A quick one: Jeremiah Moss unearthed a clip from a late 80's Woody Allen film this morning that featured the interiors of late, lamented speak-easy Chumley's (see above, shot by me circa 1998 or so), however fleetingly. It indeed captures the warmth of that room in the cruelest of ways. If I'm not mistaken, the story went that Woody had always had designs on filming inside the fabled West Village watering hole, but when he got there, he somehow felt that it still wasn't "rustic" enough. As such, he had rafters installed (although they're not visible in this clip). I remember going there with some high school friends sometime in `89 or so and thinking "hmmm.... I don't remember those!" They ultimately served no purpose beyond creating the ambiance Allen was striving for. That's the story I heard, at least.
Chumley's is long gone now, of course. Following a wall collapse and then a ruthlessly efficient gutting, there's been talk of it reopening (probably as some godawful sports bar or velvet rope establishment). In any case, the old Chumley's is gone, but lives on in clips like the one JM found. Drink it in.