In 2008, Adult Video News magazine celebrated its 25th Anniversary and chose to commemorate its impressive longevity by paying tribute to the most prominent pioneers of the industry who took risks and paved the way for today’s multi-billion dollar enterprise.
Amongst the great and the good featured in the retrospective, special mention was made of two distinguished New Yorkers whose names may not have been familiar to many readers. They were rightly praised for being amongst the first to develop a chain of video stores called Video Shack in 1982.
What the article failed to mention however was that by the early 1980s, these guys were already veterans in the adult film industry – and able to lay claim to just about the longest tenure of anyone.
Back in 1965, armed with limited funds, Distribpix was founded. Within months, the company was distributing the most profitable adult films of the day; this was the era of black and white sexual melodramas with lascivious and sleazy titles such as “Thigh Spy”, “Lust Weekend”, “Spread Eagles”, and “ Wee-Gee Broad”.
Though the plots were strongly sexualised, the nuditity quotient of the initial films was low – though the climate quickly become more permissive with every film. Wanting to ensure their risque’ films stayed ahead of the competition, Distribpix took risks with the censors and revealed a little more flesh each time. This led the founder to comment wryly that Distribpix invented the industry “one pubic hair at a time”.
The success of Distibpix was instant, and operations were immediately expanded. Relationships were formed with the rising talent of East Coast directors such as Joe Sarno, Ron Sullivan, the Amero brothers, and Michael and Roberta Findlay. In the late 1960s, films rolled off the production line with regularity, turning a quick profit in the legendary Times Square adult cinemas – before earning thousands around the country.
As the 1970s dawned, softcore gave way to hardcore, and once again Distribpix was at the forefront – producing the highest quality adult pictures available. For the first time, the best of the adult films looked like mainstream pictures – and Distribpix led the way with the biggest names in the industry such as Georgina Spelvin, Tina Russell, Jamie Gillis, Marc Stevens, and Harry Reems, specially commissioned scripts and soundtracks, and talented mainstream crews.
Distribpix even started to mirror mainstream production company’s such as MGM or Paramount becoming the first to stage elaborate premieres for its film, or signing now legendary stars such as Gloria Leonard and Jennifer Welles to exclusive contracts. Along the way, the Distribpix library was augmented by the purchase of Sam Lake’s Maturpix back catalog – home of many legendary titles from the era.
Towards the end of the 1970s, the adult film market had become more discerning; Distribpix responded by increasing the budgets and ambition of their productions, hiring the likes of Armond Weston, Chuck Vincent, Jonas Middleton, and Gerard Damiano – resluting in movies such as “Through The Looking Glass”, “Take Off”, “A Scent of Heather”, and “Consenting Adults”.
By now Distribpix had been rebranded as VideoXPix reflecting the advent of the video age. But, unlike many competitors, the company thrived and adapted to the new marketplace quickly becoming a major video production house, even going back to one of it’s earliest directors from the 1960s, Joe Sarno, to deliver film after film shot on video.
Movie production eventually stopped in 1989 – but the company remained in family hands, and has been run by Distribpix kin since 2002. The priority was originally to release the classic hardcore features from the 1970s and 1980s – an undertaking which has been underway ever since, resulting in over 200 films now available on DVD.
However with the resurgence in interest in soft and hardcore adult cinema, Distribpix and VideoXPix are proud to announce the re-launch of the company. The relaunched company will focus on a three-tiered approach: First, we will offer multi-disc remastered special editions of the hard core films, featuring contributions by the original directors and stars, production stills, and authoritive liner notes. Secondly, we will release, remastered soft-core films by stellar directors such as Joe Sarno, Ron Sullivan, Michael Findlay and Leonard Kirtman. Third, we are developing an extensive online community for the sharing of information and documentary material relating to the films, and the ability to download the movies themselves.
Far from being a bootlegging, oldies company like so much of the competition, Distribpix / VideoXPix is proud of is long heritage in the industry and looks forward to increasing the size of its family of people interested in this historical company. We hope you enjoy our family of jewels!