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The Infamous Adonis Movie Theater

Watching  porn in a real theater? *GASP* Yes, it’s true. We live in an amazing time. There’s so much technology  available to us today- you can enjoy your favorite porn whenever you wish and either on your smart phone, tablet or other viewing device via Gay Hot Movies.  We’ve all come a long way since the days of VHS and BetaMax. But imagine if you will for a second, going to a movie theatre to watch a movie. Yes its true- the majority of them are dank converted stores. But there was a time when you’d be able to buy a ticket and yes, even popcorn, sit down and see stars like Al Parker, Jack Wrangler and Kip Noll projected on the silver screen.

One of the most famous (ok infamous) of these “picture palaces” was the Adonis Theater located at 839 8th Avenue in New York City. Opening on September 21, 1921, it was known as the Tivoli. The usual Hollywood fare of the day screened there.


Adonis Movie Theater was quite a large theatre, seating some 1443, including quite a spacious balcony.

Adonis Interior

Times changed in the 60’s and 70’s and then in 1975, it reopened as the Adonis Theater


By then, Times Square became rife with hookers, drugs, and grind house movies playing on 42nd Street, so the Adonis fit right in. Soon, it became very popular as locals and tourists alike would head there to see the hottest new attractions on the screen (Yes they even hosted World Premieres). But soon it became infamous for the action that took place inside, whether in the first floor auditorium or in the spacious main bathroom. The 2nd floor bathroom was fitted with a mirrored ball for ambiance; outside that bathroom was a lounge that led off into a balcony. You’d best watch yourself if you chose to sit right under the balcony.

But alas, the video revolution, raising rents and building disrepair took over and the Adonis was closed in 1989. The former PlayPen theatre on 44th Street was re-named the Adonis, but it was never quite the same. The Adonis was torn down to make way for WorldWide Plaza, a residential/commercial building that also houses the off Broadway theatres, New World Stages.

You’ll be able to get a taste of what things were like there if you watch a movie called “A Night at the Adonis”. This was filmed over nights, while the venue was closed. Part sex story, part love story, it’s really a lot of fun. Check it out here…




About Geoffrey Spaulding

Writing here and there and everywhere- but mainly about my favourite cities on the planet, the City of Saint Francis. San Francisco. I can't explain it, I leave that to Father Mullin "That's right. You're in probably the wickedest, most corrupt city, most Godless city in America. Sometimes it frightens me. I wonder what the end's going to be. But nothing can harm you if you don't allow it to because nothing in the world, no one in the world, is all bad."