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I worked there in the early 70’s— as well as at the Cerberus, the Janus’s sister theater in Georgetown. Both were owned by the same people; the Cerberus was built with the profits made by running I AM CURIOUS, YELLOW and THE ENDLESS SUMMER, at the Janus. The owner had a personal epiphany, and came out of the closet after being married and fathering children. He changed the Janus format from first run theater to all hard-core porn. He showed straight films in one theater and gay films in the other. I was promoted and sent over from the Cerberus to help run the Janus shortly after the change. I spent my days in the boxoffice directing traffic. We got a lot of “raincoat” trade during the daytime hours.The auditorium with the self-contained restroom became the gay house. This would be convenient for men cruising one another in the darkened space, but not so wonderful for me when I had to make the rounds of the place and check the bathrooms for supplies and cleanliness. I interrupted quite a few parties…
The FBI busted the place after sending agents in to watch the films on three successive days. Oddly enough, it was a straight (hetero; man and woman) film that caught the heat— a picture called LITTLE SISTERS. This was at the same time that DEEP THROAT was running at various locations, and the whole nation was up in arms about porn and community standards and so forth. The FBI seized the print and shut us down for a little while.
The owner— a man whom we employees used to describe as having “delusions of adequacy” eventually pretty much ran both theaters into the toilet and sold out to the KB Theaters chain. None of us wanted to work for some large, impersonal hard-ass corporation, so pretty much all of us bailed out.
I went on to work for 12 years at The Biograph Theatre, down the street from the Cerberus, in Georgetown. It was the best job I ever had…
Any fans of the old Biograph may be interested in seeing a bit more of it on my website. The current link is:
Please drop me a line if you see and enjoy the page. I’m always interested in hearing from friends and fans of the place.