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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

The Old Song and Dance: 1919

The Old Song and Dance: 1919

"Sidney Lust girls." Circa 1919, two of Washington, D.C., movie theater owner Sidney Lust's chorus girls, seen earlier out of costume. National Photo Company Collection glass negative, Library of Congress. View full size.

 

They liked them big-boned!

Seems to me that in the early part of the century, the girl-watchers preferred the meatier ones, unlike today. I remember my father saying he liked "something to hang onto." I also have some old posters from that era advertising weight-gaining tonic to make you pleased with "your husband's proud gaze." Standards have changed.

Lusty Cinema

Your memory is right. Starting in the late 60s, the Lust Theaters ran what would be called "soft core" porn today, but was on the edge for movie theaters of the day. Lots of bare breasts, shower scenes, and other "suggestive" situations. No male nudity or full female nudity.

They went to this format because the Lust houses were primarily in declining areas and had lost the family or "date night" trade. By the mid-70s, they had moved into the hard core porn then flourishing, and eventually all closed down as their locations came to be seen as too dangerous for most pornophiles.

Is my memory right?

Did this fellow's chain of theaters eventually -- say, by the late 70s -- begin showing only "adult" movies? I grew up in DC and seem to remember that his listings were always in the smaller print next to the regular theaters.

Official Shorpy Girls

These two hadn't been girls for a long time.

Shorpy Girls

We see these two so often maybe they should be the Official Shorpy Girls.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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