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LINDA LOVELACE

Actress Linda Lovelace, who starred in "Deep Throat," arrives at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Ca., April 3, 1974. (AP Photo)

On August 26, 1974, the Post-Dispatch reported on arrests following the showing of the controversial movie "Deep Throat" in St. Louis. Here is our original coverage.

The controversial movie, "Deep Throat," was closed last night after St. Louis County Circuit Judge George E. Schaaf viewed the film and termed it "hard-core pornography."

After viewing the film at the Spanish Lake Adult Cinema, 12109 Bellefontaine Road, Judge Schaaf issued arrest and search warrants at the start of its last run about 10:45 p.m.

Police officers then arrested the manager and the projectionist and seized the film. Judge Schaaf viewed the movie with First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Donald J. Weyerich and St. Louis County Detectives Edward Opich and Joseph Messina. Weyerich said they took the action after police and the prosecutor's office had "received thousands of telephone calls" complaining about the movie since it began running Friday night.

He said that some calls were from persons who had seen the movie, others from residents living near the theater. "The police dispatchers said that for awhile every other call they received was about the movie," Weyerich explained.

Arrested on charges of possession of obscene matter were William C. Houston, 46 years old, of Denver, the manager, and Bruce C. Cole, 23, of the 1200 block of Highmont Drive, Ferguson, the projectionist. Both were released on their own re cognizance pending application for warrants. The charge is a misdemeanor.

But the manager, William Houston, said today that he would continue to show the film while he files an appeal to the court action. When asked if he expected to be arrested, he said, "I don't know. That's up to them."

Houston said he planned to file the appeal in the afternoon, but would show the film all day. Weyerich, when told of Houston's plans to show the film again today, said he would ask Judge Schaaf to issue a temporary restraining order that would prevent the theater from showing the movie until the cases of Houston and Cole had been disposed of. He said also that county police would be in the audience again today, and that if the same film was shown the manager and projectionist would be rearrested.

The theater was closed temporarily this morning while employees did cleaning that normally would have been completed last night, Houston said. He said the last show normally ends about midnight.

Promoters of the movie, which had its first commercial showing in St. Louis on Friday, said it had been censored considerably from the original version. Some viewers Friday night expressed disappointment after viewing it.

Weyerich said he had received a telephone call at home late Sunday afternoon from Prosecuting Attorney Gene McNary saying that many complaints had been received. "People in the neighborhood were upset," Weyerich said. "People all over were upset."

He said he had called the County Police Department to confirm the number of complaints and then got in touch with Judge Schaff, who agreed to view the film. Weyerich said it had been necessary to have the judge view the movie under a recent United States Supreme Court decision requiring a judge 'to see the material before warrants can be issued.

"I found the entire movie obscene," Judge Schaaf said. "I also found it personally objectionable. It certainly is not protected by the First Amendment."

Weyerich said he also termed the movie obscene under court standards. Blank affidavit, search warrant and arrest warrant forms were taken to the scene by Weyerich and the two detectives. After leaving the movie, the forms were filled out and Judge Schaaf issued the warrants.

About 50 persons were in the theater, which has a seating capacity of 300, when it was closed. Their admission fees of $5 each were refunded. Weyerich said that the movie could reopen again today, but that the manager and projectionist would be subject to re-arrest.