“Deep Throat” And X-Rated Box Office! Seattle’s Original Newspaper Ads! Variety’s XXX-Rated Box Office Charts!

Deep_Throat_poster

“Deep Throat” Storms The Box Office Charts!

This is one of the most iconic movie tagline of all time – from one of cinema’s biggest hits ever!

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when “XXX” films were routinely reviewed by mainstream newspapers, which also read their ads – and their box office gross was reported on the charts like any other movie!

Welcome to the halcyon days of the early 70’s, when “Deep Throat” ushered in a new explicitness in movie theaters all across the country – a seismic change in permissiveness in motion pictures.

x-rated movie theaters

LA’s iconic Pussycat Theaters proudly heralded “Deep Throat”, and theaters around the country followed suit, and Linda Lovelace became a pop culture phenomenon…

I was a movie junkie growing up. Each week, I would take a bus to the Seattle public library in order to read the showbiz bible called “Weekly Variety” – a newspaper that talked about movies, TV, theater, music – in short, everything I wanted to read about!

Variety newspaper

My Box-Office Obsession!

My favorite page in the newspaper was the weekly box office chart…in the mid-70’s, it listed how many theaters were showing a movie, what the “per screen” average was, the number of weeks out, and the total box office. The chart looked like this:

I started saving the charts so I could keep track of which films I saw…and I remember when a new explicitness showed up in the reporting – because Variety began to include the box office take on XXX-rated movies!

As you can see, it was reported on just like mainstream films as “Scarecrow”, “Trader Horn” and “Sisters!” The film was generating millions in box office grosses at the time…

When the bible of the entertainment industry began to report the box office grosses of XXX-rated films, it signaled a huge sea change in Hollywood!

Here is an ad I still have from The Garden Theater in downtown Seattle that proudly showed the film:

This is an original newspaper ad – and notice the theater was open from 10a until midnight – showing the film 7 times every day and a midnight screening on the weekend!

The Garden Theater was one of Seattle’s most notorious “grind house” theaters of the 70’s…showing X-rated movie at a time when it was still a dangerous thing to do!

Clearly it was a smart movie, as here is an ad 6 MONTHS into the film’s run in Seattle!

Can you imagine a film playing a single theater for SIX STRAIGHT MONTHS?

The film was a box office phenomenon, and ushered in a new era of “anything goes” in movie theaters…even though it was taken to court in various cities around the country, those obscenity trials ultimately resulted in little punishment, and the floodgates were open…

On the heels of “Deep Throat” came another controversial box office bonanza: “The Devil In Miss Jones” starred Georgina Spelvin, and told the XXX-rated story of a young woman who commits suicide – only to find herself in a hell where anything goes!

Devil Jones rubber

Once theaters stopped being busted for obscenity charges, the number of XXX-theaters in big cities expanded – these are newspaper ads in The Seattle Post Intelligencer, a mainstream family newspaper!

As these films became more mainstream, movies like “The Devil In Miss Jones” also made the mainstream press box office charts!

The Devil In Miss Jones

Adult film box office The Devil In Miss Jones

As you can see, “The Devil In Miss Jones” had already grossed more than $7-million dollars, a huge amount for a XXX-rated film! It was a provocative time in film, as movie theaters risked being shut down by police for showing movies like this!

deep-throat xxx-movie

Once courts tossed about obscenity charges against theaters showing these films, the onslaught was on! Adult films had gone mainstream – so much so that they remained on the Variety chart, culminating in the release of one of adult’s most notorious films ever:

Behind The Green Door Marilyn Chambers

The Ivory Snow Girl!

The popularity of the XXX-rated movie peaked with the release of “Behind The Green Door” starring Marilyn Chambers. This film was made notorious by the acting debut of Marilyn Chambers, who just a few years earlier had been featured on the Ivory Soap box!

Marilyn Chambers XXX Ivory Snow

“Behind The Green Door” was one of the last XXX-rated film to receive a theatrical release big enough to get on Variety’s box office chart…

Behind The Green Door

Soon after, the popularity of X-rated movies waned, and Variety stopped reporting the box office of these movies,. Of course, within a few years VHS tapes would spark a resurgence in popularity of these movies…but at home of course!

Still, I am so happy to have saved these newspaper ads, because ALL of these Seattle theaters are long gone – and an era of “adult movies theaters” is long past us:

It was quite a time in movie history.

But, this wasn’t Hollywood’s ONLY X-rated flirtation:

x-rated midnight cowboy

X-Rated Oscars!

Yes, the Academy Awards have “walked on the wild side” in the past…

“Midnight Cowboy” won the Best Picture Oscar, the only time it has ever gone to an X-rated movie…click here to see the “Bakers Dozen” – yes, there have been 13 nominations for X-rated films!

https://jrsploitation.com/2019/02/20/oscars-x-rated-nominations-yes-here-are-the-13-x-rated-academy-award-nominations/

If you like these stories, and don’t want to miss any of my “2020 Sex Kitten Countdown”, then go to my website’s front page and sign on to follow me – there are NO ads at all, just lots of stories to come about the wild world of exploitation and cult films!

Click here and see the “follow” button on the upper right!

https://jrsploitation.com

I have many more newspaper ads from this era – and will be sharing soon – so you can, as this ad says, “see what all the fuss is about!”



Categories: 70's Films, Artsploitation, Books / Media, Cult Classics, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, Grindhouse, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. I can remember all the fuss about this film at the time. It was cut in most cinemas in London, so I didn’t bother to watch it. I later borrowed a ‘fully uncut’ VHS tape from a friend, and I was SO disappointed. It was just silly! But you have to hand it to them for tremendous promotion of what was just a longer version of a blue film.
    It’s great that you still kept all those souvenirs, John. A legacy to hand down!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

Trackbacks

  1. Oscar’s “X-Rated” Nominations! Yes, Here Are The 13 X-Rated Academy Award Nominations! – JR-Sploitation!
  2. “Psyched By The 4D Witch!” The WORST Film Of All Time? You Decide! See The “Trans-Etheric Vision” If You Dare! – JR-Sploitation!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: