HG Lewis and David F Friedman’s Lucky Pierre Plays Toledo’s Gayety – 2/7/62
After HG Lewis’ Living Venus played the Gayety back in August, 1961 and the Franklin Park Drive In with his 1960 film The Prime Time in September, the Director more noted for his Gore films and his friend, legendary Exploitation Producer David F Friedman, went onto film a number of short Nudie Cutie one-reelers for Rose la Rose who owned Toledo’s Town Hall and later on (in 1968) the Esquire until her passing in 1972. Thinking things over, and being inspired by the runaway success of Russ Meyer’s the Immoral Mr. Teas, they decided to create a film instead. This led to their big breakthrough in the Exploitation market together, a Nudie Cutie that was the start of several more filmed through 1963 before Gore took over.
Friedman, already a strong name in Exploitation who left Paramount to be with the Roadshow life of Modern Films in Chicago, knew that features was where the money was. He convinced people that he knew in the business, including Rose, that these would take away the occasionally troublesome employees of the Burlesque Clubs and provide more profit to the business – no more drunken musicians, no more cat fighting strippers in competition. This led to a very slow but sure turnaround which saw these theaters, which were already equipped to show films as several of them played the one-reelers between acts or even old “Adult” films of the day usually on a second or third (or even forth!) run basis. Although several Burlesque places still kept to their tradition, even the Esquire’s re-opening under Rose’s management kept the shows before a quick re-think to a feature film and a show possibly boosted up the business (when you’re best known for being on stage, it’s hard to get rid of the feeling), the business, this was a major part in Adult Films moving into the Burlesque world which were not just Nudist Camp “Documentaries” or films like Varietease which were mainly shows on film.