Sick Sixties Sin at the Avalon – Minneapolis, Minnesota
2-11-66 – Minneapolis’ Avalon Fine Arts Theater was another example of a once-major screen turned to spicy exploitation by the Mid 50’s and staying Adult through the Early 80’s. This was the theater that David F. Friedman mentioned in the commentary to The Head Mistress as being connected with his good friend and competitor Bob Cresse back in The Mid 60’s (it’s a good guess that he was connected until being shot in LA by Vice Cops circa 1972), and it’s programs were usually as sordid and occasionally “Art”/Import-level the films offered up by Cresse’s Olympic International (Mondo Bizarro, Love Camp 7…). Some Olympic films were advertised with some rare ad mats that were possibly hardly used elsewhere (until I find more examples) – much like the other rare finds used California that were for the Pussycat chain.
It’s still open today, but it now hosts concerts, stage shows, and community programs without any reminder that it was once a hotbed of sin…a history that The Scene is ready to report about. The ads will mainly focus on the Mid 60’s when the ads were great before usually being cut down to half their power by the end of the decade.
2-18-66 – Joe Sarno’s early flick Sin You Sinners gets a showing.
3-25-66 – The controversial Lollipop was a small hit with the theaters that did not mind showing something with a Lolita style but without the star power of a Peter Sellers to make it OK to show in the mainstream.
8-1-69 – Sadly, the paper censored the ads to the point that nothing “Indecent” was mentioned, although it was OK to say that things were “Strange”. The Doris Wishman classic was playing with Barry Mahons’s Fanny Hill Meets Dr. Erotico, one of three “Fanny Hill” films that filled up the screens which thankfully featured the good-looking Sue Evans, a familiar face in some of the Director’s films at the time.
10-6-67 – A small ad for the classic Aroused still sold the film very well.
2-12-71 – One of the final films of Al Zugsmith appears with a film written by the one and only Edward D. Wood Jr. which was just another screen filler until the Wood revival.
2-3-67 – Unholy Matrimony shows up with The Young Sinner starring the future Billy Jack, Tom Laughlin. I wonder how the 70’s star felt about that film appearing in sin centers like the Avalon…
2-24-67 – Rent-a-Girl turns into Girls a Go-Go by the censor.
11-1-63 – Although without the amusing visuals, The House on Bare Mountain was advertised with the silly sense of humor that made it work.
9-1-67 – Olympic International’s pick up of Little Girls is promoted with a good full ad featuring it’s lead face Michelle. The film’s campaign caused a bit of controversy then, but it possibly would not even be attempted in today’s climate…at least not in The US.
9-15-67 – PPS was one of Barry Mahon’s better Nudie-Roughie flicks. These films were perfect for the “putting film through a camera” method that Mahon seemed to believe in through The 60’s as the streets of Manhattan were a movie all to itself. The Naked Fog was a film by Joe Sarno, who made them by the dozen back then with style.
8-18-67 and 8-25-67 – This combination of Dale Berry’s Hot Thrills and Warm Chills with Lorna Maitland and Woody Allen’s hit What’s Up Tiger Lily was popular.
11-24-67 – Another Berry production in Hip, Hot, and 21 was teamed up with the very sordid Mondo Sexo which was the source of the fan favorite Follow That Skirt.
7-21-67 – The Olympic International presentation of The Adolescent was not one of it’s biggest films in the catalog, and it’s campaign possibly and understandably made many go in WTF Mode. A pick-up from Japan, like The Love Robots and Hentai, this was a far more serious film than what the ads promoted it. Don’t be mislead about to Be a Crook either – it’s a film by Claude Lelouch of A Man and a Woman fame made in the same era as Night Women, a film picked up by Olympic International.
12-15-67 – Heat of Midnight was Directed by Max Pecas while Hollywood’s World of Flesh was one of the early Olympic International films.