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Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre

POI: 37.784944, -122.419306
The Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre is a striptease club at 895 O'Farrell Street near San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. Opened as an X-rated movie theater by Jim and Artie Mitchell on July 4, 1969, the O'Farrell remains one of America's oldest and most notorious adult-entertainment establishments; by 1980, the nightspot had popularized close-contact lap dancing, which would become the norm in striptease clubs nationwide. Journalist Hunter S. Thompson, a longtime friend of the Mitchells and frequent visitor at the club, claimed to be its night manager in 1985 as part of his research for a book on pornography. He called the O'Farrell "the Carnegie Hall of public sex in America" and Playboy magazine praised it as "the place to go in San Francisco!"
Operation
The O'Farrell Theatre is open seven days a week and nearly every evening of the year. Customers must pay a comparatively steep admission price ($20–$50, depending on the time of day) and no alcoholic beverages are served, although a snack bar is located on the premises. The O'Farrell's main showroom is New York Live!, a continuous striptease show where one performer dances on stage while the others offer lap dances by asking customers, "Want some company?" The dancers then actually sit on the men's laps (a practice that is illegal in some other states) and insist on substantial tips ($20 is common). There are several themed rooms, such as the Ultra Room, a peep show-type room where patrons stand in private booths watching women perform with various props such as dildoes; the Green Door Room (named for the Mitchells' classic hardcore film Behind the Green Door and its sequel; it served as the principal set of the latter), the darkened Kopenhagen Lounge, where the customers use flashlights to watch the performances, and private booths of varying sizes (although not all dancers make themselves available for private sessions with customers) and onstage lesbian simulated-sex performances. At the O'Farrell, male employees (including managers) must adhere to a strict dress code: black bowtie, white shirt, black slacks and black shoes. Such sartorial requirements began in 1986 when the O'Farrell's then-general manager, Vince Stanich, noticed that all of his male staff members were dressed differently (and often not altogether presentably).
History
The Mitchell brothers opened the O'Farrell as an adult cinema on the site of a former two-story Pontiac car dealership. Upstairs they produced and directed the pornographic films they showed downstairs. Later, observing that the Condor Club in North Beach had been a topless bar since 1964 apparently with legal impunity, the Mitchells decided to make their establishment primarily a striptease club by having their carpenter build showrooms. The Mitchell brothers' classic adult film Behind the Green Door premiered at the O'Farrell in 1972, with the brothers' parents in the audience. The Mitchells produced and directed (and occasionally made...   ... (English)
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