Circus of Books West Replaces ChiChi LaRue’s in WeHo Rainbow District

Circus of Books West - Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The Circus of Books adult novelty brand has expanded and replaced ChiChi LaRue’s adult store at 8861 Santa Monica Blvd in the heart of West Hollywood’s Boystown/LGBT Rainbow District. New signage has gone up at the Circus of Books West location and the LaRue name has been dropped at ChiChi LaRue’s Circus at the WeHo East location.

Business partners ChiChi LaRue (Larry David Paciotti) and Rob Novinger have parted ways amicably according to both parties. “We parted ways a while ago when they stopped making movies,” Larue told WEHO TIMES. “I had to move on and go places where I could direct and continue my brand. I’m still very close to them and we talk all the time.”

“It was time for a change,” said Novinger. “Larry loves directing, but we wanted to go the novelty route and stop making movies. We took advantage of some of the downtime from the pandemic to make improvements at the WeHo West location. We want to bring some of the same elements that we have at the original Circus of Books. People wanted us to expand our gallery space. We have a high demand from LGBT artists who want to be featured in our gallery and now we can do that at both locations. It will be a sexy MOMA in West Hollywood.”

Aside from the name change, Novinger also says Circus of Books at WeHo West will offer more adult gift items and be less rated X, because there are not many gift stores left standing after the pandemic.

The gallery at Circus West is now live and currently featuring works by the following LGBT artists:
Danny Warhole
Glen Hanson
Jason Ebrahimi
Eduardo Rocca
Jacob Cruz

Novinger is also a business partner at the up-and-coning Or Bar, which is taking the place of the Gold Coast Bar, located across the street from the original Circus of Books.

ChiChi LaRue’s has been on the Santa Monica Boulevard strip since 2009. It originally opened where Bottega Louie now stands, before moving across the street next to Larrabee Street where we now see the new Circus of Books.

Book Circus opened in 1960 in front of the very cruisy Vaseline Alley. In 1980 and through the AIDS crises it became the iconic Circus of Books. In 2020 it has been reimagined and reopened as ChiChi LaRue’s Circus, and now we just have Circus of Books with the addition of Circus of Books West.

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at
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8 months ago

Why not just change the original location back to Circus of Books?? I never see anyone in there.

8 months ago

I sort of like that “Circus of Books”
lives on after all of these years but it just doesn’t make sense for this business. Books? Perhaps Circus of (inset something here), pun intended….or simply Circus. ‘Tis whacky

8 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

I think they are using the name since so many people remember going to the location across from the Gold Coast years ago

8 months ago

Crap store front and center.