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A Pop-Up Gay Porn Theatre Will Show 24 Hours of Queer Vintage Film in L.A. This Weekend

If you’re around Los Angeles on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017 (and enjoy watching vintage gay porn), you should consider stopping by Sesión Continua, a 24-hour pop-up porn theatre at the Sons of Semele performance space hosted by Dirty Looks NYC, a bi-coastal platform for queer experimental film, video and performance.

Why is a pop-up gay porn theatre culturally important?

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Dirty Looks Creative Director Bradford Nordeen said his organization intends the pop-up porn theatre as “an homage to early gay pornography and the theaters that showcased the art form,” adding that early gay pornography before the 1980s was the first form of gay self-representation in film. Vintage porn preceded the proliferation of gay porn and indie films that made same-sex desire more visible in the public eye.

RELATED | Most Mainstream Gay Films Before 1997 Did Not Feature Much Same-Sex Kissing

The screening will include a combination of early gay porn “deep cuts” and queer experimental films — “from gay hardcore to lezsploitation,” according to their Facebook event page — similar to what vintage porn theaters like The Park and Coronet in Los Angeles showed around the 1960s and 70s.

Those theaters “started screening porn out of financial desperation,” Nordeen says. “But the cinephiles behind the programming would pepper stag titles with Warhol films, or Jack Smith or Shirley Clarke. Titles that couldn’t really find dedicated screens elsewhere could actually move tickets in a different context.”

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What’s showing at the pop-up gay porn theatre?

Sesión Continua has not listed its line-up beforehand in an attempt to “frustrate the contemporary, consumer-based notion of porn,” Nordeen says.

“The format is very theatrical,” he added, “asking viewers to watch porn in public again, as opposed to binging it at home in secret, by purchasing a come-n-go ticket from our box office, sitting alongside other potentially aroused spectators.”

Dirty Looks NYC selected Sesión Continua‘s porn line-up with the help of the Vinegar Syndrome’s film historian and archivist Joe Rubin, the Tom of Finland Foundation and Curse of Cherifa. Nordeen says that if they’ve done their jobs correctly, viewers will stay for hours after having the roof blown off of their preconceived notions of hardcore cinema and on-screen erotica.

Sesión Continua’s will start its 24-hour run at midnight on Friday and continue until midnight on Saturday at the Son of Semele theatre at 3301 Beverly Blvd. Tickets are $12.