Against the backdrop of the 1964 Republican Convention, a San Francisco cocktail waitress became one of the city’s most popular entertainers after making her debut as America’s first topless dancer. The new documentary feature Carol Doda Topless at the Condor tells the story of the fresh-faced girl next door who defied convention and the law by gyrating atop a white baby grand piano and turning a North Beach nightclub into the city’s second-most-popular tourist attraction after the Golden Gate Bridge. Meanwhile, Doda’s very public use of silicone to enhance her breasts launched a new industry. Directors Marlo McKenzie and Jonathan Parker share an unprecedented look at Doda’s life and legacy, as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of the vibrant, sometimes outrageous and always entertaining world of North Beach.

Every city has a history.

San Francisco has a legend.

Cast & Crew

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Jonathan Parker is a writer, director, producer, musician and composer who is currently based in San Rafael, California. Parker’s first feature film, Bartleby, which he also scored, was the opening night selection at the New Directors/New Films Festival at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Deauville. Starring David Paymer, Crispin Glover and Glenne Headly, Bartleby was an official selection at SXSW as well as the Seattle, Munich, Jerusalem and Karlovy Vary film festivals.

Parker’s film (Untitled), starring Adam Goldberg and Marley Shelton, won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Cinema Choice Award at the Mannheim-Heidelberg Film Festival as well as Best American Film at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. The Architect, starring Parker Posey and Eric McCormack, made its world premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival and was an official selection at the Vancouver, Seoul, Rio de Janeiro, Houston and Mill Valley film festivals.

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Marlo McKenzie believes that story can change the world, and to create a better world we must first be able to imagine it. She produced Butterfly Town, USA and Standing on Sacred Ground. McKenzie is also the director of My Secret Country, a documentary about children who invent imaginary friends and worlds, which has just completed post-production.

McKenzie lived several lives before finding a home as a producer and director in San Francisco. The Detroit native spent time in Europe, working in theater in Germany and studying in France. In Australia, McKenzie co-founded a video production company that serves underserved youth.

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Lars Ulrich (Producer) is a founding member of Metallica. He is passionate about independent film and devoted to his adopted home of San Francisco. Ulrich’s love for Jonathan Parker’s film (Untitled) led him to form a creative relationship with the director. They realized their mutual interest by partnering together on this documentary.

Vincent Palomino (Producer) is a producer and director best known for serving as key grip on a number of major motion pictures including The Collector (2009), Grindhouse (2007), Lovely & Amazing (2001) and Suicide Kings (1997). Palomino was also the line producer on The Collector. He recently won an Independent Short Award for producing Enemy No More, which also received a Venice Short Film Award nomination. Palomino is currently in production on the feature I Love You?, a romantic dramedy starring Vanessa Angel that he is both directing and producing.

Rick Morse (Executive Producer) has decades of experience as a producer and an entertainment attorney. For the last several years Morse has served as senior VP of business and legal affairs for Radar Pictures, the successor company to Interscope Communications. The original company is known for myriad critically acclaimed box-office successes such as The Last Samurai, Mr. Holland’s Opus and Cocktail. Several franchises extended into remakes or sequels during Morse’s tenure, including the highly successful Jumanji reboot.


San Francisco has been at the center of culture and counter-culture since the mid-1800s. And Carol Doda has been a significant force in that, as well. Below, scroll through a brief timeline of S.F. and Bay Area history. 

The Gold Rush
Hordes flock to the San Francisco area to seek their fortune.
Levi Strauss

Strauss creates the first pair of denim jeans.

First Radio Station
Golden Gate Bridge Built
Carol Doda Goes Topless
Black Panther Party
The Summer Of Love
Silicon Valley & Apple Computers
Google, PayPal, eBay
Dot-Com Culture
Facebook, YouTube, Tesla, Uber
"Carol Doda Topless At The Condor" in Theaters

The Swim

Carol rose to fame when she go-go danced “The Swim” to a rock and roll combo headed by Bobby Freeman as her piano settled on the stage.

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