The Magazine, a specialty retailer in the heart of San Francisco dealing in back-date magazines, ephemera and erotica, opened in the Spring of 1973. The owner and proprietor, Trent Dunphy, began with the front half of a small shop at 839 Larkin Street (currently the home of The Shooting Gallery alternative art space) with magazines standing in cardboard boxes on saw-horse tables. The original idea was not only to offer back issues of popular magazines to readers, collectors and aficionados of print media but also to provide a place where fans of erotica of all stripes could find a wide range of old and current material. And, it provided a place where magazines and books could be traded as well as bought or sold. Over the intervening years, as used bookstores steadily reduced the space they once allotted to old magazines, this little shop flourished. After its first decade, the shop moved south one block to 731 Larkin Street and occupied two storefronts for the next ten years. Finally, in 1993 the shop moved to its current location at 920 Larkin Street between Geary and Post in a handsome old shopfront which had been the optometry shop of Dr. Maurice Weiss for more than sixty years.
Currently the shop is open six days a week (Mon-Sat 12pm-7pm) and caters to a varied clientele ranging from locals, students and tourists to set and costume designers, media professionals and collectors. The building houses a vast collection of material dating back to before the turn of the 20th century with substantial inventories of popular titles like Life, Look, The Saturday Evening Post, Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Time and Newsweek, the New Yorker and many others. There are also many boxes of ephemera like theatrical programs and flyers, rail and steamship timetables, local and worldwide travel brochures, menus, sheet music, as well as popular and collectible personalities ranging from Marilyn Monroe to Michael Jackson.
Additionally, the shop offers a wide variety of adult materials, old and new, featuring magazines and books, videos and DVDs, with an unapologetic enthusiasm for fans and collectors of every hue. Whether you're looking for Lili St. Cyr, Jim Stryker or Jeff Stryker, Eneg or Bilbrew, Tom of Finland or Denny of San Francisco, you can count on finding something here to strike your fancy.