PALM BEACH, Fla.—Back in 2001 inside a garage located in the San Fernando Valley of California, the company Smashbucks.com grew with its launch of the flagship site PornStarClassics.com, which celebrates the classic adult film stars such as John Holmes, Christy Canyon, Ginger Lynn, Seka, Ron Jeremy, Amber Lynn, Marc Wallice, Nina Hartley and many more. Mike Hawk and his partner were discussing the Napster concept and had decided that the Napster paradigm was "the devil." By contrast, Hawk's plan was to launch .mpg files into the world of the p2p (peer network sharing). The plan was to see if they could spread viral videos that were being watermarked and had traceable links, through which they could direct traffic back to a specific page.
After the first week of uploading some carefully named files, they not only spread across pages by the thousands, but now everyone else was sharing their movies. From one single file, thousands had replicated and their garage experiment would prove to be the turning point for the business. Not only did the file bring back visitors to a specific page, but sales from the links on that page grew from a few dollars to hundreds, and later to thousands. After being paid such a large amount the conclusion they asked themselves was, "How much money is this company making that was paying us?" So all the money that was made by the viral files was now being poured into taking the company to the next level: Building a super program whose flagship sites would all be based on classic adult porn. This company would be known as Smashbucks.com.
The idea of using classic porn was brilliant because it was timeless and would never bore; it would always be wildly popular. Hawk recalls talking to other industry webmasters in the beginning and none of them really knowing who Christy Canyon, Ginger Lynn or Seka was.
"It was pretty funny," Hawk commented.
PornStarClassics.com was one of the very first true classic porn sites online, and according to some reliable sources, the giant company AEBN even added the "Classic Channel" to their pay-per-view model based on a Las Vegas AVN trade show conversation back in 2004 with Smashbucks.
There has always been a discussion of why classic stars are better or different than the modern day adult star, and if you ask one of the partners of Smashbucks, they will tell you the history of how this all came to be. It started with movies such as Behind the Green Door and Deep Throat; Hawk says, "They set the standard and truly loved what they did beyond a pay check; they were all natural, unshaven beauties."
The history of how classic porn was dubbed "The Golden Era of Porn" is actually very interesting, and many of us remember it, though some were too young to understand how the first adult films shaped the industry and paved the way for most of what we have today. Notably, those include Behind the Green Door, starring Marilyn Chambers, and Deep Throat, which both debuted in 1973 when porn was consider "chic" and was even being shown in theaters on 42nd Street in New York City and all over America in drive-ins.
"It was the thing to do back then; it was socially acceptable and even discussed openly," said Hawk.
These adult films were budgeted at $60,000 or less and grossed over $25 million—that's pretty intense for an adult film from four decades ago.
"People would line up outside and wait for the doors to open to see Deep Throat, and giant signs above the theater had 'XXX Deep Throat' written all over them," Hawk recalled.
It was 40 years ago that these movies were featured, and still to this day the company receives dozens of emails from people all over the world asking where they can find these classic titles.
"It amazes me, but doesn't surprise me," Hawk smiled. "These are truly classic films that will continue to be shared among young and old for years to come, and we are very happy to have brought it back to the market place in the newest formats available for viewing including mobile devices."
The alliance and partnership with L.A. based Caballero Studios, a classic movie giant, and Smashbucks.com has created a very lucrative partnership over the past five years with the site CaballeroClassics.com. The many changes in media from 16 to 8mm, VHS, DVD to now digital downloads, and the many adjustments the industry has made to convert over to the consumer demands, have been extensive the past ten years. Pornstarclassics.com and CaballeroClassics.com have continued selling and entertaining consumers over the last decade, and it looks like the next ten years will be even better, serving more fans with more classic movies, so everyone's a winner.