"When it’s gone, where will all these lost souls go?"
July 29, 2021 2:13 AM   Subscribe

The Last Dirty Picture Show: a love letter to the Tiki Adult Theater
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs (14 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
I am more or less dead inside but in a fun way.

FTW
posted by chavenet at 3:33 AM on July 29 [8 favorites]


Montreal has a landmark adult theater, Cinema L'Amour, that has survived a very, very long time on the city's main downtown boulevard. Like Tiki, all manner of sexual and social customs and acts are observed within its auditorium. It is an open, and friendly space for nearly the full range of human sexual expression, in public.

It's become something of a cultural icon in a town that has long had libertine attitudes towards sex, and it's incredible that it's managed to resist redevelopment when so many mainstream cinemas have been wiped off the map here.

Cinema L'Amour's own history page, which charts the theater's presence back to 1914.

A video documentary that talks with staff and shows the architecture and decor of the old-school theater in a light few get to see it in (although one would argue you rarely want to see an adult venue with the house lights on).

A profile that balances the usual 'vanilla tourists in the forbidden zone' tone of these types of pieces with a genuine look at the community and pressures surrounding the Cinema.

A very recent exploration of how Cinema L'Amour has survived for so many years.
posted by jordantwodelta at 6:12 AM on July 29 [11 favorites]


One of Toronto's porno theatres is now a climbing gym; for a while, they were putting porn-related puns on the sign outside (scroll down on the link for an example).
posted by jb at 8:36 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


The loss of the Tiki's amazing backlit plastic sign broke a lot of hearts a few years back (there's a hidden inverted phallus on it), but it was a small solace to find the storefront in Ed Ruscha's archive of 1970s photos that the Getty digitized.

Glad to read the busts have stopped; for a while there, the vice squad was targeting the Tiki, and a cop told me not to risk seeing what it was like inside. Like so many small businesses threatened by upzoning and redevelopment, it serves a niche need and we'll be lessened as a city if it ever shuts.
posted by Scram at 8:44 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Anything sexual, Juan says, is fair game so long as it’s done “without force.” It’s an odd thing for him to say, but it’s nice to hear that wokeness has become so ingrained in modern culture that even porno theater managers are cognizant of the importance of consent.
jfc, the idea of consent is "woke" now?
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 8:50 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


The last dirty picture show where I grew up was a seedy drive-in movie theatre. From my grandfather’s place up in the hills, if you squinted real hard you could almost make out a fleshy curve. As a teen I developed one hell of a squint.

But the real kicker about that place for me was during a trip home long after I moved away. Driving on the 2 lane blacktop past the drive-in my mother casually dropped, “Look honey, that’s where you were conceived.”

GODDAMMIT MOM
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 12:23 PM on July 29 [14 favorites]


I used to go an adult cinema in Vienna in the 80’s. It was quite the place. I’m sure it’s long gone. There was also a theater there that played Passolini’s Salo every night for like 20 years. That attracted a different but equally dedicated crown.
So many amazing old theater and movie houses were turned into adult cinemas in the 70’s. Some fascinating hidden architecture.
posted by misterpatrick at 3:03 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


When I was living in the West End of Alexandria, what was apparently the last porn theater in the DC area was across the street, Foxchase 3. It seemed odd, because it was a suburbanish area, and not particularly run down. Never got around to visiting it, due to expectation of weirdness (though apparently they did show some actual art films along with the porn.
posted by tavella at 3:36 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


I moved to Santa Monica back when there was a porno theater on 2nd. Market forces did their thing, and the theater closed.

It is now a Bucca di Beppo.
posted by RakDaddy at 9:37 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Back in the day, there was a single adult theater in Indianapolis. It was a nasty, seedy place, too. Almost exactly what the stereotypical image of a porno theater is depicted as (or...um...so I'm told.) It seemed to have been shuttered within a week of home video being introduced.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:40 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


> When I was living in the West End of Alexandria, what was apparently the last porn theater in the DC area was across the street, Foxchase 3.

Yep, I lived right near there for a few years. It's since been repurposed as part of a typical suburban strip mall, where the most lascivious thing you'll see is someone going to town on a Chipotle burrito. The theater itself is now a Harris Teeter.

It was apparently an art house first, and then went XXX a few years later (mid-1970s), but kept one or two screens for second-run non-porn movies until the end.

I'm told it was kept in business mostly by military personnel from the facility, Cameron Station, that was also formerly across the street. When the base got BRACed (it's now a public park), that was the beginning of the end.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:38 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


When they were redeveloping the western edges of Midtown West, one of the big new office buildings was just a couple blocks north of a gay porno place, the Adonis. The developer tried to turf them out, but couldn't. When one of the anchor tenants moved in, the Adonis changed its marquee to read "WELCOME [EXTREMELY PRESTIGIOUS LAW FIRM]".

Alas, it did not survive the changes creeping up from Times Square.
posted by praemunire at 12:20 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Back in the day, there was a single adult theater in Indianapolis. It was a nasty, seedy place, too. Almost exactly what the stereotypical image of a porno theater is depicted as (or...um...so I'm told.) It seemed to have been shuttered within a week of home video being introduced.

The Rivoli
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 2:10 PM on July 30


The Rivoli

Ah! I totally forgot about the old Rivoli. I remember it mainly as a revival theater. Stuff like Marx Brothers double-features and stuff. I forgot it went adult for a short time before it finally shuttered. I was thinking of the Art Theater out on the far west side.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:05 AM on July 31


« Older Patria y Vida   |   But Wait! There's No More... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments