Documentary about a secret sex shop disguised as a book store drops on Netflix

‘Circus of Books’ tells the story of the legendary family run porn shop

A brand new documentary has just landed on Netflix called ‘Circus of Books’. The hour-and-a-half doc tells the almost unbelievable story of a family run gay porn store which to the outside world just looked like a funky book shop.

The heterosexual, Jewish couple who owned the store give an insight into the “shame” which came from running such a store, but how it soon became an oasis for the gay community.

Circus of Books, Netflix, documentary, about, synopsis, release date

via Netflix

Circus of Books is all about a legendary gay porn store in LA

The Circus of Books documentary was created by Rachel Mason. Her parents, Karen and Barry, for decades owned the store of the same name in a cornerstone of Los Angeles’s queer community. The documentary is a look into her parents’ story and that of the store, leading up to its closure in 2019.

Local people featured in doc say they thought the store was “just a book store with a circus theme”, but Rachel’s parents soon became America’s biggest distributors of gay porn. Circus of Books was known as the “centre of the gay universe” and Karen and Barry’s children would say their parents just “owned a book store” if anyone asked.

Circus of Books, Netflix, documentary, about, synopsis, release date

Karen and Barry Mason, via Netflix

The shop became a huge support system for the LGBTQ community during the AIDS pandemic. The store closed last year due to the rise of dating apps and online porn sites.

The Netflix synopsis for the show reads: “For decades, a nice Jewish couple ran Circus of Books, a porn shop and epicenter for gay LA. Their director daughter documents their life and times.” The documentary was executive produced by Ryan Murphy.

Watch the trailer for Circus of Books on Netflix here:

Circus of Books is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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