Adult film locations 3:
‘Pretty Peaches’ (1978)

Adult film locations 3: <br />‘Pretty Peaches’ (1978)

Alex de Renzy‘s Pretty Peaches (1978) was one of the first adult films we ever saw – and one of the very best of the golden age.

It was shot in the summer of 1978 – and we’ve always been curious to know more about the places where the film was shot… the truck stop which opens the film, the old west gambling town where the wedding takes place, the spacious house where Hugh (John Leslie) and his maid (Juliet Anderson) live – and most of all, that public restroom – the scene of one of the most remarkable scenes in the history of X-rated cinema, the enema administered to Peaches (Desiree Cousteau).

This summer, 37 years after Pretty Peaches was filmed, The Rialto Report went on a road trip to see if any of the original locations were still left – and found that sometimes nothing changes.

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Pretty Peaches

Pretty Peaches stars Desiree Cousteau as Peaches, described as “a daffy carefree female who cheerfully plunges through life without any worries.” In the film, she has a car accident after attending the wedding of her father (John Leslie) and is rendered unconscious. Two men find and take advantage of her, before offering to help her when it becomes apparent that she has amnesia. Peaches resolves to keep smiling through all the silly schemes and circumstances they come up with.

The movie likely was influenced by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg‘s Candy, itself a homage to Voltaire‘s Candide.

Cousteau received the Adult Film Association of America Best Actress award in 1978 for her performance in the movie.

 

Pretty Peaches

 

 

Gas station from opening scene

Pretty Peaches opens with a scene at a gas station – just a half a mile from De Renzy’s home in Novato, CA.

Pretty PeachesPretty Peaches – opening scene

 

Pretty PeachesRossi’s Deli, Novato, CA in 2015

 

Pretty PeachesThe gas station scene in ‘Pretty Peaches’

 

Pretty PeachesThe gas station scene in ‘Pretty Peaches’

 

Pretty PeachesDesiree Cousteau in the opening scene of ‘Pretty Peaches’

 

Pretty PeachesDesiree Cousteau in the opening scene of ‘Pretty Peaches’

 

Pretty PeachesRossi’s Deli, Novato, CA in 2015

 

Old West gambling town

Virginia City in Nevada was the location for the town where the wedding at the beginning of Pretty Peaches takes place. De Renzy had used the area before – notably in his western Powder Burns (1971).

The town sprang up as a boom town with the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode, the first major silver deposit discovery in the United States, and numerous mines were opened. At the city’s peak of population in the mid-1860s, it had an estimated 25,000 residents. The mines’ output declined after 1878, and the city declined. As of 2010 Census the population of Virginia City was about 855.

Virginia CityPanoramic view of Virginia City, NV from ‘Pretty Peaches’

 

 

Virginia CityVirginia City, NV in 2015

 

Virginia CityN C Street, Virginia City, NV from ‘Pretty Peaches’

 

Virginia CityN C Street, Virginia City, NV in recent times

 

Casino and Wedding Chapel

The Silver Queen in Virginia City, Nevada was used in Nevada to film Hugh’s (John Leslie) wedding scenes.

The saloon was built in the 1870s and offers a bar, slots, a wedding chapel and a second floor of hotel guest rooms – which are all supposedly haunted by local ghosts.

The wedding room is in the back of the saloon, and is where the pop duo Captain and Tennille got hitched on November 11, 1975.

The Silver Queen herself can be seen in the form of a 15-ft. tall and 8-ft. wide painting of a lady in an evening gown decorated with 3,261 “Morgan” silver dollars minted in Carson City. Her belt is fashioned from 28 twenty-dollar gold pieces, and her choker and bracelets are made from dimes.

 

Silver QueenJohn Leslie outside of the Silver Queen, Virginia City, NV

 

Silver QueenDesiree Cousteau outside of the Silver Queen, Virginia City, NV

 

Silver QueenSilver Queen, Virginia City, NV in recent times

 

Silver QueenSilver Queen, Virginia City, NV in recent times

 

Silver QueenJohn Leslie and Flower in the wedding chapel, Silver Queen

 

Silver QueenDesiree Cousteau in the wedding chapel, Silver Queen

 

Silver QueenThe Silver Queen wedding chapel in recent times

 

Silver QueenJohn Leslie and Flower at the Silver Queen bar

 

Silver QueenSilver Queen bartender from Pretty Peaches

 

Silver QueenSilver Queen bar in recent times

 

Silver QueenFlower and Desiree Cousteau in the Silver Queen

 

Pretty Peaches and the Doctor

The scenes where Peaches is accosted by the doctor were all shot at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre.

Dating from 1931, it is recognized as one of the finest remaining examples of Art Deco design in the United States. After its initial brief blaze of “movie palace” glory in the 1930’s, this remarkable auditorium suffered three decades of neglect and decline until its rescue by the Oakland Symphony, the City of Oakland and numerous private donors. The building was purchased by the Board of Directors of the Oakland Symphony Orchestra Association in 1972. A painstaking and authentic restoration was completed in 1973 and the theatre was entered in the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1975 the City of Oakland, the present owner, assumed ownership from the Oakland Symphony Orchestra Association.

 

Paramount TheaterThe Paramount Theater, Oakland, CA – which hosts the legend (not Kim Kardashian)

 

Paramount TheaterDesiree Cousteau descends to the lower level of the Paramount Theater in Oakland

 

Paramount TheaterThe Paramount Theater in 2015

 

Paramount TheaterDesiree Cousteau in the lower level of the Paramount Theater in Oakland

 

Paramount TheaterDesiree Cousteau in the lower level of the Paramount Theater in Oakland

 

Paramount TheaterThe Paramount Theater in 2015

 

Paramount TheaterThe Paramount Theater in 2015

 

Paramount TheaterDesiree Cousteau and the doctor in the men’s restrooms of the Paramount Theater

 

Paramount TheaterDesiree Cousteau and the doctor in the men’s restrooms of the Paramount Theater

 

Paramount TheaterMen’s restrooms of the Paramount Theater in 2015

 

Paramount TheaterDesiree Cousteau and the doctor in the men’s restrooms of the Paramount Theater

 

Paramount TheaterDesiree Cousteau and the doctor in the men’s restrooms of the Paramount Theater

 

Paramount TheaterMen’s restrooms of the Paramount Theater in 2015

 

Paramount TheaterDesiree Cousteau and the doctor in the men’s restrooms of the Paramount Theater

 

Paramount TheaterThe Rialto Report risks life and limb taking pictures of men at the urinals for ‘research’ purposes

 

Paramount TheaterInexplicably no mention of ‘Pretty Peaches’

 

Hugh’s house

De Renzy shot many of the interiors at his home in Novato, CA.

The house often featured in his films; he lived there from the early 1970s to his passing in 2001.

NovatoJohn Leslie arrives home to be greeted by Juliet Anderson

 

NovatoThe front door of Alex de Renzy’s former home in 2014

 

NovatoInside the home, John Leslie and Flower are greeted by Juliet Anderson

 

NovatoInside the front door of Alex de Renzy’s former home in 2014

 

The Screening Room

Alex de Renzy showed many of his films at his theater, the Screening Room at 220 Jones Street in San Francisco.

This converted storefront opened around 1967 as one of the first theaters in San Francisco that showed hardcore porn. Initially, the program would consist of 16mm silent loops with a record providing musical accompaniment, but eventually 16mm full-length features would take off.

In 1968 De Renzy exhibited what was the first full-length hard porn feature, a “documentary” called “Pornography in Denmark: A New Approach”. This feature, premiered here, grossed $25,000 in its first week in exhibition (It would eventually gross over $2 million.)

The success of this theater would lead to De Renzy operating other theaters in San Francisco for a time: North Beach Movie (another storefront theater), Presidio (converting this neighborhood art theater into a porn house), Centre (a Market Street second-run house converted into hard porn), and briefly the Regal on Market Street. The Mitchell Brothers started their O’Farrell Theater after seeing how successful the Screening Room was doing.

Around 2010 it became a sex club named the Power Exchange.

Screening RoomThe site of Alex de Renzy’s Screening Room in 2015

 

Screening RoomThe site of Alex de Renzy’s Screening Room in 2015

 

Screening Room

 

17 Comments

  1. Luke reilly · August 9, 2015 Reply

    Very cool seeing the sites and scenes from this golden age classic. Thanks to Ashley and April on another job well done. Any chance of a Desiree Cousteau interview? She’s a golden age treasure

  2. ozzy · August 9, 2015 Reply

    Outstanding research. DeRenzy is my favorite director of the era and Pretty Peaches is my favorite of his films next to Femmes de Sade. Now if you could only get an interview with Desiree…

  3. M-D Dolenti · August 9, 2015 Reply

    For some reason I’ve always wanted to know more about these locations more than any other film – so thank you! I saw this first in a beat-up VHS copy in the 80s and it enthralled me. Unfortuntely the bare-bones re-issues since then have never included any extras and so this answers my dreams!

    Grazie Rialto!

  4. Roy Karch · August 9, 2015 Reply

    Great stuff with some of the best work and people of the era.
    Thanx.

  5. Peter · August 9, 2015 Reply

    Always a thrill, features like this!
    I feel it should also be mentioned that Vinegar Syndrome preserved this film for the ages by giving it a stunning Blu-ray release.

  6. Carter Stevens · August 9, 2015 Reply

    Great way to write off your trip to Vegas as a business expense. (just kidding. Great job.)

  7. Cathy Gigante-Brown · August 9, 2015 Reply

    Another fascinating feature! I don’t know how you consistently come up with such different, innovative topics. But keep them coming. (Pun intended.)

  8. Powers · August 10, 2015 Reply

    I’ve been to all those places and love them all. Especially 220 Jones. Mine. Haha! Powerxchange.com

  9. Mark · August 10, 2015 Reply

    this was a fascinating read not only because i watched pretty peaches for the first time a few weeks ago (thanks to vinegar syndrome for a stunning copy), but because i’m usually fascinated by the history and behind the scenes aspect of many films.

    thanks rialto report for another amazing report

  10. Skirm · August 10, 2015 Reply

    Almost 40 years since Pretty Peaches came out? Wow.. The Paramount theater doesn’t look like it changed at all. Even the carpet looks the same from the film.

    Always liked the filmmaking for that one scene . Desiree wandering down the stairs, strutting around looking for someone, think she was whistling. Then walking out of that colorful, quiet room, with that Goat Lady decoration hanging on the wall.

    Love these on location segments.

  11. Jim · August 11, 2015 Reply

    I was really surprised how little some of those places have changed in nearly 40 years and the owners have taken good care of them. Can’t wait for the next location article.

  12. James · August 14, 2015 Reply

    Very interesting piece…Only thing missing was an interview with Desiree herself…:)

  13. Dale Ealey · August 19, 2015 Reply

    Great stuff! And so many of the places still look the same.

  14. Sly · August 19, 2015 Reply

    Desiree….one of the most beautiful stars of her era. What a coup it would be to track her down and tell her story.

  15. Aaron M · August 20, 2015 Reply

    Love this line:
    > The Rialto Report risks life and limb taking pictures of men at the urinals for ‘research’ purposes

    How were you able to access to the former De Renzy home? I’m trying to imagine the conversation at the front door.

  16. Chris Charles · October 10, 2015 Reply

    This sure is some outstanding research and dedication. When I caught the title, I was hoping you’d include the restroom where the (in)famous enema scene was shot. 37 years later, it still looks the same. Tiles, sinks, even mirrors. Most of the cast of this one now seem to be in the “Whatever Happened to..?” file, huh?

  17. harry belland · September 10, 2016 Reply

    This is one of my favorite porno…I 1st saw at a drive-in theater that showed exclusively porn near Salisbury MD where I attended college….I was an instant Desiree fan…I would always try to go to the drive-in when they showed her films….after VHS become a popular format….I rented as many of her films as I could…..great job in this topic!!!

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