Monday, May 16, 2011

The Store Where the Creatures Meet

Themis was Pamela Courson's clothing boutique, which she ran from 1969 to 1971. She was Jim Morrison's longtime girlfriend, and to make her happy he funded the boutique. Originally they wanted to call it "Fucking Great" but for unknown reasons, Pam settled on "Themis", the name of the Greek goddess of divine order, law, and custom. The boutique had odd hours, as Themis designer Tere Tereba said: “Themis was ‘incredibly exclusive’ because it was never open. You could count on one hand the times it was open.” Despite it's exclusivity, it was filled with fanciful clothes, jewelry, and decor picked out especially by Pamela on her travels to sell occasionally. It was more of a hangout for the beautiful people. It had lots of richly colored tapestries on the walls, small mirrors and feathers on the ceiling, tie-dyed dressing room curtains, lots of candles, perfumes, incense and racks of clothes that were very European with styles that had not yet gained popularity in the U.S. Some famous people who shopped at Themis are Miles Davis, members of Three Dog Night, and Sharon Tate.
"(Themis was) a romantic poetry den- not at all like any place you would imagine being located in Southern California- more like something from Paris”. - Raeanne Rubenstein (Themis photographer)
"She mirrored the ceilings and then bought thousands of pheasant skins and layered them onto the ceiling with mirrors.  It was all padded and velvet.  Actually there weren't a lot of clothes. It was more of a place to hang out than the normal kind of shop.  There were always a lot of hip people hanging around and it reeked of dope." - Mirandi Babitz (boutique owner contemporary)
“I remember Jim wanting peacock feathers on the ceiling and Pamela wanting them on the walls. They both could not compromise so they had them on both the walls and ceiling! It’s the first thing you notice when you walked in. I think it was a genius idea. There were also many mirrors and curtains on the doorways in different colors. Pamela also had small colorful stuffed animals around. Horses, unicorns, monkeys... all over the shop... you turned a corner, out popped a unicorn. Needless to say my daughter who was two at the time loved going there. Pam always gave her a stuffed toy when we visited." - Anne Marie (Pamela's friend)

Original article featuring Themis in Show Magazine

Sharon Tate (wearing the same robe as Pamela)

Three Dog Night's album, It Ain't Easy

People wearing Themis clothing

(Photos mainly from Pamela Courson Tumblr - an absolutely amazing place! Title from "Love Street" by the Doors.)


Anonymous said...

Deeb says:
awesome pics !!!!!

morrisonproject said...

May I have your permission to reprint your post on my website ( You will be given full credit, plus a link back to your original post. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I have heard through some research that the Blonde gentleman in many of the Themis pictures is actually Jean de Breteuil- Pam's other lover and drug dealer to the stars. If this is true, that adds another layer of interest to these photos.

Tom said...

Check out

Michael Bedard explains these pictures and says the blonde guy is actually Pamela's hairdresser.

Unknown said...

This is Tonè McGuire. I helped build and managed the store. Pam did a lot of drugs. I remember Jim bought her a new Mercedes and she was so high she forgot where she parked it. Took a few days to find it. Jim bought me a 1937 Martin guitar. I loved him a lot we had many conversations about life. I was deeply saddened to hear of his death. I ran into Pam on the streets of San Francisco sometime later when she came back from Paris. She also passed away. His death was a big loss to music. God you Jim and Pam

wonderland-bilbao said...

Thnaks for Info, and Tone for your post, good morning to all

tracy searight said...

Was her shop seriously open less than 5 Times from 1969-1971?

Anonymous said...

Hi Tonè McGuire,
I'm a longtime collector of memorabilia and artifacts concerning Pam , Jim and Themis.
May I ask do you have anything you would like to sell or know anyone who might have something?
Thank you, Richard (