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Go to www.imdb.com for any and all film quests. Jim is listed there, JSpencer.
Having an interest in all things porn, a trip to the Mayan was something that had to happen.
Ech! A huge auditorium, and anti-masturbation trailers in both English and Spanish. Thrilling.
The toilets had streams of liquid coming out from them into the mezzanine area. Classy place.
This is from a visit in 1988. It was way beyond sleazy.
That should read “sub sonic…"
I recall this as being on Stuart St and not on Washington – or am I thinking of another place?
It was some really old building not too far away from Jacob Wirth’s?
An good friend, the sound man at the Ark/Tea Party, saw “Earthquake” in NYC and was wowed big time by the sun-sonic sound provided in the film. Coming back with this story of being shaken big time, he and his wife got a group of about 15 of us to go see “Earthquake,” hoping to catch what they had experienced in NYC. Entering, we could see the amplifiers and speakers that were on the floor to make this a real unforgetable cinematic experience.
Not only had the actual earthquake scenes been unmercifully cut to shreds, but the sound had been turned down so as not to bring the house down, which was probably wise, considering what an old old building this theater was. Another Sack Theater memory.
We left the theater a bit miffed but kind of into being able to kid these folks that dragged us there.
Never set foot in the theater again. This would have to have been early ‘70s.
You guys are so good with info! Amazing.
My first memory of attending a show/movie here was to see “The Loved One,” which I skipped school to go see after an article in Playboy about it which flipped my switches. I sat and watched in awe all day and for a few more times after that initial viewing. Little did I know what had been excised from the reel for what reason one can only surmise, what with Boston’s notorious old laws and what-have-yous that brought scissors to the films. Years later, as this film was unavailable in any form by the 35mm, it was run on the San Francisco PBS affiliate (1980 or so) with a scene that I had never seen before. Zounds! It could be shown on TV but not in this theater in 1965/6? This removed footage was of the meeting with the astronaut’s stripper wife. It amazes to this day that this snip was unseen by me for so long.
Same thing happened with the Beatles' “Yellow Submarine.” Whether it was to show more screenings per day or whatever, the film got chopped up more with every visit made to see it.
Does anyone recall Ben Sack’s full-page in the Boston papers to get people in to see “Darling” for free after it was scrutinized by the Catholic church? The Legion of Decency had such a hold that no one went to see this “condemned” film. “Darling” did not play here, though; it was at another downtown Sack theater.
After sitting dormant for what seemed like eons to me, this place at the intersection of Mass Ave and Boylston st, reopened with Zappa doing his fabulous Mudshark show (available as the Fillmore East recording of it) with Howard Kaylen and Mark Volmann – The Turtles! – as his vocalists. On this auspicious opening night, Mr Zappa ripped into the audience for being so obtuse and, as he aptly put it: “I often wondered where all the assholes went after the Fillmore closed in NYC."
Biting but true.
Don’t recall many other shows there at all at that time.
This grundgey little dive was one of the many many gay porn houses in SF during the ‘70s. A storefront transformed into a theater, with a room with couches in it off to the right side of the screen. I am sure it would’ve elicited shrieks if it was viewed in daylight. Fun.
The late great Clif Newman, operator of the infamous Nob Hill Cinema, took the reins of this place and transformed it into something called “The East of Castro Club,” a bit of a take-off on other clubs (gay sex clubs South of Market), and featured a multi-media frenzy on the walls and screen (if there was one anymore), and a balcony all gussied up in a tierred glory hole situation, all with a view of the super 8 presentations.
It was absorbed into the building completely some time after this venue died in those late ‘70s.
I remember Wakefiled Poole doing a private showing of his “Bible” there. His gallery/retail experience, Hot Flash of America, was almost right next door to it (does everyone from that area and time NOT remember the take off of the Arm and Hammer logo T-shirts featured by Hot Flash?).
This too, like the NHC, was membership-only admittance.
One of my favorite cinematic moments of all time was within these walls. Sitting in the balcony, watching the once-a-week gay porn that was part of the usual monthly lineup in the very late ‘70s, some gentleman with a white cane – blind as can be – moved on up to the very last rows to partake the adventurous realm that was presented there. That’s good theater.
Too bad for the whole Combat Zone – it always made a walk through to Chinatown all that much more alluring to my teen mind, if that was “allure” and not something more prurient. Saw my first xxx rated penetration film in this locale – as hookers walked the aisles and god-know-what went on in the balcony.
What ever became of all the strip and burly clubs and whatnot around the area? I would really like to get my hands on the 8x10 glossies of the lovelies that worked these clubs that were posted in columns at the front door areas beckoning. This would make for one great coffee table book. Anyone know of the photographers that plied their trades there?
Sure, McFilm – tell me how. This ain’t the forum.
Dear Filmy McFilm: Yes. You are correct!
Just for veracity – Marvin Schullman was the producer of “Boys in the Sand” — Wakefield was the director.
I believe the huge box office receipts gave it a Variety front page.
The North Station on Friend Street was showing gay porn early in the ‘70s, as I witnessed “Bijou” when it was playing there, 1973, with a very vocal accompaniment by Sylvia Sydney, one of Boston’s reigning drag queens. Boston After Dark gave it a very good review, considering.
An economical porn buff could always wait a week for whatever played there at the one screen to appear that following week at the South Station duplex.
There was a theater under the elevated, directly across from the Boston Gardens – was this the aforementioned possible duplex No. Station? I saw a lot of questionable R or very small 'x’ rated movies there, like “Birds of Peru” – an unfortunate film for a doomed Jean Seburg – and “DeSade” with Keir Dullea, post his fame with “2001”, but no too long after that, say 1968 or ‘69. It nonetheless felt like a 'raincoat’ crowd attended. And it was just the one screen at these times.
With the information provided by Mr. DeLuca, I did contact and did receive a reply from John Mitzel (bless Google), per my request for any info as to this film “Him,” of which he could not offer any further elucidation.
Way back when (mid ‘70s) it was operating – and, boy, was it operating – there was a restaurant/bar connected through the toilet area in the rear of the two auditoriums, on the right side. Drunken couples could and did chance through this portal into the middle of whatever was transpiring there, very Alice Through The Looking Glass with a pinch of Bedlam. Ah, memories.
The entrance faced South Station, where the building it was housed in came to that point. Ticketing on right, entrance slightly to the left, and projection booths immediate in the entry, with doors to the two theaters on either far side.
But really now – a calendar house is/was a daily-changing venue theater, not just a house that issues calendars. This ain’t just semantics, is it?
The North Station was just the one room at that locale. Can anyone with any knowledge of this era end something of a debacle for me? There has been conjecture for years as to a film called “Him,” concerning some guy’s fixation on Christ. This has made it to such illustrious heights as becoming a faux legend with Michael Medved and his book about “Golden Turkeys.” People have looked at me like I am from Pluto when I have told them that, YES!, I have seen this film. I oft thought that the aforementioned advertisements in Boston After Dark or the Phoenix might lend some versimilitude to this conundrum, but I am 3,000 miles across the planet. Absolutely nobody can give so much as a ‘maybe’ on this. And a thanks to Mr DeLuca for knowing so much as to ownership of said theaters. Verify! Thanks!
This place became legend with the opening of Wakefield Poole’s “Boys in the Sand.” It made headlines.
It became part of the porn empire of D Mamane, owner of PM Productions, a lesser of the gay porn production/distribution houses.
The advertisements for this theater in the long gone LA Free Press used to make my teen-aged mind reel thinking about a gay porn theater in provincial Boston, circa late mid ‘60s. Little did I know that I would someday become involved with one of the theaters owned by this same person, Shan Sayles, who is a quiet but major player in this entire arena. Many in the adult entertainment world – film maker, actor, distributor, theater operator – owe him a nod for being a pioneer with such accolades as having brought us John Holmes (whose first film was gay) and the seminal gay classic “The Song of the Loon,” among oh so many other vehicles, even the punk nighclub The Starwood.
This was a jazz club at one time, called “The Hang Over.”
I recall standing in line awaiting to get in to see “I Am Curious, Yellow” like it was the second coming or something. yawn.
Elvira Madigan must’ve played here for at least a couple of years in the 60s. This place always had that mystrerious air about with the rumored seances held within. Anyone ever attend one of these spiritual events?
Saw some grade Z lite ‘X’ movie here in 1968-69 – the one and only time I ventured into the wierd entrance, which was so difficult to ascertain.
Totally forgetable, although we chattered like mongooses over the dialog for weeks afterwards – it was that bad.
Monroe Beehler. Someone needs to do some research and write a book on this whole period of gayaciousness pre-pandemic. For whatever anyone says about “fooling around” in this venue, it was regarded as something not to happen, period. Fascinating.
Cheers to Sherman for maintaining a rare treasure in this of all cities to not have these dinosaurs for our pleasure. The only calendar house left in LA? Amazing. I had the rare pleasure of filling in once or twice here as projectionist long ago in the early ‘80s – Sherman won major mojo awards with me for his knowledge of truly arcane cinematic crap.
Support this legend.