Female impersonators -- Drama, Robots -- Drama, Sexuality and culture -- Drama

Luminous Procuress

World Premiere of Restored 16mm Print
Score by Warner Jepson

In Conversation

  • Steve Seid was a curator at BAMPFA for twenty-five years and spearheaded the effort to preserve Luminous Procuress.

  • An original member of the Cockettes, Rumi Missabu continues to direct and perform examples of flamboyant drag theater on both coasts.

  • An early backer of Luminous Procuress, Tsvi Strauch operated the first hippie boutique on Haight Street.

  • Vishnu Dass is the director of the Steven Arnold Archive and is currently finishing a documentary about the artist.


Pandora, Steven Solberg, Ron Farrell, The Cockettes,


After completing preservation, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive has readied new prints for the re-emergence of Steven Arnold’s Luminous Procuress, an elusive example of early seventies mystical queer cinema, known mainly through bootlegged VHS copies and battered prints.

Read more about Luminous Procuress and its history in the article by Steve Seid Illumination Procured: Steven Arnold and the Body Eclectic.



A gender-obliterating funfest unleashed by the cantankerous cross-dressing Cockettes, the legendary Luminous Procuress brazenly recounts the mystical passage of two lissome hippie lads who enter a strange mansion where a magic potion promises glimpses of a transformational realm. Led by the mystical “Procuress” (the ever-sculptural Pandora), the two naïfs are privy to a delirious vision of consciousness unbounded by gender or desire. Created in San Francisco’s Mission District by Steven Arnold, an art outlier of prophetic leanings, Luminous Procuress, an exotic amalgam of outrageous wearable art, oneiric imagery, and erotically charged tableaux, gloriously drags on.

Steve Seid
  • Steven Arnold
  • Steven Solberg
  • Steven Arnold
  • Warner Jepson
Print Info
  • Color
  • 16mm
  • 75 mins
Additional Info
  • Preserved by BAMPFA in partnership with the Walker Art Center

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Luminous procuress (poster), Sonoma Film Institute, 1979

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