Circus of Books

Circus of Books

Thu
20
Thu Feb 20 6:30 PM

Dendy Cinemas
Wheelchair
General Admission
Unclassified 18+
92 Mins | 2019 | USA | English
February
Thu Feb 20

Your parents may have embarrassed you during your childhood but imagine finding out they secretly owned a gay porn store! 

In acclaimed documentary Circus of Books, director Rachel Mason turns the camera on her parents, Karen and Barry to tell their unlikely tale of running the most successful gay adult bookstore in West Hollywood.

In the early 1980s, the couple desperately needed an income to support their young family and took over a local gay bookstore, renaming it Circus of Books. The store became a haven for the gay community to mingle and meet, as well as offering customers a wealth of erotica. In the mid-1980s, the strait-laced couple branched into film, becoming the largest distributors of gay video porn in the USA and even faced prison time in the conservative Reagan era!

The arrival of the internet sounded the death knell for Circus of Books, and the business’ bittersweet final days are depicted in this fascinating and personal film, which features stories and interviews with former patrons and employees including drag superstar Alaska Thunderfuck, adult film legend Jeff Stryker, and publishing titan Larry Flynt.

Sydney Premiere

Winner North Bend Film Festival 2019 Audience Award
Winner Camden International Film Festival 2019 Harrell Award for Best Documentary Feature


"Karen’s dogged pragmatism, and her complex relationship to the smut that provided her family’s livelihood for thirty years, is why “Circus of Books” is such a rare delight – and a nearly perfect documentary" - IndieWire



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