This week we’re taking a little different angle on Fifty on Friday. Instead of one of America’s great metropolises we’re down in shady Tallahassee, FL. And why might you ask? Well, fifty years ago today, in a small former restaurant location, just across from the Florida State University campus, a brand new storefront adult mini-theater opened, the French Quarter Petite Cinema! There doesn’t appear to have been too much fanfare over this, but it wasn’t long before the closed-minded city fathers (they were always men of course) raided the joint, May 24 to be exact, a practice that would continue for most the little theater’s life as an adult screening room. Adult films were shown until December 1973, at which time the French Quarter Cinema began showing “classics”, such as THE CAINE MUTINY and FRANKENSTEIN, and finally becoming a second run house for current-ish films, ending out in April 1974 McCABE AND MRS MILLER. The location then went through a few iterations of other businesses, until in the later 1970s becoming a road-house called Bullwinkle’s, which it still is to this day (the last time I stepped foot in there was to see the Corey Feldman Band…).
Note: we have planned a more thorough history of this theater, and Tallahassee’s other adult theater, Kevin’s Campus Art.
And why is this of interest? Well, it was this little theater and the two films that opened there, LORD FARTHINGAY’s HOLIDAY (going by the odd mis-title of LORD FARLINGAY), and MAGIC MIRROR, that started me on the deep dive down into the rabbit hole of smut that eventually led to this site, and in a way a journey that I’m still on (I do have a mostly finished article on LORD FARTHINGAY…).
So if it wasn’t for the French Quarter Petit you wouldn’t be sitting there reading this!