Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 7pm
Gay Girls Riding Club

155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn

Always on Sunday, Gay Girls Riding Club, 1962, digital projection, 10 mins
What Really Happened to Baby Jane, Gay Girls Riding Club, 1963, digital projection, 35 mins
The Roman Springs on Mrs. Stone, Gay Girls Riding Club, 1963, digital projection, 22 mins

In early 1960s Los Angeles, a diverse group of gay men and recreational cross-dressers known as the Gay Girls Riding Club became sensations within California’s burgeoning homosexual underground. In addition to their actual equestrian outings—and a legendary annual Halloween costume ball—the GGRC made their name with a series of surprisingly elaborate 16mm amateur films that spoofed Hollywood fare. The boys donned wigs and make-up (lots of it!) to rework the tragic tale of the Hudson sisters in What Really Happened to Baby Jane, shot only months after the initial release of Robert Aldrich’s classic; they transformed Jules Dassin’s prostitution comedy Never on Sunday into their own Always on Sunday, the title nodding to the gang’s weekend brunch meet-ups; and in the GGRC’s manicured hands, Warner Brothers’s adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s drama The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone was refashioned as The Roman Springs on Mrs. Stone.

With non-stop scenery-chewing and scrupulous attention to original sources, the GGRC’s movies play something like West Coast variants of early Kuchar brothers parodies, but with a somewhat more impressive access to locations and props (marvel, for instance, as a broad-shouldered, pancake-faced Baby Jane Hudson drives away in a genuine Rolls Royce). Indeed, many of the Club’s members were employed in the entertainment industry, including James Crabe, who would become an award-winning cinematographer on later films like Rocky and The Karate Kid and GGRC screenwriter Ray Harrison, who worked as an assistant on TV’s The Spike Jones Show. The pictures typically premiered at GGRC parties, sometimes preceded by extravagant live numbers, and the prints found their way to gay bars and more adventurous “art cinemas” around Los Angeles and San Francisco. Yet despite their reputation among the lavender demimonde of their era, these invaluable records of mid-century drag culture have, in more recent decades, been exceedingly difficult to see.

Thanks to the preservation efforts of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, Light Industry is delighted to present an evening of pre-Stonewall deep cuts as Pride month swishes to a close.

Tickets - $8, available at door.

Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 6:30pm.