The Ghastly Ones and Mantis in Lace – Two Weirdos in The Midwest, Winter 1968-9 (Better than Two Virgins!)

•February 7, 2018 • Leave a Comment

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12-3-68, Indianapolis – Look out, John and Yoko! 2 Weirdos in the form of The Ghastly Ones and Mantis in Lace are touring through The Midwest!

Andy Milligan’s The Ghastly Ones had an interesting theatrical run from it’s first showings in 1968 to it’s final shows with The Headless Eyes in ’72 before heading out to the Cinematic Sundown and VHS fandom – of which I was among that group of people back in the days of creeping around the Video Connections in the Toledo area. Besides forcing audiences into WTF mode, it appeared in some great double and triple bills through the years. In some areas, this was linked up with William Rotsler’s cult favorite Mantis in Lace possibly through some sub-distributor raking in the few dollars to be made in the Winter from the freaks, weirdos, and deviants which continued the business, although this one added The Playgirls and The Vampire as the bonus for the final night for us. One can see the campaign originator being inspired from the infamy of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s infamous Two Virgins album which was an Underground hit at the time.

Back in the pre-PC days, “Anti-Socials” knew where to go! Interesting to note that the ad did not read Adults Only.

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1-19-69, Lansing – Another Mid-West showing for the 2 Weirdo’s show happened in the State Capital of Michigan, which was a home to many wild films through the years.

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1-23-70, Pittsburgh – Trying to make this post more than just a short trip, The Ghastly Ones appeared with Cameron Mitchell’s over the top acting feast in Nightmare in Wax, usually seen with Blood of Dracula’s Castle when released (escaped!) by Crown International back in ’69.

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More Miles on THE HARD ROAD

•February 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

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12-17-70, Marshall, TX – Putting more pieces of the Hard Road puzzle together has turned into a serious experience with a finding of a showing at the Paramount Theater in Marshall, TX that treated it like a serious film that sent a message with support from local clubs and images from other Roadshow films that hyped it more (Walk the Walk?), making this a very unique find.

Although the film caught the downward spiral of Late 60’s Life in a dramatic way from Pam’s opening Pregnant Teen scene to going into Live Fast-Die Young Mode with two hosts being your tour guides and excellent performances by John Alderman, Connie Nelson as our main subject, and Liz Renay as the “reputation” obsessed mother who has problems of her own ( and who’s look must have been partially an inspiration for Debbie Harry’s character in John Waters’ Hairspray), it was already old news by it’s release as it looked like most of it was filmed in LA during Spring/Summer 1969 around the time just before the Tate/LaBianca murders (Over Exposed, a film title on a marquee, played the Sunset in April). Even if it was unleashed a little late in the game, many other areas through The US outside of the city centers that already knew the score where the film hardly played were just starting to feel the effects of the downside to the alternative life in a dark Post-Altamont/Post-Manson era (in my part of the map, all you have to say was Goose Lake), making this kind of a relevant film for the time despite it being set in a world that was not in Marshall or many of the other towns and cities it played in and that the whole story was a train ride to Hell for every character from the first frame. Although The Hard Road looked like a honest attempt by some notable people in La-La Land to tell viewers not to get caught up in the fast living/loose sex/hard drugs life of leeches, low lifes, and liars that took a lot of people down, there were some nice teasing moments which caught the eyes of those who wanted a piece of the action, but were too far away to get it with the gory details of Drug Life and STDs giving some food for thought as the sucker punch.

It was like the classic Roadshow films without the sex book sale…maybe they should have brought that in, too!

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11-12-70, Reno, Nevada – Before the Marshall showing, the Reno area had it with the original ad that was censored. It’s co-feature was the hip classic The Magic Christian.

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2-19-71, Jefferson, Texas – The paper in Marshall also promoted The Hard Road showing in nearby Jefferson! Obviously, they took this seriously! Starting Sunday was Kroger Babb’s 1969 presentation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin from 1965, a show that lasted longer than his final original production of Walk the Walk that played to disappointing returns in ’70.

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5-20-71, Honolulu – The Hard Road had a few showings through 1971, including a stop in Honolulu with The Green Slime.

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5-18-71, Indianapolis – A final last ditch showing saw The Hard Road paired off with Bleep (AKA Teenage Tease) before fading out in the movie wasteland until Something Weird Video got a hold of a print and found a whole new audience in the end.

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Playhouse ’68 – The Wild, Wild Ads of St. Petersburg’s Adult Playhouse Sin-ema

•February 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

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1-5-68, St. Petersburg – The Playhouse, with a screen curtain that was opened manually, was just like any struggling Downtown place in a time when the mainstream turned on their TVs for movie entertainment and looked for Matinees to drop off the kids so that the theater can play babysitter. By Late 1966, it turned to the only solution to continue it’s business that brought in the adult customers and shooed away the kids who were possibly causing more trouble than anything else – Adult Movies. Being a screen in The City that was not an “Arthouse” that would still be hit by the Porno Cycle by 1972, it mainly played the Roughies, second run Nudies, and other deviant films that came it’s way until it’s closing as a movie house in 1973 – other businesses have came and went, and it’s now all abandoned standing stone cold just West of 275 on Central Ave….at least you can still lock your bike on the steel bars still standing in front.

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The wild ads in it’s Late 60’s heyday before they turned into word-only blocks due to the censorship in many Florida papers by then usually made up titles, used pictures from other movies, and looked like Punk concert flyers, but the listings usually said what was going on. Back in the day, there were a small group of people who followed these films for many different reasons – some of them were serious gutter classics for the outcasts and fetishists of the time, but the real reason was to see the women on the screen. Here, Andy Milligan’s the Degenerates was programmed with Doris Wishman’s Nudie Nude on the Moon.

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5-24-68, What looked like an evening with Good Time Girls, Lookout Girls, and big thrills actually turned out to be the one and only Confessions of a Psycho Cat…not so much a “Good Time” unless you’re an avenging psycho! The Festival Girls lightened things up.

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5-31-68 – Using the classic ad mat for The Women 70X7 and even using it’s story to throw in the line used below, this ad is actually one for The Sex Shuffle!

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4-5-68 – Well, at least the women in the Acid Eaters were rebelling! Just not the ones you see in this ad. The Co-Feature was the hit the Notorious Daughter of Fanny Hill

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4-26-68 -Speak of the Devil! The Acid Eaters’ icon was used in THIS ad, this time for The Animal and The Ruined Bruin.

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2-16-68, Joe Sarno’s Skin Deep in Love was billed as “The Heat of Love” in the ad, while Hot Blooded Woman stayed at her temperature.

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4-12-68, This was what it said in the ad, but the images and ad lines were still from other movies. “They all started in joints”!

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1-12-68 – This was lighter than usual, but the films did contain “The Cool Man’s Girls”.

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1-19-68 – “INTIMATE MEMORIES OF TODAY’S TURN ON GIRLS” and “USE THE DAME FOR BAIT” screamed the ad! Diary of a Swinger was happening that night while The Beautiful, the Bloody, and the Bare had some girls looking for arty kicks who were sadly victims of an insane artist’s madness.

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3-8- and 3-24-68 – Two more before I move on for now, both as they say in the ad with one word change from Erotico to “Ahnevant”. Remember, when you get your time machine, set it to St. Petersburg in 1968 for the theater that showed the films with women who were “Crisp” and “Bouncy” to make your visit complete!

More on the theater…
http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/32375

Other Sides of Madness – The Scene’s Update on The Other Side of Madness

•February 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

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10-13/14-72, Kansas City area – Hello once again! A recent trip through Exploitation’s Sick 70’s has resulted in a few more ads for the infamous Manson flick The Other Side of Madness which had a very small First Run release before appearing here and there through the next few years like a dark ghost of 60’s Past. After fighting the MPAA to get an R rating, knowing that the X was already a mark that would give it a very limited promotion (Sweet Saviour went full X ahead and lost), the film’s delay in release was damning as the mainly B&W production that would have done alright earlier in 1971 was unleashed in another world where color was a must-have (unless it was a last run theater) or, in this case, the city where the producer (Wade Williams) lived where a Friday the 13’th show happened. Although True Crime fans were always interested in the Manson story and the films that exploited the story directly, as in this not-bad recreation of the murders which critics oh-hummed off the cinema map, the general public was burnt out from it all after two solid years of consistent headlines and the film being unleashed in the era of Deep Throat found out that the times changed even if the customer’s interest in sadistic stories didn’t – it was also the era of Last House on the Left.

Archive.org still has the full movie on it’s site if you’re interested. Most of the excellent music was by Sean Bonniwell of the Music Machine, who’s solo album Close was released in that infamous Summer of 1969 (and was also unleashed at the same time as an album by The Food featuring Steve White from some HG Lewis films…small world!) and was working with Soundtracks through the Early 70’s. Despite some scenes that slow the film down – especially those focusing on Sharon Tate played by a not too convincing actress – the scenes based on the story were perfect for the low budget B&W photography.

https://archive.org/details/THE_OTHER_SIDE_OF_MADNESS

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An interesting crawl through the Drive In ads found a very tasteless, but fitting, double bill at the Crest 1 and Riverside combining it with the classic Roman Polanski film the Fearless Vampire Killers with Sharon Tate and In Cold Blood, the 1967 film with Robert Blake based on the Truman Capote book in B&W. The Friday the 13’th bonus at the Riverside was the excellent Hammer Horror Rasputin, the Mad Monk with Christopher Lee. The Heart had some heart and went with the 1968 Bruce Kessler film Killers Three instead of the Polanski movie.

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10-11-72, Sedalia, MO – another Missouri showing also had it with In Cold Blood, with The Killers the Don Sigel film with Lee Marvin from 1964, being the add-on for Saturday.

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10-26-72, Jacksonville, Miss. the Other Side of Madness connected with the Gulf States circuit to very little success, but with another showing of Killers 3 to go with it.

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2-25-73, Terry Haute, Indiana – Connecting with the General Cinema circuit shortly after it’s first showings, a few Midwest showings happened.

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9-27-75, Mansfield, OH – By 1975, the film traveled across the Ohio area.

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9-26-75, Youngstown, OH – After this small run, it peeped onto a couple of screens in Detroit by Early 1976. It may have been screen filler, but the movie psychos of the city might have been interested.

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5-27-77, San Antonio – Re-Released as The Helter Skelter Murders after the runaway success of the TV movie, The Other side of Madness still had some theatrical life.

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4-1-77, Louisville – The programmer of this show possibly knew about how Russ Meyer’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls was a perfect reflection of the 1969 meltdown, or maybe it was that The Valley of the Dolls was not available…or both. Then again, it might have been thrown onto the screen just because it is a cool movie. We will never know, but my thoughts are still with the fact that BVD was already a cult classic with followers who knew the madness behind the story.

By the 80’s, several shut-in Horror fans interested in the Manson story, maybe a few of them resembling the 1994 part of Jim Van Bebber’s classic The Manson Family, were creepy crawling to their local video store to rent it. While Troma’s release of the Love Thrill Murders (Sweet Saviour re-rated and re-titled) and Monterey’s release of the Manson Documentary were more successful, there were some of us who wanted to find out what this was all about. We may have been disappointed, but still with an evil feeling inside thanks to the good parts of this grunge sin-ema cult film.

Eugenie at the Todd in Tampa, 1970, plus Spring 1970 Highlights from the era of Radical Films

•January 18, 2018 • 1 Comment

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12-25-70, Tampa – Recently, another Eugenie showing has been caught and ready to present to you. Jess Franco’s sexy film loosely based on the de Sade’s Philosophy in the Boudoir had some success in a wide range of theaters ranging from some first run places, theaters both old and new trying to whip up some business by showing the spicy and risque films and even serious Adult places (one in Des Moines) before turning into a Drive In flick with Nana. The Todd in Tampa, FLA was a theater that grew out of the Mature theater trend to turn into a Porno screen a couple of years later.

Today,  the Todd is closed and has been the “Todd Couples Superstore” for years with it’s electronic sign reading “Since 1969” although it’s first couple of years in business were as a Mature/Adults Only theater before turning into a Soft X then full Porno showcase. The trend for theaters showing the controversial and Mature movies of the day was a bit of a rage as independent companies (and in the case of Eugenie “Shadow Companies” – Distinction was an off-shoot of General National Films) were formed to distribute these movies while a couple of majors tried to also join the scene with great movies that unfortunately did not break into the mainstream as mush as they wanted them to. 1969 to 1971 had a lot of promise for, but many factors killed the interest ranging from newspapers not being allowed to fully promote X-Rated films, too many films with so many companies with not many theaters outside of the cities being interested in playing them, and the audience growing out of their College days (and maybe feeling the after effects of Kent State to move on from any radical attitudes) turning to full Porno movies that the small theaters looking to stay in business turned to.

The following ads feature some of the films shown at the Todd in the Spring of 1970 which remain some of the most important films of the time as well as some cool Sexploitation. Also included are a couple of films after that intense time. Maybe Eugenie was not that important, but it was in the wave of sexy films that pushed the limits of the time that had some shocking success (mainly in LA, but we were “Curious” after all!) .

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1-23-70 – With the Pink Floyd soundtrack album a Cult hit (and UK top 10), this was a must see on any hip viewers list.

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2-2-70 – This would quickly be re-titled as One Swedish Summer.

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3-6-70 – Important, classic, and seriously funny!

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4-14-70 – Al Zugsmith whips out another sleaze feast. Salute!

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6-5-70 – Eve Productions, connected to many films of Russ Meyer’s Mid-Late 60’s before he decided to make films for 20’th Century Fox as Eve was Eve Meyer, distributed this film made in Belgium to modest success.

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8-7-70 – Doris Wishman’s flubbed attempt to whip up a US release of a Greek film still had it’s 42’nd street charm.

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5-28-71 – Back to where it all started – Vixen! By this time, the big hit of 1968-9 seemed very quaint by then, but still important. How time flies…

A Wild Scene with William Rowland, Ed Wood, Joseph F. Robertson, a Love Feast, the Doctor, the Women, and an Outrageous Machine…Maybe

•January 13, 2018 • 1 Comment

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9-19-70, Chalreston, WV – In the mixed up world of The Wild Scene, a Doctor (Alberta Nelson) is writing a book about the troubles of the youth in the Now Generation that puts the Old Age line at 26 (even if some of the actors look at least like 27!) and deals with her Daughter’s happenings as well. Four Star Excelsor must have had something against these kids as it already had another “shocking expose” called The Hard Road ready to hit the screens with it’s over the top mix of Anti-Drug movie and VD reel. Still, these troubles made for some jaw-dropping classic Sin-ema that never gets boring, especially if you happen to know someone who resembles any of the stereotypes in these tales.

Just to remind you…THE WILD SCENE!

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10-23-70, Cincinnati – The Wild Scene shows up with the 4 Star (the company, not a rating!) film The Rebel Rousers and also with AIP flop Cher flick Chasity.

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12-11-70, Carbondale, Illinois

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1-22-71, Washington Court House, OH

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6-20-71, Kingsport, Tenn. – The Wild Scene was about to be put to rest after this showing in Kingsport, although I thought at one time this was going to have another life until I stumbled upon something very interesting. with Rowland’s next Exploitation adventure.

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5-28-71, Asheville – Around the same time as The Wild Scene’s final showings, Rowland was carrying Al Zugsmith’s The Outrageous, Unbelievable, Mechanical Love Machine which had a few showings before a lawsuit form Columbia who said the title was too close to The Love Machine. The Temple of Schlock did a double check on the credits and promotional stills with this film and a Zugsmith movie with the same list of actors you see in this ad, M. A. Ripp’s Presentation of The Very Friendly Neighbors, and found them to different. Recently, my research just may have a link to what happened next if not all of the story.

http://templeofschlock.blogspot.com/2013/03/movie-ads-of-week-very-friendly.html

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8-13-71, Chicago – The Machine was found in Chicago playing with what seems to be Ed Wood’s nudie epic Love Feast, sometimes known as Pretty Models all in a Row.

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7-15-72, Charleston, WV – While Ed Wood fans know that Love Feast was made for Joseph F. Fobertson, this ad shows that Rowland and Donald E. Leon had some part in presenting it through the Early 70’s run it had. While “Rated X”, it was a film that could be played without many problems at Drive Ins that booked the Soft X flicks on a regular basis. The B, The Doctor and His Women might have sounded like The Wild Scene, but even one look at the minimal credits suggests that it’s seriously different – maybe the Outrageous Machine under it’s AKA that has not been confirmed.

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5-27-72, Kansas City – To hammer in more Wood pieces together, the Love Feast/Doctor and the Women double bill was thrown together with The Very Sensuous Wife, AKA Ed Wood’s Mrs. Stone’s Thing, also a film made with Robertson. For some reason, I’m thinking that this “Doctor” may be connected to the Outrageous Machine. I don’t think this had any Wood participation in the script department, but you never know.

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8-16-73, Beckley, WV – Your guess is as good as mine, and we may not know the truth.

Something for Everyone…Adult! Random Ads 1969-70

•January 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

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7-3-70, Reading, PA – Starting sleazy at the Park in Reading, this show includes one of the classic creepers of the day in Don’t Just Lay There. This may be the only time we will get to see some visual ad for Last of the Two Dollar… that looked like it was done for that much!

The Scene is having a organizational party and you are invited and encouraged to look through all of the random wildness that could not be fit into any focused article (yet!).

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6-5-70, LA – the White Coat films were about anything they can talk about. L-dopa was actually a happening in the erotic scene back in the day as now.

For a more serious look into, check out this article, but there are some bodybuilding forms that sometimes discuss the more “romantic” effects.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-DOPA

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6-5-70, LA – This Jefferson Burke is a different one from the one known today. There is a Dream of Body by Pat Rocco under another name said to have been released in 1972 when one looks at the IMDb, but knowing the underground nature of most of these films it’s possibly this film playing in 1970. Signature also had one of the many Denmark Documentaries of the era and Song of the Loon.

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6-5-70, LA – the Apollo, Star, and Rialto chain of theaters were one of the lowest-level, but they are of serious interest for the rare and lost titles that made up a lot of their programming. Sometimes, you really want to see what these films are like even if you already know the very low-budget sleaze that’s in store.

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7=24=70, LA – I wonder if this was filmed in the same “jail” as Caught in the Can.

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1-29-70, NYC – Village Voice! The all male shows have some boots that were made for more than walking on the wild side while the Cine Lido plays another hot White Coat happening that was all over The US at the time.

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2-5-70, NYC – Sticks and Stones should be a familiar title to Something Weird Video fans.

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9-12-70, Danville – so much attention is given to the South in Pelham, NC, but the North had a lot of rare and sexy shows too.

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12-11-70. Daytona  – you have to love these “new policy” ads!

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6-19-70, Chicago

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7-10-70, Chicago – Quite an evil selection! Sinthia, the Devil’s Doll is at the Image, with a “Le” to make it look arty…ooooooh!

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5-22-70, Chicago – By throwing in the “In” to The Spy Who Came, it made it sound more serious to those who knew.

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10-10-69, El Paso – Just asking before I find out if the Loretto Shopping Center was one of those strip malls where you could find a “Storefront” if you were lucky. Sadly, time was running short for these theaters due to the usual anti-smut league problems.

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4-4-69, LA – One for the Pat Rocco fans.

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1-3-69, Long Beach – I don’t think that this theater is mentioned in the Cinema Treasures, meaning of course it’s one of those small smut centers.

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3-14-69, LA – The Mayan 21 was a smaller alternative to the Pussycat on 5’th and Hill which played a better variety of films that were not as distinguished as the legendary theater’s. If you were lucky, you could get to see a WTF classic that was passed to them.

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4-5-68, San Pedro – Humm…someone was playing with fire with the name.

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10-11-68 – Messing with the big league will only bring you trouble. The Baby Doll was a cool name that will not get passed today in the PC culture, but was fine for The 60’s as the 1956 film was already a classic (and was about to be re-released by Cinemation).

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9-13-68, Miami – by Early 1969, these ads would be forced to go word-only.

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9-5-69, Reading – Ending off where we started…better leave them alone!