On the Road – to Detroit! Sexy Roadshow Ads from the Classic Years of Sexploitation – Part One

•July 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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3-11-59, Detroit – Elysia, the Land of the Sun Worshippers (or originally The Valley of the Nude) was a 1933 film that had a lot of life (and skin!) to it. In trying to show the benefits of the Nudist Lifestyle, this succeeded in…well, showing off attractive naked bodies. Presented by Bryan Foy, this was one of the controversial highlights of this genre filled with cute women and plenty of title changes. The Colonial was a full on 24/7 house that closed up in early 1975 to little notice. Elysia was shown first run at the Adams.

Back in the classic days of Sin-ema the only way to “Discover” the wild ways people lived or to find out about the latest problems concerning life on the other side of the tracks that was “corrupting our youth” was to see what is now called a Roadshow film. The magic to these movies was that they focused on a topic that Hollywood films hardly ever touched and turned it into an event through presenting a great campaign and a wonderful promotional layout outside even before you saw a frame of film. This post focuses on the more sexy side of the street with films that only the more daring theaters and quite a few Skid Row houses in need for an audience showed with showmanship.

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10-9-57 – Kroger Babb’s classic Mom and Dad had an excellent promotion when it was paired with She Shoulda Said No! starring Lila Leeds. In person was someone playing Elliot Forbes to sell the pamphlets (‘books”) that usually showed a few daring pictures and told some basic facts about sex in simple terms which are now collectible with Exploitation fans – Producer David F. Friedman was among those who played him, on stage. As you can tell, a lot of that “Teenage Delinquency” was happening in the audience at the Drive Ins that would be long standing  until the big shut-down in the Fall of 1986.

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11-16-39 – The infamous Lash of the Penitents appeared at the Roxy, Detroit’s other Grindhouse which closed in 1973 again without any news or mourning. Although this was supposed to be an Dramatic Expose, it was a way for early BDSM fetishists who really had to hide their love away back in the day to check out some then-spicy footage. Today, whose scenes would have a very dark sleazy feeling.

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11-17-39 – These ads would usually be small, but it was enough to bring ’em in! Sadly the Columbia got the Demo after closing in 1956.

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12-1-39 – The Fine Arts showed one of the films still hanging around in video and streaming form as Mad Youth. Open All Night! The Fine Arts stuck around for a while, and had a short spell as an Adult house before spending it’s final years as a small revival house that closed some time in 1980.

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5-20-37 – A very dramatic and sexy ad for JD Kendis’ Slaves in Bondage directed by Elmer Clifton that would hit Detroit. Sadly, only the guys 16 and over could attend for the first week. Later, there would be shows for the ladies in true Roadshow style.

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6-11-37 – While the Downtown was doing brisk business with Slaves in Bondage, it would see closure in 1950. The ads were more thrilling than the film, as usual, but the supporting short would prove to be controversial – the Dramatic Roadshow classic Child Bride would be possibly the only film around today to show that there was a short-lived genre centering on it, and in real life many of these unions would not last. There was a speech by an “Eminent Commentator” as well.

The theater faced it’s own sadder controversy by getting into trouble by enforcing the “Whites-Only” main floor policy which was not popular in the area and closed by 1950.

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11-8-53 – The Roxy showed Violated, a Sex Psycho film that toured the circuit to small success. William Mishkin, the often-remembered distributor who would be best known for releasing most of Andy Milligan’s movies along with other sex shocker films of the Late 50’s to the 70’s, has a part as  the owner of a strip club. I’m sure when those who seen this heard The Cowsills sing “Gimme a head of hair!” in ’69, they must have had a short shock at first!

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4-7-43 – Devil’s Harvest was starring June Doyle and Directed by Ray Test. JD Kendis, one of the “40 Thieves” of Exploitation presented this wild film about Marijuana that was supposed to be against it, but then you see something like this…

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4-16-43 – Located near the Fox, this was possibly a theater that turned into the Gem.

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9-10-58 – Kroger Babb may have Americanized Bergman’s Summer With Monika, but this version was the one many in the heartland wanted to see. While the original is a classic, what I heard from those describing it sounded like that it connected to the Rock and roll age perfectly – a time when many had a Monika in their lives. Sadly, the let down of this show was Mixed Up Women, a re-title of one of Babb’s lesser films, One Too Many.

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4-8-59 – The Grand was located in Highland Park, soon to be the go-to area to see Adult films, although it would sadly close up soon after this performance. The Side Streets of Hollywood was originally A Virgin in Hollywood, a Dan Sonney presentation.

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1-20-65 – While Mated was released in 1952, it still had what it took to show up at the art houses in the Early 60’s. This was AKA Mis-Mated and I Want a Baby, but it’s better known as an example of showing full frontal “for educational reasons”…yeah, right! This also had Birth of a Baby footage as was common in these films and the regular co-feature was planted in there for the guys that were a major part of the audience possibly to prove to the law that it was not just a Sex flick hideout. The Melody was reportedly a place where films got the chop from the local board and Mated possibly got away with being a hygiene picture without “those scenes” of people together in (SHOCK) bed.

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10-15-58 – A Roadshow Up-Chuck Classic, Because of Eve was the film where they showed you the sick stuff within it’s first half hour – there was a reason for the long slow opening crawl. I don’t think that “Some may faint” was a silly hype as some of the VD footage was seriously in your face. See It! Discuss It! Throw Up Together! Wreck Your Seats!

The B was originally Three Bad Sisters, originally unleashed in 1956 – so bad they’re hot!

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9-21-60, The Mating Urge hit two Drive Ins in the area – The Holiday in Trenton and the Van Dyke in Warren. Both would close up in the giant line-up of DI Death in 1986.

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9-10-58 – The Case of Dr. Lauent was one of the first to modernize the Roadshow Experience. by presenting a sophisticated film made in France that promoted Natural Childbirth which had good reviews while still containing many roadshow elements in it’s campaign. The Trans Lux-Krim was one of the leading Art Theaters that slowly turned into a Sexploitation place then a Porno House by 1972.

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9-20-61 – Wasted Lives was originally a film by Leonide Moguy picked up by K. Gordon that was also known as Children of Love. Together with The Birth of Twins, this was a runaway success. The added show was talked about a lot that Claude Alexander went one better with The Birth of Triplets in the 60’s. The Drive In closed in 1984.

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10-9-68 – Helga was AIP’s successful attempt to take the Birth of a Baby format into the Swinging 60’s. In Detroit, this interestingly played at the Telenews when it was updating it’s image, but it will quickly change it’s name to the Palms until 1987, when it changed one last time tot the Tele Arts.

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8-19-70 – Stretching the definition while still in the White Coat realm (Art Division), Freedom to Love was one of the final hits for Grove Press, best known in the cinema world for the I Am Curious films, the Muhammad Ali Documentary Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee,  and Quiet Days in Clichy. Eberhardt and Phyllis Kronhausen made a Sex Ed film that was perfect for the times and played quite a bit through the era where everything was wither Danish or “Educational” while actually being honest in it’s aims to educate and entertain.

As an Art Movie company, Grove was a very short lived operation with many titles to it’s name but without much success to fully make up for what it lost in trying to defend the Curious films that consistently got into trouble (for hardly any real reason at all…but that’s censors for you!) – it closed shop circa 1974. As an Adult Movie house, the Summit’s change from being one of Downtown Detroit’s strongest mainstream theaters complete with Cinerama screen (2001 showed there, for an example) to what it became in it’s last years was a rough one – after the Riots, very few wanted to venture into Detroit when cinemas were being built all over the suburbs and the failure of Goodbye Mr. Chips (a hit when played in Birmingham) was the thing to change course. The Summit died around 1971 after mixed success to bring in the long-standing regular customers of the Adult theaters at the same time as the UA’s conversion to X–Rateds (which was slightly more successful – it changed name to the Downtown and closed in ’73-4).

https://www.somethingweird.com/product_info.php?products_id=22485

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10-27-53 – more small ad to wrap things up…

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…then again, you can say that the Devil controls this Blog by radar!

Do the (Binghamton) Strand! Part One

•July 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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8-4-72 – Once Binghamton, NY got “Deep” with Linda and Harry, it was already all systems go with the sleaze being unleashed by the city’s theaters that were following in the footsteps of the Art. Several of them then operated since 1970 by Cinecom, who’s Chevron Pictures offered us flicks like Ann and Eve that helped bring in the Eurosex of The 70’s. Out of all the four theaters and one Drive In it got, it was the Strand that had the most notoriety for showing the infamous film and getting in trouble although it certainly did not change a thing about what it showed even after the ownership was changed to Sportservice…but that’s getting a head (bah, duh, hiss!!!) of the story.

The Strand opened in 1920 kind of ironically judging by what it turned into with a film called Little Sheppard of Kingdom Come. It remained a regular Downtown theater for years and by the 60’s it was showing some of the hipper films in the area.

And to think that Cinecom’s early foundation was with buying up the then-bankable Childhood Productions just when the Matinee trend was dying quick and using their library as a bait for theaters to team up with the company. As quick as you can say “That Inga Girl”, those plans added in Adult films very fast.

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3-3-72 – Getting witchy with Witchcraft ’70 and Secret Rites. Lee Frost’s alteration of Luigi Scattini’s Angeli bianchi…angeli neri was a sure pick to play through the Early 70’s with all of the interest in the Occult being a big trend.

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4-11-72 – This was one of the first weeks the Strand used with the famous Cinecom logo after a couple of years of the block use. Although the Evil Ways of Love was reportedly directed by Gerald Damiano, there’s not too much confirmation other than it was with Alpha Blue’s set of films centering around the Director while the IMDb does not say anyone in that position. Still, it was a rare one that had some playdates, most interestingly at theaters like this as it was linked to one of the infamous smaller chains of the era.

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5-12-72 – Get your White Coat on for this flick! This was following the showing of The Oral Generation back in April.

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10-13-72 – A Clockwork Blue was recently released through Vinegar Syndrome on DVD and Blu, but it’s mainly Early Porno Fans-Only material for those looking for cheap thrills and seriously dumb jokes. Still, it played at a Cinecom!

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9-22-72 – Things got Swingin’ EuroSexy style with this Hemisphere release with Ingrid Steeger. This tempting teaser was released on VHS through Something Weird Video.

https://www.somethingweird.com/product_info.php?products_id=58018

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11-3-72 – Belinda is a rare/maybe lost film by Richard Franklin, Director of The Oral Generation and Eroticon, released by Aquarius, the legendary company who released a lot of class-sicks. This looks like some kind of Crime-themed Porn, but we only have these ads and a trailer on Bucky’s Triple XXX Movie Trailers Vol. 1 to only think about how it could be.

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11-19-72 – Not everything was Adult! There was this classic trip of films featuring the Night of Bloody Terror/Women and Bloody Terror combo with Night of the Living Dead!

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12-15-72 – This creepy ad is a good one – I can see a swinging schoolgirl-booted woman getting scared at someone who could pass for Jim Jones in the sunglasses. Directed by Anthony Spinelli (Touch Me, Suckula, Seduction of Lynne Carter, Sex World, Aunt Peg and many more including XXX videos), this includes Rene Bond and Ric Lutze and was released by Aquarius. Hope someone finds this and unleashes a seriously dark film from the darkness of LA’s Early 70’s.

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3-9-73 – Deep Sleep was a film starring Kim Pope made by Alfred Sole in Patterson, NJ. Sole later made the great Alice Sweet Alice and continued having a healthy career as a Production Designer. This was another film that ran into quite a bit of trouble, resulting in prosecutions and infamy. Being played at a Cinecom Theater is an interesting trivia note to the story.

More on the film right here and on the Rialto Report’s site  (link at the You Tube page) with a detailed story.

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7-28-73 – One of the final days of Cinecom at the Strand, Riviera, Capri, and Enjoy. A change in owners resulted with Sportservice Theaters winding up with the management. This change also happened in Youngstown, OH where Cinecom had a strong presence for a couple of years.

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8-8-75 – French Throat appears to be one of the many Adult films of Ray Dennis Steckler in the 70’s that at least did some business in a time when the films he is known and loved for were very much out of time. With names like Francoise Germain in the cast, it’s obvious that hardly anyone will really know who they were – although viewers of the VCA tape who knew how “deep” it got might say something if they caught something like The Hollywood Strangler Meets the Skid Row Slasher and see some familiar faces.

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9-5-75 – Is it me, or does Blackmail for Daddy sound like a great title for a song? Using the  ad art to Joe Sarno’s Daddy Darling as the selling bait, you can tell that the advertising budget at the time was not much. This also features the Sportscenter logo used by the theaters after Cinecom left town in August 1973. I’m sure the number of legal battles it faced with it’s Adult themed theaters was a big part of it’s bankruptcy.

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9-2-77 – There has to be some John Holmes in this story, in this case the hit Porno Ecstasy Paired with the infamous 70’s Porno Roughie Sex Wish, this had to be a great double bill.

Welcome Back!

•July 14, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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Philadelphia, 10-3-75 – Starting off with a Jess Franco title which was distributed in the US through Howard Mahler, diary of a Nympho was a small hit on the circuit through the Mid 70’s. Paired with Forbidden Sexuality, reportedly a re-title of Max Pecas’ Libido: The Urge to Love, this was a double dose of nymphomania that played for two weeks in the area.

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The Dutchess and Duke Theaters were a good place to catch these films.

I’m finally back! Through the last three months I have been gathering all kinds of goodies and wild stuff for the Blog for your enjoyment as well as taking care of a lot of business so that I can bring you these blasts from the past on a regular basis. So let’s go!

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4-22-77, Calgary – The Trivoli today is now a shopping area, and I’m sure some of it’s customers don’t even know it’s history as an Adult Movie theater through the 70’s and 80’s. Carlos Tobalina’s film was a hit on the X-Rated scene while Prostitution Around the World was one of those films that crept around through the years.

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12-13-68, Munster, Indiana – Cleverly censoring the suggestive imagery with something from the ad mat of Naked World and a cute bit from the film advertised,Mondo Bizarro was at the 41 Drive In. Here, one of Bob Cresse’s best known films is joined up with Night Women, a Olympic International pick-up Directed by Claude “A Man and a Woman” Lelouch that’s still lost, and I, a Lover by Borje Nyberg.

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3-24-72, Binghamton – A very clever ad put together by the Art Theater which was one of the many places where it started showing cool imported films to Porn, but one of the few to revive itself as an Indie screen by the Late 80’s. Sadly, it burned down in 2004.

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6-6-75, Lubbock – This creepy double feature won no awards for Feel Good Entertainment, and it was all the best for it. Boxoffice International was among the leaders of the sexy flicks in the 70’s, but their best offerings were the darker films it picked up through those years. Toys are Not for Children is a serious downer which was originally released by Maron.

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4-7-72, Binghamton – The Oral Generation is now released through Vinegar Syndrome, and was one of those films that crept through The US during the Early 70’s like many “White Coat” films did. It featured some good looking women who we many never know about apart from this screen appearance that was part of the appeal of this film which was released at the tail end of the trend and was lucky enough to get plenty of bookings. Deep Throat historians will recognize the theater right away as it was one of many that was raided for showing it.

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2-1-72, LA – Want to know what’s in the bag? As the Pussycat Theaters are all closed up, you will just have to tune in later for another installment of The Scene of Screen 13!

Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Ad Research Update!

•April 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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5-13-66, Camden, NJ – More Pussycats who Kill! Kill! have been found, and it’s time to celebrate. Although Russ Meyer’s classic was usually shown with Motor Psycho, this was with Mario Bava’s classic Blood and Black Lace.

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7-29-66, Des Moines – A very exciting ad for these classics.

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10-21-66, Honolulu! – Considering that A Smell of Honey…A Swallow of Brine was playing the Roosevelt, the “Most Adult Film” line would have went to the David F. Friedman Roughie. Still, Drive In patrons who were or were not going to those theaters would have been for a treat that was not meant for children (back then).

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9-7-66, Minneapolis, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! was playing four theaters in the Minneapolis area with Racers from Hell.

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9-30-66, Louisville – The classic Pussycat/Motor Psycho show hit the Twilite DI

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5-20 and 7-29-66, Phoenix – I’m still trying to wonder why the Continental used the girl from The Rape to promote Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! at the Continental, but at least the title was in the paper.

Jess Franco’s Diary of a Nympho – For Starters…

•April 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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3-15-74, Pittsburgh – I’m starting up a collection of ads for Diary of a Nympho, Directed by the one and only Clifford Brown…but we can call him Jess Franco! Howard Mahler Distributed this film through The US.

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12-13-74, Greenville, Mississippi

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8-7-76, Logan, OH – I’m planning to get more, but this is a start!

Like It Is – On the “Road” Again from telling it to selling it as Not My Daughter

•April 13, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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10-30-70, San Antonio – “Those damn kids and their loud Rock ‘n’ Roll, Mini Skirts, Long Hair, and red eyes!” The Hippie Generation had four Roadshow “Expose” flicks in Late 1970 which tried to tell everyone in a style that mixed Reefer Madness with Hair how we were going to Hell in a handbasket just because someone decided to take their first puff of a joint, took our first pill, or just started to socialize with some people who looked hip. The Hard Road was the perfect anti-everything flick with Connie Nelson turning into the poster girl for the Downward Spiral, Sign of Aquarius tried to be the first Tribal Rock Musical Film but turned into Ghetto Freaks instead, Walk the Walk was Kroger “Mom and Dad” Babb’s final stand, and Like It Is turned into Not My Daughter.

Bad news for them: we were already there and at the point of no return years before Rock ‘n’ Roll; Good News for Us: The Mini-Skirt generation had looked hotter, the music was loud, and the stupidity was stronger to exploit thanks to the Hippie Rebellion/

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11-26-71, Wilmington, NC – Much more like it! I wonder if the mention of Readers Digest pulled a fast one on the audience (note no names of issue dates).

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3-3-72, Alton, Illinois – Playing with an old Sexploitation flick (Hot Money Girl) ad what I think was another Mondo (Wild World). Hey, if you can’t scare them, you can stil play them.  One of the best things about the film was that it had a good looking Teenager who possibly was better looking than the common kid (the major plus of The Hard Road) and Rock and Roll, although the plot was still happening all around us at the time.

Remember, it’s Bumper Strip Nite!!!

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3-10-72,Long Beach – Proud to have no X films, but they could still play outdated flicks posed as swinging movies…although the pose for Sex and The College Girl was cute! I’m sure that Cinema 1 was the bread winner of the week.

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3-17-72, St. Joseph, MO – MOOOOOOOO!!!!!! the Cowtown DI got the Not My Daughter/Wild Wild World Show with Fanny Hill – wonder if it’s this…

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10-11-74 – Ogden, Utah – It keeps on playing! Here, it’s sandwiched between an adventurous Joe Sarno flick and The Student Teachers.

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3-22-74, Hamilton, OH – The Not My Daughter/Young Playthings double also hit the Valley DI.

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2-11-74, Shreveport – At The Don DI, always good for Sexploitaion fun, Not My Daughter was brought in along with Hot Mother and The Stepdaughter. To those playing the Re-Name Game, Hot Mother was first known as Up Your Teddy Bear starring Julie Newmar and The Stepdaughter was AKA Winter Love which had Byron Clark of The Hard Road and Monie Ellis playing someone named Penny Crane (Crane/Lane…yeah, we get it!).

Sick Sixties Sin at the Avalon – Minneapolis, Minnesota

•April 13, 2017 • 1 Comment

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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.

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2-18-66 – Joe Sarno’s early flick Sin You Sinners gets a showing.

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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.

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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.

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10-6-67 – A small ad for the classic Aroused still sold the film very well.

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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.

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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…

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2-24-67 – Rent-a-Girl turns into Girls a Go-Go by the censor.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.