January 1959: The LAPD’s Pandora Files

Police Commission File, 1959

This was a fun post on Pandora’s (later Pandora’s Box), 8118 Sunset Blvd., that I completely forgot. The material is in the agenda packets of the Police Commission.

The club was under the jurisdiction of the LAPD’s Hollywood Division Vice Squad and reflects the mind-set of 1959. Sample: “The Pandora area has less ‘homos’ than other areas in the Hollywood Division, but there are ‘homos’ in this area.

For further digging, the entire file is at the Los Angeles City Archives. On the jump, the arrest of a sex worker identified as Shirley Paulos/Shirley Richards. I didn’t get into the later history of the club because so many stories and only one Larry Harnisch.

The post originally appeared on latimes.com in 2009 and is available via Archive.org.

Police Commission File, 1959

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1959, Food and Drink, LAPD, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Nightclubs and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to January 1959: The LAPD’s Pandora Files

  1. Benito says:

    Pandora’s Box was featured in RIOT ON SUNSET STRIP 1967 as a haven for hippies, weirdos, homos etc. I have the dvd in my collection of vintage psychedelic movies, some of which are on tcm today.


  2. Domenic Priore says:

    My book “Riot on Sunset Strip: Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Last Stand in Hollywood” has city meetings and other Hall of Records research in it about the Sunset Strip demonstrations of November, 1966 (five nights in a row) juxtaposed with reports from the Los Angeles Free Press, L.A. Times and Herald-Examiner. The Free Press interviews Capt. Crumbly of the L.A.P.D. but Sherriff Peter Pritchess, who led the charge motivated by County Supervisor Debs, refused to be interviewed. That’s all in my final chapter, most of the book is about the creative renaissance that happened on the Strip in 1965 and 1966 before the harassment began, starting with Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable show featuring the Velvet Underground and Nico being shut down at The Trip. – Domenic Priore


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