You Gotta Have “Art”! Something Weird’s Happening at the Art Theater, Binghamton, NY (some 1965-70 highlights)

5-13-66 – Want to know where bad girls go? See the movie! The Binghamton ad for Doris Wishman’s Roughie classic Bad Girls Go to Hell showing at the Art with Vice Girls Ltd. with the Censor at work.

Binghamton’s Art Theater is remembered by cinema fans for it’s final years as a much-loved Indie and revival movie house – I’m sure that 90’s fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show made it a go-to place for a while – and historians for it’s history, which included some legendary live shows every now and then. It’s Porno era of The 70’s-86 is not as fondly remembered as another example of theaters that moved to that genre, but The Scene salutes it’s 60’s, when it was showing the edgy Adults Only flicks about controversial topics, shocking stories, and back street affairs promoted by ads that had it’s moments of censorship – many titles that would be saved and presented through Something Weird Video. An electrical fire closed the theater in 2004, and there are many memories ranging from the good to bad and the WTF (The 70’s had a lot of them!).


3-11-65 – One word was all you needed to tell them what was showing…OLGA! All three of the infamous films featuring Audrey Campbell were among the most controversial and successful of the 60’s with breaking barriers and taste all over the US. The down and dirty tales of drug dealing and BDSM Play Torture (light by comparison to what would be shown  in movies later) were a hit in urban areas where they knew the story all too well, but told with a sexiness that was usually missing in real life. A men’s adventure story brought to the screen, the Olga movies are serious classics of their time and place, and should be seen by those interested in films that shocked the public back then.


6-3-66 – Pairing Satan’s Bed with a Goddard movie was possibly trying to convince the audience that it was not all about shock, but it was that kind of mix which made the Adult Theaters an adventure at the time. The main feature is actually a fine film in it’s own way – Michael Findlay took (or was given) an arty and grim unfinished film featuring Yoko Ono called Judas City and filled up the time with enough Lower East Side sleaze to make it a playable feature. Three Junkies looking like Beatniks Gone Bad go out for the kill as they try to “get the money” to score some H that was “delivered” by the man in the Judas City footage looking for a way out of the racket who just met his mail order bride (Ono, who was a known artists in Avant Garde circles at the time before meeting John Lennon) with the Roughie Findlay footage looking tough and rough – maybe seductive to those who’s tastes go that way with a couple of good looking victims.


11-9-66 – Another Day, Another Man was one of the films by Doris Wishman that went into Roughie World, and all the better for that. The Smut Peddler was promoted with an incredible trailer and had a “travelogue” style to showing the women in the film.


2-4-66 – Joe Sarno’s Flesh and Lace is one of the Director’s finest moments of The 60’s before he went on to make Inga in Sweden. While June Roberts deservedly gets the ad space, the real star of the show is Alice Lin/Linville/Davis/Baez…or just Judy Young.


5-20-66 – The films of Joe Sarno were everywhere, and not just for the fact that he made so many. His work featured topics that everyone can relate to or at least has heard about. Swapping was a big thing in some quarters, and someone had to make a film about it. Thankfully, Sarno filled in the gaps with a great story and acting all around.


6-9-67 – Double the Findlay, Triple the Sleaze! The Bowery Art of Take Me Naked meets the gritty Touch of Her Flesh in one classic show.


5-12-67 – TV Mikels’ Dr. Sex was the light relief after the cool smut of Massacre of Pleasure, imported from France and picked up by Olympic International


8-1-69 – Ride it, Marsha!!! The AP Stephens film Lady Godiva Rides was a fun flick while The Spy Who Came is one for those looking for more sophisticated thrills – everyone wins!


10-10-69 – While we may never know about the “Mod Film” Lysistrata, The Divorcee was one of the many films starring Marsha Jordan, the sight for those who were more advanced in age who connected with her beauty than the younger generation moving in.


1-2-70 – Fluctuations – WTF, Roughie Style defined. Obviously the Director wanted to be in the league of the Findlays, but did not have what it took to go there. Still, it has to be seen to be believed. Baby, Light My Fire was one of the many films by Lou Campa that played a lot through 68-71.


10-23-70 – Showing classic Adult flicks back in the day when they were just screen filler was normal. Still, The Unsatisfied was a very Dramatic movie that had a style to it.


~ by screen13 on July 30, 2017.

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