleconferencing that involves inmates.

The limited number of inmates there for those purposes and the short time inmates spend there on those occasions make unnecessary using the mess hall in order to feed them. Inmate feed is accomplished through other arrangements.

So the huge mess hall has stayed closed to inmates for years as have the major cellblocks. Instead that inmate cafeteria has been used for storage of various building equipment and, for a relatively brief period, used as a movie set with a mural painted to look like a tiled wall -- as distinguished from a mural painted ON a wall, tiled or otherwise.

Can you BOTH (1) name the movie and (2) describe the particular scene?

Hints: It's a comedy about a psychiatrist with a troubled mob boss as a patient. Don't assume that the scene in the mess hall, with its "tiled" and motto-ed wall, is represented in the film as taking place on Rikers Island.

E-mail answers to NYCHS@NYC.RR.COM

--- To Anton Refregier's WPA mural Home & Family.
To Rikers Pen/HDM/JATC inmate murals
--- To Harold Lehman's Rikers Penitentiary mess hall WPA mural.
--- To Ben Shahn's NY -- Rikers Mural: NYCHS Excerpts.
--- To NYCHS home page.