“It was like a scene out of ‘The Shining,’” said Pete Romano, recalling the way he used to zoom on his bicycle through the hallways at Kaufman Astoria Studios, a benefit of having an uncle on the facilities staff.
Now Mr. Romano walks those hallways with his dog, Blue, trotting alongside and helping him check on things.
Mr. Romano, the youngest of five siblings, grew up in Astoria, Queens, one block from the studio. By 14, he had been hired to tidy up outside, and then he joined the maintenance crew. He became a foreman and then a stage manager.
“I’ve been drawing a check here since I’m 14,” he said. “I grew up watching how this place worked. My father taught me, ‘Don’t say it’s not your job or it never will be.’”