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The Mitchell Brothers' O´Farrell Theater

Jones and Eddie Streets, San Francisco, 1972




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!


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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 Auditorium.






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.






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