Gay Erotic Video Index
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Born in Pasadena, California in 1946 to parents who met in the Navy. In high school he took up photography. Bill Haggerty, who he later worked with in film production, was a school friend and together they would get fellow students to pose for Hal's camera. At least some of them were nude pictures. The nude sessions were in a shower and some out of doors in the surrounding hills above Devil's Gate. These photo sessions seem to have been inspired by Bob Mizer's Physique Pictorial.
After graduating from high school, Roth moved to L.A. and met a Puerto Rican who became the only lover Roth ever had. Eventually, when Hal took up the porn business they parted over that work. For conventional work, he was employed at J.W. Robinson Department store, where there was a lot of sex going on, Crocker National Bank as a computer operator and then the telephone company. His last full time job with an employer was for a printing company. After a vacation in Hawaii, he came back, quit his job and started his photography and film business.
Roth was a frequent visitor to Bob Mizer's where he learned much of the craft by simply watching. Mizer had special Saturday private screenings that Hal was a frequent guest at. Hal's admiration and adoration for Bob are unmistakable.
In addition to learning from Bob Mizer, Roth first worked for Dick Fontaine. Roth's own first efforts were still pictures which he advertised in the Advocate. He would also advertise in the L.A. Free Press to hire models.
Roth's personal taste in subjects evolved over time as he found new market niches to offer his customers. Bondage and spanking was an idea that came from Bob Mizer. Although he had a stronger flavor than Mizer used, and was surprised about how much his models could put up with, he really didn't enjoy hurting them and would cringe at what others would do. Another thing that distinguished his work was the used of men of color. As time went by he found himself most attracted to Latin and black men, creating a large offering of all black and all Latin films.
In 1960 Roth was arrested outside the police's jurisdiction for charges outside the court's jurisdiction and represented by a lawyer who happened to be a friend of the prosecutor and who talked him into a plea agreement of 3 years probation and getting out of the business. At this point Halco became Filmco but he stayed in the porn business.
"Newsletter: Progress Report" Market Reports Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 6 Apr. 15, 1975 pg. 1 (Notes)
"Halco Busted" Market Reports Newsletter Vol. 3 No. 9 Jan. 12, 1976 pg. 1 (Notes)
"Halco Situation Still Stable" Market Reports Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 2 Apr. 6, 1976 pg. 1 (Notes)
"Halco Sells Out - Now Is Filmco" Market Reports Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 8 Oct. 5, 1976 pg. 1 (Notes)
Hal Roth Interview No. 3 Mar. 1999: One Archives
Hal Roth Interview No. 4 Mar. 1999: One Archives
Hal Roth Interview No. 2 Mar. 9, 1999: One Archives
Hal Roth Interview No. 5 Apr. 13, 1999: One Archives
Hal Roth Interview No. 6 Apr. 13, 1999: One Archives
Hal Roth Interview No. 7 Apr. 13, 1999: One Archives
Hal Roth Interview No. 8 Apr. 13, 1999: One Archives
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