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 Topic: Charles Laughton's SF Hotel of choice - St. Framcis @UnionSq

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cmlee  



Joined: 07 Apr 2004
Posts: 6
Interests: gay history silent era pre-talkies Hollywood film presidential election politics amtiquarian olde books !!
Physical Location: Santa Rosa, CA - Sonoma County

Posted: 8 Apr 2004, 12:40 am    Post subject: Charles Laughton's SF Hotel of choice - St. Framcis @UnionSq Reply with quote

My closest friend was for years a traveling road agent for live theatre productions of "Don Juan from Hell" - at least part of the time with Charles Laughton circa 1950s.

The most difficult cast member to awaken in the morning for stage rehearsal and productions in San Francisco was Charles Laughton - one of their jobs while on the road to "check-in" on the cast.

"His bedroom was filled with bellhops and hotel male employees" every time they came to awaken CL. Never objecting, they were, rather, amused at the number of aspiring "actors" in the St. Francis Hotel on Union Square who were willing to be sex toys for CL. The hotel looked the other way. Nothing was ever said. All was discretely covered over by one and all.

Perhaps Laughton's privately grew towards the end of his life to accept his sexual orientation, even if his PUBLIC life with Elsa Lanchester did not reflect it.

Final note, Hilton Hotels vigorously employed hotel House Detectives in lobbies to eject anyone expected of being a female prostitute. But Hilton's hotel employees were instructed to "overlook any male visitors." My friend worked for many years with the Al Brooks Ticketing Agency [pre-Ticketron] in hotel lobby in LA.
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CM Lee Fine Books of Santa Rosa, CA
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Claude  



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 26
Interests: glbtq culture
Physical Location: New Orleans

Posted: 8 Apr 2004, 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Charles Laughton's SF Hotel of choice - St. Framcis @Uni Reply with quote

Thanks for the interesting post. It is valuable not only for its contribution toward understanding the complexities of Laughton's life and the "acceptance" bought by success, at least in the acting and entertainment world, but also for the information it provides about hotels of the day. Younger readers probably don't realize that until the late 1960s, hotels were paranoid about respectability, and regularly screened the visitors of their customers. They were particularly concerned about prostitution, but also about unmarried men and women sharing rooms. Because two men or two women could share rooms "innocently," they were less successful in policing homosexual behavior in hotel rooms.

Claude



cmlee wrote:
My closest friend was for years a traveling road agent for live theatre productions of "Don Juan from Hell" - at least part of the time with Charles Laughton circa 1950s.

The most difficult cast member to awaken in the morning for stage rehearsal and productions in San Francisco was Charles Laughton - one of their jobs while on the road to "check-in" on the cast.

"His bedroom was filled with bellhops and hotel male employees" every time they came to awaken CL. Never objecting, they were, rather, amused at the number of aspiring "actors" in the St. Francis Hotel on Union Square who were willing to be sex toys for CL. The hotel looked the other way. Nothing was ever said. All was discretely covered over by one and all.

Perhaps Laughton's privately grew towards the end of his life to accept his sexual orientation, even if his PUBLIC life with Elsa Lanchester did not reflect it.

Final note, Hilton Hotels vigorously employed hotel House Detectives in lobbies to eject anyone expected of being a female prostitute. But Hilton's hotel employees were instructed to "overlook any male visitors." My friend worked for many years with the Al Brooks Ticketing Agency [pre-Ticketron] in hotel lobby in LA.
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tao  



Joined: 15 Jun 2004
Posts: 1


Posted: 15 Jun 2004, 8:12 am    Post subject: Re: Charles Laughton's SF Hotel of choice - St. Framcis @Uni Reply with quote

I also read somewhere that there was a homoxeaxual brothel in LA he sometimes frequented.
Is this true?

A.K.

cmlee wrote:
My closest friend was for years a traveling road agent for live theatre productions of "Don Juan from Hell" - at least part of the time with Charles Laughton circa 1950s.

The most difficult cast member to awaken in the morning for stage rehearsal and productions in San Francisco was Charles Laughton - one of their jobs while on the road to "check-in" on the cast.

"His bedroom was filled with bellhops and hotel male employees" every time they came to awaken CL. Never objecting, they were, rather, amused at the number of aspiring "actors" in the St. Francis Hotel on Union Square who were willing to be sex toys for CL. The hotel looked the other way. Nothing was ever said. All was discretely covered over by one and all.

Perhaps Laughton's privately grew towards the end of his life to accept his sexual orientation, even if his PUBLIC life with Elsa Lanchester did not reflect it.

Final note, Hilton Hotels vigorously employed hotel House Detectives in lobbies to eject anyone expected of being a female prostitute. But Hilton's hotel employees were instructed to "overlook any male visitors." My friend worked for many years with the Al Brooks Ticketing Agency [pre-Ticketron] in hotel lobby in LA.
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