From "The Memoirs, Chapter Seven" -
About that time one of the
dirty movie houses in San Francisco, The Mitchell Brothers’ O’Farrell
Theater, announced midnight movies for a nickel! Each night at midnight,
the dirty movies were replaced with corn-ball cult stuff popular at the
time with hippies. Well, you offer anything for a nickel to a bunch of
totally broke hippies and they’ll all come. I went a couple of times.
The movie was preceded by a couple
silly can-can numbers by a bunch of dizzy chicks with big plastic boobs
sticking out and generally just prancing around laughing. I loved it.
I decided to go back stage and meet the
girls after the show. They were all stoned and half-dressed and
laughing and I told them I was a theater director and I loved their
show, which they could hardly believe. Turns out they were the ticket
girls during the regular dirty movies and had dreamt up this nickel
movie for something to do and the Mitchell brothers had gone for it. I
invited them to one of our shows at the Intersection Theater and we
promised to collaborate on something real big soon. Which we did!
Les Nickelettes were
on their way!
* * *
A NICKELETTE TIME-LINE
1971 – The Mitchell Brothers decide to show old movies at
midnight for a nickel.
1972 – Head cashier, Denise Larson, and friends do tap-dancing
before the midnight movies. They call themselves Les Nickelettes and
end their number with, “What do you want for a nickel?”
1973 – February 24, Les Nickelettes invade The Condor
Club in North Beach with their plastic tits and proclaim Carol Doda an honorary Nickelette!
March 4 - The Nickeletes begin 30
months as regulars for Karl Cohen’s Sunday night movies at the Intersection Theater
in North Beach, with
pre-movie skits and M.C. Bill Wolf.
1974 – June 8, Les Nickelettes and AAA Productions
present “AIMEE and the Pageant of Salvation” at the Nieghborhood Arts
Theater, Buchanan Street.
October, Columbus Day Parade with AAA
Productions, prize-winning float “Queen Isabell Gives her Jewels to
Columbus” with the Nickelettes as her “jewels.”
1975 – May 27 through October 21, six months at the
Mabuhay Gardens, Broadway Street in North Beach with the musical
extraveganza, “It’s Vicious Out There,” below, about the life on Jones
and Eddy Streets, and the
“Ms. Hysterical Contest,” with M.C. Bill Wolf.
They even had a nice poster done up to
advertize their run.
Sept. 14 – Les Nickelettes opened “Peter Pan, A Rock Fairy Tale,”
at the Studio Eremos, Alabama St. It would run for several years,
throughout the Bay Area.
November 18 - The Nickelettes previewed "Spaced Out,"
an intergalactic kelp fantasy, at the Goodman Building, San Francisco.
Below, set designer Bill Wolf puts the finishing
touches on the "Evolution of the Kelp Child" scene from "Spaced Out."
Oct 31 - “Cat House Killer” with AAA Productions, Intersection
Theater. Also The Fabulous Frambesi Sisters.
June 1 – 25, “Curtains, a New
Murder Mystery” at the Gumption Theater.
June 25, Les Nickelettes perform at
world premier of “Rocket To Mars”
December – “The Coming of the Aliens”
with AAA Productions at the San Francisco Mental Health Clinic Out-Patient
July 9 – August 15, premier “The Didi
Glitz Story: I’d Rather Be Doing Something Else,” Performance Space,
Waller St., October 15 – 17, Julia Morgan Theater, Berkeley.
October 19 – November 9, “Oh
Goddess!” at The Lab, Divisadero St.
* * *
...NEXT: AN HOMAGE TO PAT NIXON