By Anthony D’Alessandro


EXCLUSIVE: Picturehouse will release the documentary, Carol Doda Topless at the Condor, exclusively in theaters on March 22 in New York and San Francisco, followed by a March 29 debut in LA, with a further breakout to 40-plus markets.

The doc, from San Francisco filmmakers Marlo McKenzie and Jonathan Parker, premiered at the 2023 Telluride Film Festival and the Mill Valley Film Festival. The nonfiction feature follows a daring young woman who fired one of the first shots in the sexual revolution of the 1960s and became an international sex symbol and a San Francisco tourist attraction second only to the Golden Gate Bridge. Doda went from cocktail waitress to international icon and defender of sexual freedom. Pic was produced by Metallica co-founder and drummer Lars Ulrich.

The docu is based in part on Three Nights at the Condor, a memoir by Benita Mattioli, the wife of Condor co-owner Pete Mattioli. Carol Doda Topless at the Condor brings together a compelling array of Doda’s contemporaries, including dancers, club owners, bartenders and others, who share their first-hand experiences. The film also features interviews with academics who have studied Doda’s role in redefining attitudes toward female nudity, as well as candid interviews with Doda herself.

Carol Doda is a provocative story and a nostalgic love letter to San Francisco in the ’60s,” says Bob Berney, CEO of Picturehouse. “Marlo and Jonathan take the audience back to the days before the Summer of Love and the sexual revolution, using amazing archival footage of the city that essentially makes it another character in the film. We are pleased to once again collaborate with Lars Ulrich, after previously releasing Metallica’s groundbreaking film THROUGH THE NEVER.”

“I was drawn to Carol Doda’s story because of her courage,” says co-director McKenzie. “She was a trailblazing entrepreneur who took risks to achieve her dreams. There were consequences for her choices, and she faced them with charm and humor. Carol helped move culture towards accepting nudity as a part of the human experience that can be embraced and delighted in.”

Co-director Parker adds: “I knew Carol personally. She was such an important part of San Francisco’s cultural history, which had an impact on the whole country. I wanted to make sure her story was told. At a time when there weren’t a lot of options for women, Carol created a career for herself that resonated on many levels.  She had charisma.  She had courage. And I believe she loved what she did.”