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Best Measure of a Man: Porn Prints at Studs Theatre

How to measure penis size discreetly: big nose, big hose? Large feet ... ? Measuring the tip of the middle finger to the base of the palm? Outside Studs Theatre in West Hollywood, you can gaze upon the scrawl of the late and lamented Linda Lovelace, marvel at the impressive confidence oozing from the signatures of Harry Reems and Marilyn Chambers, or you can put your hands and feet in the impressions of one John C. Holmes. Grauman’s Chinese isn’t the only theater in Southern California with a monopoly on the footprints of the stars in its forecourt — there are also the lost prints of Roy Rogers, Trigger and other Western stars at the now-closed Strand in East L.A, and the walk of fame in front of the Vista Theatre, with its prints of Kenneth Anger and the cast of Dark Shadows. And then there’s the Studs Theatre, formerly the Tomkat, formerly the Pussycat Theatre.

Bill Margold, journalist and noted pervert, reveals that “John Holmes made those imprints on February 7, 1985, in conjunction with the premiere of Girls on Fire. I’m not sure when the Pussycat switched to showing gay films. I’ve been trying to convince Larry Flynt to try to purchase the Holmes and Lovelace imprints and have them moved over to Hustler Hollywood, but nothing has come of it ... yet.”

Removed from the context of the theater, however, the footprints become a pointless, empty burlesque, forgetting a point in time during which the adult industry sought to compete with mainstream movies on the basis that they were making films that also just happened to have hardcore sexuality in them — and that porn’s cosmos and cosmology deserved its own star system, with all the trappings and exaltation implied. And of course when a man walks by the theater and sees John Holmes’ handprints, the logical and meaningful impulse is the laying on of hands. A religious experience. And yeah, I fit. No, seriously.

7734 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 650 9551 or www.studstheatre.com.


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