Posts tagged with the keyword: ‘1950s’


The Lost Adult Theaters of Pasadena

The Lost Adult Theaters of Pasadena
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They were called “dirty movie houses,” “adult cinemas,” or “girlie theaters.” From 1959 until about 1990, Pasadena had roughly ten of them, ranging from soft-core “nudie cutie” houses to hardcore venues. Some were former picture palaces fallen on hard times; others little more than dingy-looking storefronts – but before the Internet, DVDs and Blu-Ray cornered […]

A Class Act

A Class Act

  Back in June, I wrote an article for the Pasadena Weekly on my great-uncle, Helmuth Hormann, who taught theater history at the famous Pasadena Playhouse drama school from 1949 until 1967. Helmuth, or “Tutti,” as my family knew him, died in 2001, at the age of 92, leaving behind a life of deep creativity, […]

When South Pasadena Was For Whites Only

When South Pasadena Was For Whites Only

“In South Pasadena, restrictive racial covenants, denying persons not of the Caucasian race the right to live within its municipal boundaries, are a matter of official policy. […] Of course, persons not of Caucasian ancestry will not be completely barred from residence in South Pasadena. The restrictive covenants specify that non-Caucasians may reside in the […]

Artifacts of the Playhouse District

Artifacts of the Playhouse District

Old Town may have been Pasadena’s original town center, but for many decades the Playhouse District has been its cultural and artistic nexus. It’s also home to a staggering number of architecturally significant buildings, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since the district has been in the news lately, […]

A Civil Rights Leader’s Pasadena Ordeal

A Civil Rights Leader’s Pasadena Ordeal

The headlines splashed across the local papers the next day. “Arrest Negro Lecturer for Morals Accusation,” stated the Pasadena Independent. Bayard Rustin, the civil rights organizer who would become famous for organizing the March on Washington, had been arrested on a charge of “vagrancy and lewd behavior” by Pasadena police officers. Rustin had recently returned from […]

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