Executive produced by Ryan Murphy, the documentary tells the history of “the center of the gay universe,” as one patron termed it, an adult bookstore in Los Angeles called Circus of Books.
Rachel Mason, the director of the film, interviewed her parents, Karen and Barry Mason, the straight owners of Circus of Books who sought to keep their business a secret from their children and friend circle — through more than three decades of being the country’s largest distributor of gay porn. The store shuttered in 2019.
Through the lens of this one family, Circus of Books captures the progress of the LGBTQ movement in L.A. as well as the shift to digital that marked the end of an era for bookstores and the adult film industry. RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Alaska Thunderfuck, a onetime employee, also lends commentary.
Circus of Books premieres April 22 on Netflix. Watch the trailer above!