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Circus of Books boasts the largest lube selection in WeHo, poppers, sex toys for men and women, large selection of coffee table … In 1982, the store was taken over by a couple named Karen and Barry Mason. The Circus of Books store closed its physical location last year after several decades as a neighborhood mainstay in West Hollywood, one of the foremost strongholds of gay culture in America. At the time, AIDS patients were considered ineligible for Medicaid coverage, and patients had to be unemployed to get medical insurance. They renamed it Circus of Books and opened the Silver Lake branch. The story behind Circus of Books, which is expanded upon greatly in the documentary, goes like this. The store opened at 8230 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood as Book Circus. But the Masons employed many HIV and AIDS patients, paying them under the table so they could still earn a living without losing their health insurance, according to the couple's daughter Rachel Mason, who directed the Circus of Books documentary. The store first opened as Book Circus sometime in the 1960s, though no one involved … However, it still lives on in a spiritual sense. It sometimes seems as if Netflix has reinvented the documentary. After discovering that the current owners were unable to keep the store running, the Masons decided to buy it. Instead, they expanded them. The Reagan administration was cracking down on the porn industry, and Mr. Mason was indicted for selling pornography across state lines. The streaming service frequently produces films and series about subjects that may not have been given the time of day by more traditional studios, like Tiger King or Wild Wild Country. 1960, Reimagined in 2020. But even though the physical Circus of Books location may be gone, the store still lives on — both in the memories of those who frequented it and in the form of a new shop that is its spiritual successor. But just because a pair of straight-laced, conservative Jewish parents were the new owners of a gay porn and sex shop, that didn't mean that they would get rid of the store's offerings. He faced a five-year prison sentence, but managed to avoid any jail time after entering a guilty plea. In 1982, when the owner was having financial problems, it was taken over by Barry Mason, a former special effects engineer and inventor, and his wife Karen, a former journalist, who had been working as distributors for Larry Flynt's publications. Review: 'Circus of Books' - Netflix Doc Profiles L.A. Today, Circus of Books is no more. In Jan. 2020, LGBTQ porn director and drag performer Chi Chi LaRue took over the original space on Santa Monica Boulevard from the Masons and opened Chi Chi LaRue's Circus. All rights reserved. In addition to gay porn and adult toys, the store stocked back-list paperbacks, novels by LGBTQ writers, science fictionbooks, Bi… The store first opened as Book Circus sometime in the 1960s, though no one involved with the store's latter incarnation seems able to recall who the original owners were. The Silver Lake location closed for good in 2016, and the original West Hollywood store shuttered in Feb. 2019 after nearly four decades of ownership by the Masons. Poppers, Lube, Toys and more!Est. She was a former journalist and he was a former movie special effects engineer, and they landed a job delivering Hustler magazines to book stores around L.A. in the late '70s. Gay Bookshop Rachel Mason and her siblings grew up unaware that their parents ran a gay bookstore. Between the new store in the original location and the new Netflix documentary highlighting the old store, it seems unlikely that anyone will forget about Circus of Books anytime soon.


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