Palm Theater To Go Legit?

posted by Patrick Crowley on November 25, 2003 at 8:20 am

SAN MATEO, CA — According to the San Mateo Daily Journal, the Palm Theater, which has been operated as an adult film since the mid 1970s, may be eligible for historic status. Should the theater win such status, it would slow efforts by a local developer to destroy the theater and develop an apartment building in its place.

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Comments (5)

scottfavareille on November 25, 2003 at 9:22 am

This is currently the last operating adult film theater in the San Francisco Bay Area. (It shows video now.) Has been an adult theater since April, 1972.

GaryParks on November 25, 2003 at 12:40 pm

I hope the Palm remains. Most of San Mateo’s old theatres still stand, but they’ve all been altered to the point where only diehard theatre buffs who know what to look for structurally can tell they were once theatres.

The Manor still has its upper facade intact—marquee and interior gone.

The San Mateo has only four Ionic columns, a pediment, and a fly tower to give any indication—interior gutted.

The Baywood—facade flattened-over years ago. Interior is at least partially gone, ceiling rumored to be intact, but I’m unsure about that.

One other theatre (name unknown to me) with a vaulted roof and Moderne facade survives downtown.

The Palm is the sole intact survivor. Here’s hoping it gets landmarked and preserved as intact as possible.

KenLayton on March 24, 2004 at 8:43 am

I used to live in San Mateo during 1966 to 1972 and attended this charming neighborhood theater many times. In those days it showed regular movies not porno. It would be a real shame to lose this treasure to developers.

FoxFan on January 27, 2005 at 4:31 pm

The owners make a tremendous amount of profit on the porn programs.
Yep. The cost is $50 bucks a week for 3 videos and its all video
projection. The place grosses over $8000 a week since it charges $10 a head admission. Sad but true. I don’t know if it will really
ever go legit. The parking around the cinema is all residential?
It would be a great discount theatre – live performing arts mixed in with move-over art and foreign films off the CineArts Palo Alto Square and Century Mountain View Complex along with the other Palo Alto / Menlo Park houses that are still running.

ANTKNEE on April 5, 2005 at 12:39 pm

The “shameful” thing about this theater is all the goings on that happen there. It’s a well known meeting place and is always mentioned on the local Craigslist for “hookups” If it goes legit they’ll need haz-mat crews to clean up the place!

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