7/21/07 - Mitchell Brothers San Francisco Co-founder Died
Jim Mitchell died of a heart attack on July 12th. He was buried beside his brother and business partner Art, with whom he founded San Francisco's legendary O'Farrell Theatre in 1969 http://www.ofarrell.com/ . The Mitchell Brothers went on to produce such adult film classics as Behind the Green Door (starring Ivory Snow girl Marilyn Chambers and porn's first black superstar Johnny Keyes), The Resurrection of Eve and Autobiography of a Flea. The brothers' partnership ended in 1991 when Jim shot Art to death in what he claimed was a confrontation over Art's drug and alcohol abuse.
Among the Bay Area notables in attendance at the hour-long memorial were former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, ex-District Attorney Terrence Hallinan, Mitchell's trial attorney Michael Kennedy, political operative Jack Davis and former San Francisco Chronicle reporter Warren Hinckle. While the Mitchell Brothers have been credited as a major force in the sexual revolution, Jim Mitchell had no illusions about his films. "The only Art in this business is my brother," he famously said.
Hinckle recalled the Mitchell
Brothers' battle with San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, who attempted
to shut down the O'Farrell during the '80s. The brothers responded by placing
Feinstein's unlisted phone number on the O'Farrell marquee under the message:
"For A Good Time Call..." Judy Foster, who stripped at the O'Farrell
for 11 years under the name Katrina, said: "It was the best time of my life.
They had to kick me out of there. It's so great growing up being a slutty
girl and having a place to go and be accepted." "He was the best boss
ever," added another dancer who currently strips at the theatre under the
name Kimberly Rio. "He created a safe, classy environment and enabled many
of the girls to do other things, like go to school and get degrees. I bought
The service ended with a live performance of the Frank Sinatra standard "My Way" and the release of a flock of doves. The San Francisco Chronicle described the memorial as "the end of a glorious time of sexual freedom, political high jinks and fun" for many of the attendees who experienced the Mitchell Brothers' heyday during the '60s and '70s.
Dave notes I have visited and reported on the current rather unique theater/ strip club in my reports. I avoided it on the last trip since its known for high fees and just about anything you want sexually. A very nice place, and known for their fight in San Francisco for adult rights. San Francisco is probably the best city in the U.S. to enjoy sexual freedoms with former prosecutors (including Hallinan who was at the memorial service) refusing to prosecute private prostitution cases unless some real crime was involved. It is very open in some of its strip clubs (almost too much so in my view) even more so than what I enjoy in Canada, just far more expensive which is why I prefer the clubs in Ontario for lap dances but am not interested in "extra's" in a strip club since far better to have a escort at $180/hr full cost in a bed for an hour vs similar cost for fast sex in the private areas of some strip clubs both in San Francisco and Canada.
I wrote in 1998 regarding the
San Francisco Task force to Decriminalize Propitiation (including street hookers
so of course died ):
Regarding the killing of his brother:
Jim decided that he had to
become Artie's Keeper and put him down before he destroyed and killed himself
and the Mitchell Family anymore. There are reports that Artie not only made
verbal threats over the phone to Jim but also their Mother as well and maybe
Jim felt she was in danger as well from all of Artie's abuses of alcohol and
7/28/07 Another View
I am writing to object to your sloppy account of Artie Mitchell's demise and Jim Mitchell's shooting him to death. It is a rehashing of what was reported that the speakers at Jim's memorial said, and of Jim's lead defense attorney at his murder trial (Michael Kennedy)'s statements. Anyone who followed the events at the time of Artie's death in 1991 closely knows that Jim planned and executed the killing carefully. He parked 3 blocks away from Art's house, had armed himself with 2 guns and a knife and an extra box of ammunition. After slashing the tires of Art's car, he kicked in the door and began firing a series of 8 shots, 7 of which were within body mass range. After Art was hit 3 times and killed, Jim stuffed the rifle down his pants leg and was trying to hobble away when stopped by the cops. Jim spent 1.3 million on his defense and was convicted only of voluntary manslaughter. The Mitchells' history of having contributed to many political campaigns and causes helped Jim get many letters of support that led to a leniant sentence. As someone who claims to be a Christian, I find it peculiar that you would call shooting an unarmed man who had six children justified--even if he was an alcoholic and drug abuser. There is always more than one point of view about events, and as we know, the people who survive and who are victorious get to write history.