Channel 1 Acquires Catalina

WEST HOLLYWOOD — Channel 1 Releasing has announced after weeks of swirling rumors that it has indeed purchased Catalina Video and its catalog of over 600 titles from the past 30 years.

Rob Novinger, a partner in Channel 1, says, “We are overjoyed about Catalina joining Channel 1 Releasing. The studio’s library, which includes some of the most historical gay titles ever made, remains virtually untouched. It makes the prospect of bringing them to consumers in new formats really exciting.”

Catalina was founded in 1978 by William Higgins and was an industry leader through the 1980s and ’90s. It has recently focused on restoring its original films for DVD release. Channel 1 plans to produce new, big-budget films under the Catalina umbrella.

Chi Chi LaRue, director and partner in Channel 1, says, “Catalina Video is where I learned from great directors like William Higgins and John Travis. They gave me my first opportunity to direct. When I think about all of the classic titles they created, it brings back so many great memories for me. I am excited and honored to bring these truly amazing movies to fans, both old and new.”

LaRue directed such hits as The Rise, Billboard (which starred his discovery who would become a legend, Joey Stefano), and the Secret Sex series. In addition to discovering Stefano, LaRue also found stars like Caesar and Lex Baldwin.

Other classic films produced by Catalina include, Big Guns, Sailor In the Wild, and Powertool, which was called the Best Gay Adult Movie of All Time by GAYVN. It also pioneered the bisexual film genre with hit films like The Big Switch and Revenge of the Bi Dolls. Stars discovered by the studio include Kip Noll, Kevin Williams, Steve Rambo, Brandon Lee, and Jeff Stryker.

Channel plans to repackage and re-release many of the films in Catalina’s catalog on DVD.