The history of what would become Europe’s (and maybe the worlds) largest producer of porn started in Studiestræde 17 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The history of Studiestræde 17 itself is over 600 years old. Current building was build in 1803. The ground floor has been in commercial use throughout its history. A shop renting out furniture was there in 1955 and there has also been a second-hand recordstore in the building up until 1961. In 1961 B. Anthony Antikvarboghandel opened its doors as an antique-shop. On September 19th, 1966 the Theander-brothers bought B. Anthonys Antikvarboghandel(*). When Jens and Peter opened their Rådhusantikvariat it was to sell porn. Apparently they chose to keep the signs outside the door, telling bypassers about antique books, arts and souvenirs being available on the inside. Not true.
Porn was still being illegal in Denmark at the time. According to Ole Ege in the Danish documentary “Candy film – da børneporno var lovlig“, pictures of women even slightly spreading their legs would be considered illegal and confiscated. This did not stop Jens and Peter from selling harder stuff from under the counter. For instance, in 1967 they aquired the rights to a handful 8mm movies from England. Ivor Cooke was the producer of these hardcore movies (B&W).
In January 1967 the police in Copenhagen arranges a huge raid, targeting porn. The raid is succesful and more or less cleanses the city for porn. The raid is so effective that most of the larger producers and resellers went out of business. How Jens and Peter Theander dodged this bullet is unclear, but somehow they were not affected. (note: an explanation is now given in this post ) At least for a brief moment Rådhusantikvariatet became the go to place for porn. The customers was allured to the shop with newspaper ads. These ads would already be found in newspapers before the legalization of pornography.
However, everything is pointing towards a legalization. This makes the police uninterested in doing more raids and the Theanders (and other producers) are left alone.
As mentioned, Rådhusantikvariatet started as an antique-store in 1961. When the brothers bought it, they kept the signs outside the doors. However, going inside the shop would reveal nothing but shelves of books and magazines. In one of the scenes from Det Kære Legetøj we’re witnessing a customer coming in, asking for magazines.
– Over there, the clerk says, pointing towards the shelves.
– eehm. I’m looking for harder stuff, the customers says.
– Harder stuff, that will be over there, the clerk says, now pointing towards some magazines on the counter.
The customer is probably an actor, but you can see Jens Theander in the background. It’s not unlikely that the clerk is an actual Rådhusantikvariat-employee. Elsewhere in Det Kære Legetøj there’s a scene where two [actors as] police-officers enters the shop to do a raid. They state their business to the clerk. He is then fetching the store-owner; Jens Theander.
In some variations of the Theander-story it’s said that Jens shot porn in the backroom of the shop. This is not correct. When they started producing their own porn (as, for instance, their probably first magazine Klimaks in 1967) it was done at Rodosvej 13. This was also Color Climax and Rodox headquarters until very late 1960(*), or in the beginning of 1971.
It is still unknown how long Rådhusantikvariatet was owned by the Theanders, but the store changed its name to Byens Antikvariat in 1973. I would guess that Jens and Peter had their adult bookstore in Studiestræde up until that point.
Today there’s a restaurant in the old Rådhusantikvariat premises. The building also houses an art-gallery. Studiestræde is today one of the oldest areas in Copenhagen, still intact.
(*) According to a text, written by Peter Theander, celebrating the history of Color Climax Corporation on their 20th anniversary, the starting point of CCC was september 19th. 1966. I will assume this date to be when they aquired Rådhusantikvariatet since they did not produce or export pornography prior to this date.
Color Climax 136 (September 1986)
Candy Film – da børneporno var lov – Impact TV /DR2 (2016)
Det Kære Legetøj (1968)
(*) This post was published February 2016. Up intil now (November 28, 2016) there has been an error in the dates.
If you’ve previously have read “until late 1970) that is incorrect. The text is now correct)
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