Princess of 42nd Street

Martin (Marty) Hodas, my father and the Porno King of New York City

Hello my name is Romola Hodas and I am the oldest child of Martin Hodas, the Porno King of New York City from the late 60’s until the 80’s. He started his porn business when I was around 10 and I found out at 13. Soon after he was on the front page of the Daily News for a week. Bad week.

I have been writing my memoir for over 2 years and then “The Deuce” comes out on Netflix. My dad’s character is in three episodes. Crazy. Life was scary and so sad back then. On top of dad being the Porno King, my mom was bipolar with personality disorder. She was vicious, addicted to drugs, mean and scary. She would lay in bed months at a time. I would do all I could to take care of my siblings…who, of course, grew up resenting me for it. Terrific.

Watching the first Deuce episode reminded me of the time I went into the back room where there were girls that danced. I sat in a corner and watched them, and then just started asking questions. I don’t remember if they knew who I was. I was so curious what type of woman or girl does that. I was surprised. Yes, some girls were on heroin. Some were putting themselves through college. One woman had gotten divorced…well, she wasn’t really a woman…she was around 20 and had 2 kids. Boy did they make good money…$500 to $700 or more. That was in the early 70’s. They made more money if they let men touch them through the slot in the panel that they watched the girls dance on the revolving dance floor..

I watched the episode last night, and there was my dad. Well..he certainly didn’t look like him, but I clearly remember those white bags with all those quarters. He would bring those bags home, empty them on the kitchen table and me and my mom would put them in the sleeves. All those quarters!

Three days before my dad died, he sat with me and my sister and told me stories that I never knew. I now know so many stories about the man that created 42nd street…the Deuce, and I want people to know, because people won’t get all the answers from those newspaper articles.

I also made it through all the horror and abuse and even kidnapping attempts. I knew I wanted to write about it and help people, because what has saved me until this day is my attitude. Certainly I have bad times…but always push through, because I want to be happy. That meant figuring out what made me happy. It is so easy to be unhappy…you don’t have to do anything.

So, if any of you have any questions, ask. I will write more soon…and I am going to write this book. The proposal is on its way to agents. There are some bumps in the road now…but I am going to write this book. Thanks for your interest.

Please contact me using the form below to receive updates on the book.

marty hodas - king of the peeps
Martin Hodas, ” King of the Peeps. ” Photo: J. Michael Dombrowski, Newsday, 1974. Reprinted in Bianco.

Marty Hodas Home in Lawrence, Long Island, NY

Marty Hodas with Jamie Gillis and Dirty Larry (2009)
The late Jamie Gillis, the ever present Marty Hodas, and Dirty Larry 2009 (photo credit Benson Hurst).

Martin Hodas and 42nd Street