Original Mitchell Brothers Now Casting poster, 1974

San Francisco: MBFG, 1974. Vintage five-color, metallic silver, Art Deco style "The Mitchell Bros. are Now Casting" window card poster, designed by Heffernan, 1974. The text on the inviting adult filmmakers' casting call poster continues, "For 1974 Film Production. Interviews every Tues. & Thurs. 10-6 / O'Farrell Theatre, 895 O'Farrell St. 441-1930."

Jim and Artie Mitchell (the Mitchell Brothers) were highly successful entrepreneurs and trailblazers in adult films and adult cinemas between 1969 and 1991. They opened their first X-rated theater, San Francisco's now infamous O'Farrell Theatre on July 4, 1969, once described by Hunter S. Thompson as "the Carnegie Hall of public sex in America." Three weeks after opening, plain clothes police raided the theater, arrested Jim, and began what would be the first of over 200 obscenity trials the Mitchells would fight over the next two decades. Soon the brothers would be producing and directing hardcore films upstairs at the O'Farrell, later to be shown in the downstairs theater.

In 1972 they produced and directed one of the most famous feature-length pornographic films, "Behind the Green Door," starring the then unknown Marilyn Chambers, in her porn debut. The $60,000 film grossed over $25 million, and along with the 1972 film "Deep Throat," directed by Gerard Damiano, and starring Linda Lovelace, would usher in what would be known as "The Golden Age of Porn." By the mid-1970s, the time in which the poster on offer here was made, the industry was booming, and the Mitchells were producing fairly lavish feature-length hardcore films with substantial budgets, and soon opened more theaters throughout California, becoming incorporated as Cinema 7.

By the late 1970s and early 1980s the industry was rapidly changing due to the proliferation of the video cassette, which saw theater screenings plummet, and the brothers' profits drop. The Mitchells response was three new rooms with live shows, pioneering what would come to be known as "lap dancing," incurring entirely new court threats regarding the legality of customer contact. The Mitchells found themselves largely victorious in their many legal disputes but did make a concession for their New York Live club, requiring performers to wear some minimal clothing while interacting with patrons. In 1991, Jim fatally shot his brother Artie and served three years of a six year term for voluntary manslaughter, returning to manage the O'Farrell Theatre in 1997. Jim died in 2007, and the O'Farrell Theatre closed in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, following several years of financial struggles.

The Mitchell Brothers were the subjects of two biographies, David McCumber's "X-Rated" (1992) and John Hubner's "Bottom Feeders: From Free Love to Hard Core" (1993), the former of which was the basis for the 2000 film "Rated X," directed by Emilio Estevez, and starring Estevez and his brother Charlie Sheen.

11 x 15.75 inches on cardstock. Very Good plus, with some faint creasing and light soiling to the bottom right margin. Bright and unfaded.

[Book #158465]