BML Videos videotapes

Finding aid created by GLBT Historical Society staff using RecordEXPRESS
GLBT Historical Society
989 Market Street, Lower Level
San Francisco, California 94103
(415) 777-5455

Descriptive Summary

Title: BML Videos videotapes
Dates: 1977-2002
Collection Number: 2014-10
Extent: 15 cartons, 1 box, 1 oversize box (16.2 linear feet)
Online items available
Repository: GLBT Historical Society
San Francisco, California 94103
Abstract: This collection is made up of over 400 VHS and SVHS tapes, including master and duplicate tapes, raw and edited content and multiple and single camera footage; tapes capture many San Francisco and Bay Area LGBT social and recreational events spanning from 1977 to 2002 such as contests, athletic competitions, award shows and fundraisers, parades, drag shows and more.
Language of Material: English


Collection is open for research. Funding for processing this collection was provided by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Publication Rights

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Managing Archivist at the GLBT Historical Society. Permission to publish is given on behalf of the Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner.

Preferred Citation

BML Videos videotapes. GLBT Historical Society

Acquisition Information

Gift of Luis Pérez-Cordero in 2014.

Biography/Administrative History

The BML Videos videotape collection was created by Luis Pérez-Cordero, the creative director, editor, and CEO of BML Videos, a San Francisco-based filming company active from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s. Started by Luis and two friends, “BML” was named for the three friends’ first initials – Bruce, Mario, and Luis. Before BML Videos officially formed, Luis and Bruce were involved in creating video recordings for MEN (Male Entertainment Network) of LGBT motorcycle run shows, clubs, and competitions around the Bay Area. When MEN disbanded, Luis and Bruce joined with friend Mario to start BML Videos, creating videos of parades, street fairs, and various coronations and competitions. Mario and Bruce controlled the cameras while Luis edited footage, often live-editing to ensure interested bars could broadcast the footage as close to the live event as possible. In what began as just a hobby, BML Videos emerged as one of the only video production companies of its kind in the Bay Area. As the group’s demand increased, BML hired a fourth member, Scott, as well as additional camera people, runners, and others to help with larger events. All videos were available for purchase by the public for $20.00. BML Videos existed just as the AIDS crisis was intensifying, and many of the people, groups, and organizations that the footage documented would later fall victim to the tragedies of the disease. Despite this, BML Videos managed to capture the great diversity and variation found among LGBT communities in San Francisco during the 1980s and 90s, including videos that celebrated the lives of those lost to AIDS in the gay community. Due to career demands and the relocation of the original partners, BML finally disbanded in the late 1990s.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection is made up of over 400 VHS and SVHS tapes, including master and duplicate tapes, raw and edited content and multiple and single camera footage as part of BML Videos of San Francisco. The videos capture many San Francisco and Bay Area LGBT social and recreational events spanning from 1977 to 2002 such as contests, athletic competitions, award shows and fundraisers, parades, drag shows and more. The collection is accompanied by a 14-page videotape inventory originally written by BML producer Luis Pérez-Cordero; the list, which enumerates items according to thematic categories, differs slightly from label notations on the physical VHS and SVHS tapes. The container list below outlines the main themes and categories of videos in each collection container and can be used in conjunction with Pérez-Cordero’s item-level inventory to create a more comprehensive collection listing (for access to Pérez-Cordero’s inventory, please contact the GLBT Historical Society archivist). The video collection is maintained according to the original order and organization established by Pérez-Cordero and was consolidated down to 15 cartons from an original 16 during archival processing. Cartons 1-5, box 1, and oversize box 1 include footage of the Mr. Leather Daddy, Mr. Bare Chest, Mr. South of Market, Mr. San Francisco Cowboy, Mr. and Ms. Cheeks and Chaps, Ms. Leather International, Mr. Drummer, and other bodybuilding and chest contests. Other videos included are recordings of beer busts and Halloween events at the historic San Francisco Eagle Bar in the early 90s. Cartons 6 and 7 offer a comprehensive look into the San Francisco Imperial Family events, including Court Silver Jubilees, candidates’ presentations, investiture ceremonies, and coronations and galas from 1988 to 1993. Figures included are Emperor Patrick and Empress Tina Tanner; Emperor Jerry Coletti & Empress Pat Montclair; Sable Memorial Tributes; Lilly Street Running for Empress Events; Imperial Family Silver Jubilee Celebration; Emperor Michael Bowman & Empress Caresse; Emperor Douglas and Empress Velveeta Mozzarella; and Grand Ducal Coronations (Grand Duke Jim Jonner and Grand Duchess Suzie Wong; Grand Duke Bruce Harrelson & Grand Duchess Collette La Grande). Videotapes in cartons 8-11 and part of box 1 document various street fairs and protests, including Dore Alley, the 1st Folsom Street Fair in 1989, the San Francisco Gay Day Parades (before they were televised, from 1990 to 1993), and the 1st Castro Street Fair in 1992. Also included is footage from the 1993 March on Washington, 14th Annual San Francisco Carnival, and Closet Ball: San Francisco’s Most Outrageous Coming Out Party. Carton 11 also contains footage from the Cable Car Awards, 1990-1993. Carton 12-14 includes motorcycle and bike events, such as races, runs and award ceremonies by the California Eagles Motorcycle Club in 1993, the Golden Gate Guards’ from 1988-1995 or the Barbary Coasters, and the Cycle Runners from 1987 to 1993. Also included in carton 14 are videotapes with footage of drag shows, such as the San Francisco God Damn Independents’ Minsky’s drag performances, ranging from 1985 to 1994. The final carton in this collection, carton 15, contains various “miscellaneous” VHS and SVHS tapes as well as “Life Tapes”: videos of memorialized community members who lost their lives to HIV/AIDS from 1990 to 1995. Also included are Inter Club Found (now known as the Leather Alliance) Folsom Follies events, as well as recordings from an all drag production of The Odd Couple (1989). Together, cartons 14 and 15 capture the many clubs, organizations, venues and individuals, some now gone, that have served, entertained and held space for LGBT communities in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past thirty years. GSSO linked terms:;;;;;;

Indexing Terms

Motion pictures
AIDS (disease)
Pride parades

Additional collection guides