Throwing a party for muscular doc “Pumping Iron” at the Whitney Museum would at first glance seem like inviting the bulls into the china shop.
But that’s just what Cinemax did Tuesday night in honor of doc’s 25th anni. Location was actually very appropriate, not only as a famous example of brutalist architecture, but also since a bodybuilding exhibition back in 1976 helped the doc’s producers obtain finishing funds for the project.
Helmer George Butler was happy to see everything come full circle. “No documentary has managed to have legs like this,” he said. Hypothesizing, ” ‘Pumping Iron” has brought in more cash flow than ‘Star Wars.’ Twenty thousand gyms, and bodybuilding is now a $30 billion business.
“That’s cash flow — not cash to the director,” he noted wryly.
Brawny guests included: doc’s stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Mark Katz, Franco Columbu and Ed Corney. Event included flexing and posing from former world champ and Mr. Universe Gunter Schlierkamp and former Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman.
Popular on Variety
Other attendees: Maria Shriver, Sylvia Miles, John Ventimiglia, Christopher Meloni, Patricia Field and wrestler Triple H.