“Circus of Books” - The Jewish Factor

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Karen Mason. Image courtesy of Netflix.

[Explicit Language]

For years, straight-laced Karen and Barry Mason owned and operated LA’s legendary gay porn emporium Circus of Books. In their minds, it was like any other business, and it allowed them to provide their three kids with all the trappings of a middle class life.  But when their daughter Rachel, an artist, decided to make a documentary about the store, no one in the family quite realized what they were getting into.

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Karen and Barry Mason at their store Circus of Books. Image courtesy of Netflix.

Karen and Barry Mason’s store, Circus of Books, Silver Lake location. Image courtesy of Netflix.

Documentary clips in today’s intro:

  • Young@Heart (2007): A doc about a group of New England seniors that sings Ramones and Clash covers? Yes, please. (Amazon, iTunes, YouTube)
  • 66 Scenes from America (1982): Long before it was a Super Bowl ad for Burger King, Andy Warhol eating a burger in real time was one of the many disparate elements of America in Jørgen Leth’s 1980s time capsule of a doc. (YouTube)

  • Before Stonewall (1984): Greta Schiller’s powerful history of the LGBTQ community leading up to the 1969 Stonewall uprising. (Amazon)