BEVERLY HILLS—About 100 people crowded into the café area of the Hustler Hollywood store Thursday evening to help owner Larry Flynt celebrate an event that, just a few years ago, few believed could ever happen: the 11th anniversary of a successful, state-of-the-art adult-oriented emporium on the world-famous Sunset Strip.
"After 11 years, our brand is stronger than ever, and that's evident by the success of the Hustler Hollywood on Sunset, our flagship operation," Flynt told AVN. "We're very proud of it, but all the stores are doing extremely well right now, and we're getting ready to open a new store in Cincinnati and also Austin."
For most of the two-hour event, Flynt stationed himself at a table at the front of the store, surrounding himself with actresses Kayden Kross and Aria Giovanni, who also appeared in part to help celebrate the publication of Erotic Dream Girls, a collection of erotic images by prominent adult photographer Holly Randall. Randall signed copies of the book for Hustler Hollywood patrons, sometimes under the watchful eye of her famous mother, Suze Randall.
Also present at the gathering were adult performers Misty Stone, Nyomi Banxxx, Thomas "Cosby" Ward and James Bartholet, and Free Speech Coalition executive director Diane Duke.
But the attendee who appeared to be the busiest was Flynt's daughter Theresa, VP of operations for Flynt Management Group.
"Eleven years today we opened the doors," she told AVN in mid-flight, "and we've just had a record-breaking year, so despite the economy, people are still buying the sexy products we sell. We had a record-breaking Valentine's Day '09, and we have a goal for this Valentine's that we're going to hit."
And what sells best? we asked.
"It started out as the videos back in the day when we opened, but it's evolved to toys," Theresa Flynt recounted. "I would say the toys, lingerie and our own Hustler apparel are the top three."
"When we very first opened, we had put out the basic classic tees," she continued. "I had silk-screened the black shirt with the white 'Hustler' logo and they were selling out like crazy, so we started making more and more colors, more things, and then I think it was probably like six years ago, we started making our own clothes and we sell them in other stores like No Fear, Cycle Gear—there are a lot of chain stores that stock our clothing. And it's sold worldwide."
The climax of the evening happened just after 8 p.m., when two store employees rolled out a giant chocolate cake emblazoned with the fiery heart Hustler logo, and the other employees gathered behind Larry Flynt's wheelchair for a photo op and to watch him cut the first slice of cake. Hors d'oeuvres and flutes of champagne were also served, and it's safe to say that a good time was had by all.