Porn History 101: Santa Monica Boulevard’s Porn Block of Fame

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from www.weohville.com – The oldest collection of porn stars sits outside Studs, an adult theatre at 7734 Santa Monica Blvd. across the street from the intersection with Genesee. Studs has its own claim to fame in the world of adult film. As the Pussycat Theatre, it was one of a chain of more than a dozen identically named adult film houses in California that flourished in the 1960s.

Today it stands out for being the chain’s only survivor in an industry endangered by the availability of online porn and increasingly aggressive efforts by law enforcement to regulate and close such adult film houses. Its other claim to fame is that it screened “Deep Throat,” the 1972 film written and directed by Gerard Damiano and starring Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems, 13 times a day for 10 years.

Thus it became a temple of “porno chic,” the term bestowed on the trend toward incorporating real plots and character development in adult films. Jonathan Cota, who inherited the company that owned Pussycat from his lover, changed its focus to gay porn and renamed it Tomkat Theater and then Studs.

In the sidewalk outside Studs are the handprints and footprints of eight stars from the Golden Age of Porn. The performers honored (and the dates their prints were made) are:

(Sept. 29, 1977). Georgina Spelvin, 76, was the star of 1973′s porn classic, “The Devil in Miss Jones.” She started her career in New York as a chorus girl and appeared in “The Twilight Girls,” a lesbian film, in 1957. She has appeared in more than 70 adult films. Her life is detailed in her self-published autobiography, “The Devil Made Me Do It.”

Eric Edwards and Kay Parker (July 12, 1984). Edwards, 67 and retired, trained (although not for porn) at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York in 1967. He spent the next eight years performing in summer stock and doing commercials. He became an adult performer in the ‘60s and claims he’s the only man in the business who performed for four decades.

His films include “Great Sexpectations” (1984), “Laura’s Toys” (1975) and “Abigail Lesley Is Back in Town” (1975). Edwards shares a spot with Kay Parker, 68, famed for her role as the incestuous mother in 1980′s “Taboo.” Born in England, Parker performed her first sex scene in 1977 in Anthony Spinelli’s “Sex World.” Her performance, and her red hair, English accent and 38DD breasts, made her an industry sensation. She now is an author of New Age books. Parker now works as a New Age counselor.

John C. Holmes (Feb. 7, 1987). Holmes, who died in 1988 at the age of 43 of an HIV-related illness, was also known as “Johnny Wadd.” At his death, he had 2,250 adult films — the majority of them short clips — under his belt.

A high school dropout, he joined the Army for three years and held a number of random jobs before getting into “the industry.” Major successes were Johnny Wadd films such as “Tell Them Johnny Wadd is Here” (1976), “Liquid Lips” (1976) and “Blonde Fire” (1978). “The Private Pleasures of John C. Holmes” (1983) was his only gay film. In his later years, Holmes struggled with an addiction to cocaine that pushed him into crime and prostitution. He is still recognized as the king of the adult porn industry and for having an exceptionally large penis.

Harry Reems (Sept. 30, 1982). Reems, now 66, was Lovelace’s co-star in “Deep Throat.” Born Herbert Streicher, Reems started out in the 1970s with appearances in many short stag films. He appeared in more than 100 feature-length adult films between 1971 and 1989, including “The Devil in Miss Jones” (1973). After years of drug and alcohol abuse, Reems began a recovery program in 1989, married and proclaimed himself a Christian. He’s now a real estate broker in Park City, Utah.

Linda Lovelace (Dec. 20, 1973). Lovelace (whose real name was Linda Susan Boreman) died in 2002 at the age of 53, having gained a reputation far beyond her industry for her starring role in “Deep Throat.” That 1972 film, directed by Gerard Damiano was noted for having a plot and high production standards. Bans by local governments gave the film nationwide publicity.

It attracted an audience of the culturally hip reputed to have included Jackie Kennedy. “Deep Throat” (and doubtless her permanent spot on Studs’ sidewalk) became objects of shame for Lovelace, who battled a drug addiction and eventually became an anti-porn crusader.

Marilyn Chambers (May 23, 1980). Chambers, who died in 2009 at the age of 57, acted in ads for Ivory soap before busting into the adult film business with her 1971 appearance in “Behind the Green Door,” one of the first full-length porn films, now considered a classic. She ranks No. 6 on Adult Video News’ list of the top porn stars of all time. Playboy listed her in 1999 as one of the “Top 100 Sex Stars of the Century.”

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