CIRCUS OF BOOKS

A film by Rachel Mason and Cynthia Childs
Producers: Adam Baran and Sasha Berman

Book Circus (the original store)

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For  over  30  years, Karen  and Barry  Mason  have  owned  and  operated  Circus  of Books,  Los Angeles’ most famous adult bookstore, which has long been a favorite of gay and straight porn lovers from all walks of life. Over the years, the store has been patronized by famous folk like Elton John, Drew Carey and David Hockney, along with countless gay men to whom the shop became  an  invaluable  meeting  place  and  an  important  piece  of  the  fabric  of  life  in  West Hollywood, L.A.’s foremost LGBT district. But despite the importance of Circus of Books to men all over the world, brick and mortar bookstores and DVD rental  shops have long been  slowly fading. Now that the majority of porn is available on the Internet for free, the Masons’ business has taken a severe hit.

CIRCUS  OF  BOOKS  documentary  will  trace  the  Masons’  remarkable  history  of  finding themselves  the  proprietors  of  the  premier  gay  porn  shop,  the  history  and  significance  of  the store in Los Angeles and the gay community in particular and the personal ups and downs the business has brought to the observant Jewish couple and their family. We’ll spend time with the colorful and straight­talking Masons as they slowly come to reconcile that the store’s best years are well behind them and observe their struggle with the decision of when to close the failing store. The film will feature interviews with many of the Masons’ employees and colleagues in the porn  industry  as  well  as  their  closest  friends  and  family  members. At  a  time  when  an  entire world of porn is only a click away, CIRCUS OF BOOKS tells the story of a very different era and the unlikely couple who brought gay porn to L.A.

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