SiteWorks: San Francisco performance 1969-85

Cabrillo Elementary School, 735 24th Street, between Balboa and Cabrillo, Outer Richmond

Mark Pauline/Survival Research Laboratories, An Exhibition of Performance Machinery Guaranteed to Fulfill Your Most Far-Out Entertainment Fantasies (4pm, 6th June 1980)



San Francisco Unified School District officials were caught off guard when a Richmond District resident complained that a local Avant-garde show producer showed a pornographic movie at Cabrillo School Saturday night.

Based on an anonymous telephone complaint about a show at Cabrillo School’s amphitheater, the resident said the movie showed a man and a woman separately engaged in pornographic acts.

Some 250 persons attended the show and among the audience were children.

A KQED reporter, Phil Bronstein, who was at the show to film a different segment of the show produced by Survival Research Labs described the movie as ‘pretty shocking’ and it was ‘indeed pornographic.’

Bronstein, who was there to cover an Avant-garde light show involving old industrial equipment, said a number of people walked out of the show when the eight minute movie entitled, “5XXX 60,” was shown.

But Mark Pauline of Survival Research Labs which rented the amphitheater from the school district for $20 said the movie produced by England Avant-garde moviemakers Monte Cazzaza and Tana Emolo was generally liked by the audience.

“This was an anti-sex film,” said Pauline, “It was an experimental comment on sex. It was really a spoof on sex and didn’t appeal to any prurient interests.”

Pauline said at least one or two children were in the audience during the movie’s showing, and there were a number of 18 and 19 year olds.

“It was anti-pornographic and showed people partly naked doing day to day activities,” he said.

Pauline defended his show saying, prior to getting Board of Education approval to stage his show at Cabillo School, he described to school officials what would be presented.

Pauline said he has had other shows at the Palace of Fine Arts, the Golden Gate Park band shell, United Nations Plaza and Union Square. The Cazzaza-Emolo movie was never shown at any of those City parks though. (Borsuk 1980: 49)