Grind House

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Fri Mar 30 06:47:05 UTC 2007

"Grind House" was partly filmed in Austin, by acclaimed directors Quentin  
Tarantino and Roberto Rodriguez. Tarantino frequently explains the term.
I don't think it has any connection to "grinder" (barker), as OED hints.  
It's probably literally a grind house--a film mill. Earlier citations welcome.  
Is VARIETY searchable?
14 June 1927, Helena (MT) Independent, pg. 7, col. 3:
The shutdown at the Rialto will leave only a grind house where second run  
films are shown to cater to the movie fans of Butte.
4 March 1928, Syracue (NY) Herald, pg. 2, col. 6:
It is intended to operate a 24-hour grind house program to run about an  
hour, made up mostly of shorts.
grind house, n.

slang (orig. U.S.). Now chiefly hist.
[Prob. < _GRIND_ 
d&ps=n.&homonym_no=1)  n.1 (cf. sense 2 at that entry) + _HOUSE_ 
control_no=20003051&result_place=1&xrefword=house&ps=n.&homonym_no=1)   n.1 
J.  E. LIGHTER Hist.  Dict. Amer. Slang (1994 ) I. 970/1 suggests a further 
connection with  the relatively rare U.S. slang grinder ‘a barker who works 
continuously  in front of a single show’, earliest attested in 1926.]   
A cinema showing a variety of films  in continuous succession, usually with 
low admission fees and freq.  concentrating on material regarded as of poor 
quality or little merit. Also: a  burlesque theatre; a strip club.  
1925  Los Angeles Times  10 Oct. 2/3 An agreement was later made by the 
Motion-Picture  Theater Owners' Association of Southern California, it was said, 
where payment  will be respectively $3 higher in suburban houses, $5 higher in 
downtown ‘grind’  houses and $8 in de luxe theaters. 1928  Washington Post 1 
Apr.  III. 1/1 Many people thought Keith's Theater would align itself with the  
so-called ‘grind’ houses running twelve hours a day continuously. 1939  L. 
GODY  N.Y. City Guide 175 On  Forty-second Street west of Broadway..famous 
theaters have been converted into  movie ‘grind’ houses devoted to continuous 
double feature programs or burlesque  shows. 1966  Playboy Dec. 244/1 By early 
1958  all New York was a Bardot festival; her pictures, duly dubbed and 
scrubbed, were  playing not only in the art houses but in exploitation grind houses 
and in  respectable neighborhood theaters as well. 1993  Rolling Stone 10 June 
78/1 Nick  hangs with the street kids, especially Molly.., a child prostitute 
destined for  the grind house where her mother strips for droolers.  2000  
Guardian 12 May (Friday Rev. section) 23/6, I remember solitary teenage treks to a 
rat-infested ghetto grindhouse to catch some rotten  dubbed martial arts 

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