Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Night They Raided Doc Johnson's

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Tom Ferrick, Jr. has been reporting on the closing of Doc Johnson's, a Philadelphia landmark porn store:
The pornography emporium has been a fixture at the corner of 13th and Arch Streets for more than 25 years, offering a veritable plethora of porn - dirty books, sexual devices, and peep shows (live and on tape).
Today the Inquirer published his followup, reminiscing for the non-halcyon years that brought dirty politics and smut to Our Fair City:

The '70s were the Golden Age of Porn Shops in Philly. Doc's was one of several dozen X-rated businesses. We had two adult theaters on Market Street, right across from City Hall. Another adult cinema at 1812 Chestnut. A live porn theater (featuring nude wrestling, etc.) around 20th and Market. Lots of peep-show arcades and dirty bookstores. It was a sign of the city's distress.

The oldest was the Troc at 10th and Arch Streets, home to burlesque, and famous for the names and slogans it bestowed on its strippers. Some examples: Kris Kringle "She'll Ring Your Bells." Emma Nems "Melts in Your Arms." And, my personal favorite, Carlotta Tendant "Park Yourself Here."

Link. This reminds me of the San Francisco porn mecca Big Al's, which towers above Broadway and Columbus like an electric Sodom and Gomorrah.

Big Al's will close someday, sure, but probably around the same time they close Coit Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco has a different view of its smut than Philadelphia. Philly thinks of it as a relic of a grimier time, like the Times Square of Taxi Driver. San Francisco views it as an ironic monument to sexual liberty pinned not to a particular era but to the heart of the City.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha, my first thought on reading that description of bygone Philadelphia was "hey, sounds like San Francisco!"

--Mrs. Good Reverend

1:20 PM  

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