Porn In Philly, 1912

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The “Soul Kiss” is full of suggestions of impurity. “The Queen of the Moulin Rouge” is said to go the limit. It depicts alleged Parisian life. Paris revolted at two of its dancers. Assaults on the physical passions are made throughout the play. The “Girl from Rector’s” is a made over play from a vile French farce. In Trenton, New Jersey, the police ordered the posters for this play off the fences, and finally closed the play up.

… There are more than one thousand transients in Philadelphia hotels every day. Every night these visitors go to see some show. The visiting buyer must be entertained. Such an entertainer told me how he had procured seats for a visiting buyer from Williamsport to see [a decent show]. The buyer sneered contemptuously. “Say,” he remarked, “I get to Philly once or twice a year. Do you think I want to go to a Sunday-school convention or a pink tea?” The seats were sold, and tickets procured for the Trocadero.

 

And other forms of entertainment are available to these visitors:

The Evening Item of March 11, 1911, had forty-one ads in the “Personals” giving the locations of “massage parlors,” which are nothing more nor less than houses of prostitution. “Mass. Young Operators,” “Mass. Bath, Two New Attendants,” “Mass. New Young Expert,” … “Mass. Magnetic Treatment,” “Mass. Satisfaction,” … “Mass. Bath, New French Nurse”—are some of the ads.

And, of course, there are films:

The most popular amusement in our city today is the moving picture show. It is found everywhere. It is commonly called “The Movies,” or the “Moves.” Thousands of school children attend the “movies” daily. The so-called tenderloin … is filled with “movies.” The moving picture show is a cheap form of amusement and is capable of doing a great deal of good. For instance, the work being done on the Panama Canal could be shown or the progress made in irrigation in the West, or the processes of raising cattle and shipping them to market, or the intricacies in making a Panama hat, etc. Instead of this we have such scenes as shop-lifting, lynching, etc., depicted.

… We are ready to admit all the evils of which the moving picture shows are accused. We believe, however, that we shall recognize their good side in the future, as surely as we see the evils associated with the “movies” at present.