What a jumble! I am just beginning to sort through 60+ boxes of Les Girls History and I am asking this question: How did a Texas Baptist Politician, Businessman and Family man decide to open an adult theater. We can also ask how did a UCLA Graduate student in Education take a break to dance for a month and never left, becoming instead an outspoken activist against police abuse. Just some facts:
1.Bribery and Corruption destroyed the ideals of the 29 year old man, so he decided to run for mayor (Came in 2nd out of six men) and do something about it! In 1959, he was addressing payoffs, along with water, senior citizens, etc.
2. In 1969, fed up with 20 years of harassment because he stood up to the corrupt behavior of some and refused to pay bribes, he went from mainstream to the darker depths of society. He called in the State Attorney General whose 1971 report found a lot of bad behavior, including businesses making payoffs to licensing and police forcing dancers and waitresses to service them sexually if they wanted to work (they had to have work permits)
3. After police harassed the Left Bank, his high-end restaurant, a popular night-out for couples, he said Enough (now this is another story, sort of funny, for later), he made a decision, bought the property on Riley, wrote a test-case landmark play, Let It All Hang Out, and Les Girls Theater became history: Courageous dancers who were often arrested without complaints filed, Burlesque entertainers like Eddie Ware, Jimmy Stein, Sara Lee, Corky Corlene, Hudiligams (Les Boys Show) and myself (14 years of ballet and 8 of modern dance, the old timers taught me the ropes) I'll add here that next post will be the documents, sustaining my charges over the years, like letters from the Chiefs of Police and Internal Affairs. Just the facts and the proof (videos, official documents, photos, and correspondence...and files on each person) Les Girls Theater is a landmark for San Diego politics and burlesque history. If you have a question, email me under CONTACT. So much to sort here. An amazing archive going back 60+ years, I hope I can give it the sorting it deserves.
1959 Platform for Mayor planted the seeds for Les Girls Theater