Grind House

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Mar 30 19:24:13 UTC 2007

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Subject: Grind House

"Grind House" was partly filmed in Austin, by acclaimed directors Quentin =20
Tarantino and Roberto Rodriguez. Tarantino frequently explains the term.
I don't think it has any connection to "grinder" (barker), as OED hints. =20
It's probably literally a grind house--a film mill. Earlier citations welcom=
e. =20
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 =20
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 =20
hour, made up mostly of shorts.
(OED) =20
grind house, n.

slang (orig. U.S.). Now chiefly hist.
[Prob. < _GRIND_=20
d&ps=3Dn.&homonym_no=3D1) n.1 (cf. sense 2 at that entry) + _HOUSE_=20
=3D1) n.1=20
J. E. LIGHTER Hist. Dict. Amer. Slang (1994 ) I. 970/1 suggests a further=20
connection with the relatively rare U.S. slang grinder =E2=80=98a barker wh=
o works=20
continuously in front of a single show=E2=80=99, earliest attested in 1926.=
] =20
A cinema showing a variety of films in continuous succession, usually with=20
low admission fees and freq. concentrating on material regarded as of poor=20
quality or little merit. Also: a burlesque theatre; a strip club. =20
1925 Los Angeles Times 10 Oct. 2/3 An agreement was later made by the=20
Motion-Picture Theater Owners' Association of Southern California, it was s=
where payment will be respectively $3 higher in suburban houses, $5 higher=20=
downtown =E2=80=98grind=E2=80=99 houses and $8 in de luxe theaters. 1928 W=
ashington Post 1=20
Apr. III. 1/1 Many people thought Keith's Theater would align itself with t=
he =20
so-called =E2=80=98grind=E2=80=99 houses running twelve hours a day continuo=
usly. 1939 L.=20
GODY N.Y. City Guide 175 On Forty-second Street west of Broadway..famous=20
theaters have been converted into movie =E2=80=98grind=E2=80=99 houses devo=
ted to continuous=20
double feature programs or burlesque shows. 1966 Playboy Dec. 244/1 By ear=
1958 all New York was a Bardot festival; her pictures, duly dubbed and=20
scrubbed, were playing not only in the art houses but in exploitation grind=
and in respectable neighborhood theaters as well. 1993 Rolling Stone 10 Ju=
78/1 Nick hangs with the street kids, especially Molly.., a child prostitut=
destined for the grind house where her mother strips for droolers. 2000 =20
Guardian 12 May (Friday Rev. section) 23/6, I remember solitary teenage trek=
s to a=20
rat-infested ghetto grindhouse to catch some rotten dubbed martial arts=20

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