Nob Hill Theater Owner Has Died

Discussion in 'Male Strip Clubs' started by azdr0710, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. azdr0710

    azdr0710 "Old Timer"

    found this over at MSS posted by photographer Terry Wade....I also posted this in The Lounge as general news, then realized it's appropriate here, of course

    Nob Hill Theatre SF Owner Shan Sayles Has Died


    My good friend Shan Sayles has passed away. He owned the Nob Hill Theatre is SF CA. Shan died this past Wed Dec 21 in Carmel CA. The Nob Hill was and still is one of the most famous adult cinemas in the world. He rents It out now but owns the building. Shan was quite the theatre showman as he owned many regular movie theatres and select adult male porn cinemas along with girl stripper cinemas around the USA over the years. I first met him in Hollywood many years ago when his 'Paris Adult Cinema' had a fire and he had me shoot photos for the insurance people. What a fun guy he was and very interested in helping save many theatres with his donations to help remodel and keep them open. Ran the old Park Theatre in LA were Pat Rocco ran his 16mm films and even produced some of his own 16mm loop male videos in the 70's. One story he told me about was when Bob Mizer from AMG came by in the 70's to drop 16mm films off at the Paris Cinema on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood one of Bob's little chimps came with him each week and the little monkey got loose out of the managers office and went into the dark cinema during a crowded Sat matinee. . A old man screamed after a hairy guy he thought was touching him in the dark on the seat next to him. It took almost 1 hour to capture the monkey that afternoon. Shan ran next door to a store and got some bananas. Shan was a member of THS the Theatre Historical Society and we loved to tour classic movie theatres together all over the USA some open and many closed. MR Sayles also ran the Century Theatre in LA. My family also ran some movie theatres and we had some fun stories to talk about. I will miss Shan and I don't know at this time what will happen to our famous Nob Hill Theatre in San Francisco CA. My condolences to his good friend John. There will never be another theatre owner and manager like Shan,, May he rest in peace in the big movie theatre in the heavens. Terry
    BigRic and Despardo like this.
  2. sniper

    sniper Lord

    Damn, that's a shame. How old was he? I wonder how much longer the Nob Hill will be open. I can't imagine in the current SF real estate market that whoever gets it will keep it as is.
  3. shoparound

    shoparound Apprentice

    I wonder that as well. Nob Hill theatre always seems empty when I walk pass it. Although from their advertisements it seems like there's still business.
  4. azdr0710

    azdr0710 "Old Timer"

    the paragraph above does say Sayles only owned the building and the business, evidently, is separately, maybe, this means the business will continue until Sayles's estate is settled (at least a few months??)....
  5. Kurtis Wolfe

    Kurtis Wolfe Knight

    The building was only owned by Shan Sayles and was actually placed into a living trust in 1998. The current owners / managers of the business have been in control of it for a long while and actually live in an apartment in the same building. I am only assuming that they will now be the owners of the building as part of the trust.
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  6. tcruiser7

    tcruiser7 Apprentice

    I have fun there when I visit SF. I hope it stays around for a while.
  7. azdr0710

    azdr0710 "Old Timer"

    resurrecting this thread to give a brief report on my first visit to the Nob Hill in San Francisco......

    located only two short blocks from the priceless real estate of Nob Hill (what a difference a very short walk down the hill makes), I found the place to be small, clean, and friendly....I asked how it all works and the helpful, casual desk guy told me all about it.....$20 entry for both the theater and downstairs arcade.....$15, I think, for just the arcade....(prices may vary)....the staff also told me I could leave the premises for a drink or whatever and return without an extra charge (check for a stamp or ticket) was a Monday eve and the entire place was very quiet.....I asked about the recent death of the "owner" and the desk guy told me he had been "part-owner", implying things would go on as normal.....I had a daypack with me and I was able to keep it with me, but they offered to hold it if I wanted

    solo dancers perform for 30-minute sets in the small theater, then a new guy comes on.....I was the only person in the theater area and entered to find a well-built guy stroking his hard-on on stage, disco lights ablaze.....ostensibly, the 30-minute sets are meant to be about ten minutes of stage show and about 20 minutes of mingling in the "crowd" for privates and tips.....but the dancers seem to have free rein over how they manage their time.....all was very casual.....the theater being empty except for me, this first guy with the hard-on pretty quickly came down to my seat and showed off, letting me paw all over.....I tipped him about $10 or $15 for several minutes of private time.....the same routine continued for me through several dudes' sets and other customers came and went, as did I......they apparently very much rely on tips and the liberal nudity/privates policy here seems well worth it compared to other North American clubs with the ubiquitous $20/song policy.....if the theater is busy (with patrons), you may have to make solid eye-contact with the dancer as he mingles (if you want a private) privacy in the theater, but there are a couple rows with extra legroom so you don't have to have the dancer squeeze uncomfortably between you and the row in front.....guys' attitudes and allowances varied, but all was very fun and exceedingly casual.....tip these guys!!

    the downstairs arcade, accessible by going back into the "lobby" from the theater to the stairs, is primarily a cruise-y area, it seems....several video booths, glory holes inside some of them, and dudes walking around.....not being a cruising kinda guy, I dutifully averted my eyes!.....there is also a very dark "Underground" area down there (themed after the London Underground) that one is free to walk through and see what's going on.....nothing much was going on at all, though there were more guys here than in the theater....I presume things get pretty hot down there on busy always, be polite and respectful....move between the theater and arcade as you wish

    there is a Naked Night on Tuesdays for customers and other weekly/monthly events....check the website

    also, there are fairly regular weekend sex shows in the theater (Fri and Sat eves) for a slightly higher fee, often featuring well-known adult-video actors.....the desk staff told me the theater can get fairly full for those (about 80 seats in the theater) is not always updated for the regular daily theater performers, but staff said the sex shows are well-marked on the website......
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  8. Letmeworshipit

    Letmeworshipit Journeyman

    I've been back and forth over the years about this place. On some visits I think it's a huge ripoff and vow never to darken their door again. The next visit I'll have a dancer cum in my face and end up sucking off half the male population of Nob Hill and Twin Peaks. I have had great times in the lower level when things get busy, or even just a tete-a-tete with w handsome well dressed professional with a gorgeous cock who just wants to get drained before going home to the mister. I hope it stays open, for old times sake. The sleazy gay scene of yesterday is getting harder to find on the continent. Latin America and Europe have kept the scene alive which makes a vacation seem like a sexual fantasy fulfilled.
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  9. BigRic

    BigRic Knight

    Nice first-hand report; thanks @azdr0710!
  10. LaffingBear

    LaffingBear Baron

    I had alot of interesting experiences at that place. I went fairly often in the 90s. I remember the renovations - the current main entrance was an emergency exit when I first went, and the configuration was different. They tried shower shows, and then tried selling webcam access to the showers. They frequently reconfigured the small theater space at the back of the main level, added, removed, added again little booths for private play. There was a multi-level deck out back; over the years, they blocked off access to lower levels. They served alcohol when I first went there.

    The arcade downstairs also went through multiple makeovers. The booths had glory holes, then all were closed, and there were "magic windows" between booths with opaque glass that became transparent when the video was paid/activated. That prevented guys using the booths without paying..... and an employee frequently walked through, banging on doors with unlit in-use lamps, yelling "you cant use the booth if you dont pay for videos!" There was a sex toy shop down there then a big private show booth used by house dancers then subsequently closed, etc.

    I remember Todd, tragically killed in a hate crime, and Jerry, the managers.... they kept that place scrubbed. The Campus Theater, with similar shows, was filthy by comparison. NobHill was so clean, I actually stopped in once or twice when I was nearby & needed a bathroom.

    They went through different "themes" and there was a 1-2 year period in the 90s when most of the house dancers were ripped up muscle guys. I got to know the manager, he took me downstairs to his office and asked for input on dancer selection. One night a married couple was walking around, and introduced themselves as the owners. In my later years, early 2000s, they tried attracting female bachelorette parties.

    There were rules. The headliner had four shows at 12N or 1, 5, 8 & 11, had to get hard every show, and had to ejaculate on-stage at least once a day. They housed the headliner at an apartment next door, then switched to a seedy hotel about 2 blocks away. I had my first escort session in that apartment.

    It was $30 back then. I live in suburbia, so when I drove into SF, I made it an all-day event. I'd catch the first show, stick around for house dancers that interested me, or leave and shop, run errands, get meals, coming and going into the evening. Thats how I met alot of the guys, gave them rides to the gym, took many to dinner, etc.

    I remember when they stopped paying house dancers, telling them to work for tips. Most of them quit.

    I used to hang out, chatted up alot of dancers, etc. I learned an interesting lesson from observing... house dancers would solicit patrons for a private show. Using the lower level private show space, then, when that closed, I guess several dancers got an apartment/room about a block away. I'd see a patron leave with a dancer, looking a little nervous. 15 minutes later, I'd see the house dancer return, looking like the proverbial "cat who ate the cream" Trailing 1-2 minutes behind, would come the patron, looking crestfallen and chagrined. Based on that, I always assumed that the private show was a ripoff. Sometimes I'd see that scene play out multiple times in one night. I got solicited like all patrons; if I was interested, I'd say "no, but I'll pay more for an hour on my terms, if you want" Only one guy (non-headliner) ever said yes. I inferred that the quicky privates racket was much easier money for the dancers.

    You can guess one of my interests from my avatar. Sitting in the Nobhill audience is the first place I ever touched a ripped up muscle guy flexing. Naively, I never knew that a guy could flex his pecs, making them rockhard. I dont remember the dancer's name, but I'm pretty certain a bell rang in my head that first time I felt pecs go from relaxed to solid stone. I was hooked.

    I saw the place empty and saw it packed. I saw Ryan Idol fill the place to capacity, not one empty seat. After performing in a show called "making porn" at a different theater, there was a cast party at NobHill, attended by multiple porn actors and ChiChi Larue. I watched Marco Rossi sit on a champage bottle on stage to the hoots of other porn performers... apparently he'd been arrested or cited in Texas for doing that. I saw the Chicago MeatPackers dance troup, one of them pressed me so hard during a lapdance, he broke my eyeglasses. Later, when he went to get dressed, he handed me his wadded up bills from tips, and asked me to hold it for him. The place was sex-charged. I once watched an asian tourist patron in the row behind me stuffing one $100 dollar bill after another into a house dancer's sock.

    I havent been there in at least 10 years. I still check the website regularly- the house dancers advertised really arent my type. It was one thing to hang there in my 30s, even early 40s. Now, I think I'd feel like an old fart. And yet, every once in a while, I think about going back.

    Wow, apologies to the board for the lengthy post... my fingers just kept tapping as one memory begat another...
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
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  11. azdr0710

    azdr0710 "Old Timer"

    really like memories reports like that, @LaffingBear ....thanks for the write-up......
    BigRic likes this.
  12. BigRic

    BigRic Knight

    Absolutely no apology necessary or accepted, @LaffingBear. ;)

    You should go back, man. "If God is willing and da creek don't rise," we'll all make it to "old fart" status! Ain't no shame in that game.

    I swung through Nob Hill to just peep this storied place on my last SFO trip (I was staying at a hotel closeby). There may or may not have been a HJ in the downstairs area. :)
  13. LaffingBear

    LaffingBear Baron

    Screw the Nobhill. If the avatar is you, let me know next time you're swinging through SF.
    BigRic likes this.
  14. sniper

    sniper Lord

    I went a number of times in 2000/2001 when I was working out that way. I remember the announcer back then had a REALLY sexy voice and he was a good-looking guy too but I suspected he wasn't toned under that denim uniform shirt he wore. Wish I'd had the nerve to ask him out.
  15. BigRic

    BigRic Knight

    Yes, that's me. You can keep tabs on my travel plans in my ad. Link in my sig. ;)
  16. jeezifonly

    jeezifonly Journeyman

    My first recollection of Nob Hill Theater goes back to 1978,
    the "straight"kid from Ohio. Stumbled on it while touring th city, and, granted...the rush is not the same, but I still stop in if in the Bay Area for the nod to its role as preparing me to come out. Not only I had never seen a naked man in person that close before, I had never been cruised! Plus it was the first time to see gay sucking and fucking in motion picture form and this kid from Ohio learned a whole lot that day. Once VHS in every home was the norm, I imagine the whole game changed - before that if you wanted to come watching a movie you went to places like the Nob. You got the added bonus of live performers - the arcade section is more recent. Great memories from nearly 40 yrs!
  17. LaffingBear

    LaffingBear Baron

    Appearing there this week.... i may just return for first time in 10+ years.

  18. jeffla

    jeffla Master

    So many fun memories at Nob Hill (and once upon a time, Campus Theater, which may have not been as comfortable but had some of the hottest 20-man orgy shows with full audience participation you can imagine).

    Puzzled why no one can really give a firsthand account of their monthly Kingdom of Sodom parties? Certainly someone on this site has gone and can report back. Is it a sex show? What's the whole evening like? Please do tell! Can't always get to SF these days but is it worth traveling there for one of these events?

    Nob Hill was my first male stripper experience when I was but a young confused adult. Put my hands on the chest of a hot ripped college guy, and I was no longer confused. Lots of fun experiences there, but wish that their selection these days (per their website) included a greater mix of guys, including the all-American college jocks like they once had.
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