By 1970, he ran eight strip clubs throughout Ohio in Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron and Cleveland.
In July 1974, Flynt first published Hustler as a step forward from the Hustler Newsletter, which was advertising for his businesses. The magazine struggled for the first year, partly because many distributors and wholesalers refused to handle it as its nude photos became increasingly graphic. It targeted working-class men and grew from a shaky start to a peak circulation of around three million (current circulation is below 500,000). In November 1974, it showed the first "pink-shots," photos of open vulvas. The publication of nude paparazzi pictures of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in August 1975 was a major coup. Hustler has often featured more explicit photographs than comparable magazines and has contained depictions of women that some find demeaning, such as a naked woman in a meat grinder or presented as a dog on a leash — though Flynt later said that the meat grinder image was a criticism of the pornography industry itself.
Flynt created his privately held company Larry Flynt Publications (LFP) in 1976. LFP published several other magazines and also controlled distibution. LFP did not expand beyond pornography until 1986, but later its output included more mainstream work. LFP sold the distribution business, as well as several mainstream magazines, beginning in 1996. LFP started to produce pornographic movies in 1998, through the Hustler Video film studio, that bought VCA Pictures in 2003.
On June 22, 2000, Flynt opened the Hustler Casino, a card room located in the Los Angeles suburb of Gardena. After it opened, many observers in the gaming industry speculated that, because of his past legal troubles, Flynt might not be able to get a license to operate a card room. However, the California Gambling Control Commission has confirmed that Flynt is the sole proprietor and gaming licensee of the Hustler Casino.
Other ventures either wholly owned by or licensed by Flynt or LFP, Inc. include the Hustler Clubs and the Hustler Hollywood Store. LFP also publishes Barely Legal, a pornographic magazine featuring young women who have recently turned 18, the minimum age for a pornographic or erotic model.
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