Rose La Rose Re-Opens the Esquire in Toledo 7/24/68 – Shows FIlms in 1969
Here’s one for the Retro Burlesque fans. The Esquire used to be a theater which was your Downtown movie house which played many interesting features through the years although it closed down around 1967, with the theater sticking to Exploitation flicks that would be very comfortable with what’s focused on here. With the Town Hall closing in late March, 1968, due to Urban Renewal plans, much to the delight of self-appointed “moral” people wanting to get rid of these theaters, Rose decided to keep with it and looked for a place to take her business to. Although there was some resistance to this plan, it succeeded in the Summer of 1968.
Opening the theater as mainly a burlesque stage, films were thrown into the scene in September, 1969. The first flick to be shown on that screen in two years was fittingly a film that was Distributed by the Producer who encouraged her to move to showing films back in 1961, the Mighty Monarch of Exploitation, David F. Friedman!
The Ramrodder, a film featuring the acting of Bobby Beausoleil and Katherine Shere who would go onto crime history with their involvement with Charles Manson, was Produced by Friedman’s Entertainment Ventures Inc.. and was chosen to be the flagship film of the theater’s long line of films that would be familiar to anyone collecting Something Weird Video or just having a strong interest in Exploitation film. According the Michael Weldon’s essential Psychotronic Video Guide, this was originally Directed by Ed Forsythe and was finished by Friedman and Van Guylder. The film stars some of the usual suspects including Kathy Williams, Marsha Jordan, and Julia Blackburn.