Showing 151 - 175 of 388 comments
With regard to the last comment: The photo taken by TC was likely taken in 1970(maybe late 1969). Both the Cleopatra and the Romeo and Juliet film(full title: Sex Lives of Romeo and Juliet) were Harry Novak-produced titles that played first at the Pussycat theater chain(Romeo was a 1969 release and Cleopatra came out in 1970). Some of the more popular films would get released outside of the Pussycat chain and play other theaters and even drive-ins as this time period X-rated fare was doing good business. (Trader Hornee and the later Erotic Adventures of Zorro were the two biggest crossover titles.) Also, it was not unusual for downtown theaters, with their declining attendance, to turn to “adults only” fare for a period of time.
The first film the Mitcheels showed there (as an XXX house) was “Resurrection of Eve” as first-run. The week prior it played a triple bill of three films with Mick Jagger: Gimme Shelter, Performance, and Ned Kelly.
Behind the Green Door first played in Hayward at the Hayward theater a block down the street on Mission. That theater had gone XXX in early 1973, several months prior to the Ritz, and actually even suffered from an occasional police raid. (And prior to it going XXX, the Hayward theater had been showing soft X fare like Swinging Pussycats frequently.)
Operated by the Avon chain, who ran numerous (mostly storefront) theaters in and around Times Square.
Chelly Wilson operated this theater. I understand it was demolished & turned into a parking lot.
According to Robin Bougie of www.cinemasewer.com, this converted to video porn about a year ago. It did show prints of XXX films from the 1970’s and the 1980’s, most not in the greatest of shape, but it did attract an audience.
Some of these 16mm houses would go to hard porn. Was this one of them?
Did this ever show XXX fare? It was also not unusual to see “arthouse” theaters from the 1950’s era convert to “adults only” sex films booking in the 1960’s and then XXX by about 1973.
Also, was there any resistence from the Masons over the “racier” fare?
According to a documentary on the Anchor Bay DVD of Dawn of the Dead(Ultimate Edition), the Rivoli played Dawn on its first run engagement, which would have been May 1979.
The Xanadu is in Oakland on 2nd and Broadway about a block from Jack London Square. Indeed it is still open & shows porn on 2 of its 3 theaters(the third has been turned into peep booths)—It was a mainstream sub-run house prior to going XXX in 1975(and was originally called Jack London Square Cinemas). The others that haven’t been torn down or turned into other uses are now “live sex show” houses ala The O'Farrell in San Francisco.
In the end, the Palm was operated by the same operators who operated the Burbank before its(forced) closing.
Once again, this theater is in danger of closing, according to today’s SF Chronicle. The theater operator owes $140,000 between the IRS($115,000) and back rent to the landlord($25,000). The article was implying that the IRS may wind up seizing the theater.
The Roxie does show a lot of independent film festivals as well as good documentaries and other gems.
Seats 50. Is in danger of being closed, see Roxie theater for more info.
And so ends the legacy of the porno theater in the San Francisco Bay area.
The Eneas also ran the Showcase(aka Enean) in downtown Concord as well.
Also showed a lot of kung-fu in the 1970’s. Those were the days!
To add to the above post, there was also the Sun Valley Cinemas at Sun Valley Mall(operated by General Cinema Corporation) and the Showcase on Grant St. Sun Valley also showed first-run product. The Showcase in 1973 was a discount house that went to hard porn in 1975 and then became part of the Pussycat chain in 1976.
And the Dome in Pleasant Hill is scheduled to be razed & replaced with a new CineArts as part of the rebuilding of that shopping center in which it is in.
Apparently this theater is for sale for $1.5 million. I don’t think that this is good news.
I am a bit concerned about this, considering that Renaissance Rialto recently sold the Oaks Theater in Berkeley. I hope it doesn’t mean that the Orinda and Grand Lake theaters(two classic showcases) are in trouble. It is a shame that a small independent like RR is being hurt by the monopolization of the East Bay by the Century Theaters chain. I prefer going to both the Park and the Orinda for their better projection standards, better staff, and better(& cheaper) buttered popcorn.
According to the latest Filmfax Magazine, the “bad film” Plan Nine From Outer Space premiered here. That would have been in 1959.
During its XXX days, Bill Osco(related to the Osco family who owned the Osco Drugstore chain) and Howard Ziehm had owned the theater. Osco/Ziehm made the first 35mm XXX narrative feature, “Mona”(1970) and are best known for the 1973 cult classic “Flesh Gordon”. Ziehm later ran the theater on his own after dissolving his partnership with Osco. (Well told by Ziehm on the DVD audio commentary of Flesh Gordon.)
In the 1970’s(as the Town and Country), it was a dollar house before converting to XXX format(approximately 1974) and stayed that way until the early 1980’s. The AMC Sunnyvale 6(now closed) at the Towne Center mall likely hurt this theater before its porn conversion.
From what I understand, in its current nightclub incarnation, the balcony area is used as a second dancefloor.
The Prsidio is now a 4-screener(original auditorium was chopped into 3 screens—Screen 4 was added in another space.) Grand Lake is also chopped into 4 screens. The best bet would be if it plays at the Orinda theater(a good possibility), whose main auditorium is still intact(the two other screens were added in an adjacent building) or at the Century 21 in San Jose(part of a complex, but the Century 21 itself is an undivided dome that seats over 1000). I would bet good money that Century 21 will play it.
Was operated by Mike Weldon Theaters in 1975-1976 as an XXX house. In its (post-XXX) days, it was renamed the Cinema.
I do recall the Studio did show porn in the 1970’s before closing.
In the 1970’s until close, it was known as the Garden Art theater. Operated by Harold Greenland(who had also operated the Green Parrot and one other Seattle theater at the time called the Neptune), this theater showed XXX films in 35mm and would play the “hit” XXX films. Reportably it was the best operated of his three Seattle theaters and attracted a couples audience.
The Green Parrot, on the other hand, was known as “the dirty parrot” and ran as a 24 hr a day operation, showing 16mm porn on triple bills. Prior to that, the Parrot ran triple bills of science fiction films. The Neptune had “live shows” along with the porn films.