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Dragon Ladies: Huge Stash Of 1980s LA Stripper Photos Found In Garage

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When Los Angeles-based director and photographer Tyler Hubby discovered wallets of photographs in the garage at his Echo Park home he was curious. The name on the envelopes said “B. Mason”. This photographer had taken hundreds of pictures of strippers, recorded the names of the dancers and some of the venue. One picture (the sixth one down) features the amateur Frank Horvat in an embrace with ‘Mickey’.

The following images are from a collection of over one thousand 35mm negatives made in 1984 by an amateur photographer known only as “B. Mason.” They were subsequently abandoned, and later discovered in an Echo Park garage in 2005, in a stack of withered, moldy envelopes from different one-hour photo labs.

Hidden inside those envelopes was an encyclopedic collection of exotic dancers from several downtown Los Angeles venues: The Dragon Lady, The Cameo and The Last Call. Each envelope of negatives had meticulous notation indicating the subjects’ names and in some instances the places where they were photographed. Each image is its own treasure trove of history, mystery and prurience.

As 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the creation of these images it is only fitting to release an edited selection of them throughout the course of the year. A limited edition monograph is forthcoming. Select prints will be available for exhibition. – Tyler Hubby

The decor, the fashions the men – oh, the men – the drinks at the bar… it takes us back.


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Via: FeatureShoot

  • Stannous Flouride

    Not strippers in a strip club, it’s dancers in a ‘bikini bar.’
    Strip club=nudity, no liquor, NO contact. Bikini bar=liquor, no nudity, contact okay.
    It’s a weird Los Angeles/Orange County thing.

    • Anoraks

      That is weird.

      • Stannous Flouride

        I learned that watching ‘Two and a Half Men’ of all things.
        Despite it’s world-wide reputation, the LA area and especially Orange County, are very conservative.

        As an aside about weird strip club laws- I worked as a stripper in Albuquerque, NM in 1975 in the first male strip club there. At that time there were no gender specific laws and so the laws that were written for women were applied to our 3 male dancers. This included no visible genitals and no pubic hair.
        Not a problem for me but one of the dancers was Italian/French and had hair from his collarbones to his ankles. He was cited for showing pubic hair so he proceeded to shave a ½” line around the edge of his g-string and the vice squad left him alone after that.
        It actually showed off and accentuated his ‘package’ quite well.