Yale Theatre

2838 Wilshire Boulevard,
Santa Monica, CA 90403

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Functions: Retail

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The Yale Theatre was an adult movie theatre which opened on October 23, 1970. It was still open in 1977.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

scottfavareille on July 28, 2005 at 12:50 pm

The LA Times stopped taking ads for “X-rated” movies in August 1977. The NY Times started that policy a few months beforehand. Shortly after the LA did this, a number of other newspapers in the US either refused to advertise X-rated films or would just advertise the film titles only(for example: The San Jose Mercury and the Sacramento Bee).

Pussycat Theaters spent over $1 million a year advertising its theaters and what was playing there just in the LA Times alone. (They also took up roughly 50% of the space for “adult theaters”) Without the LA Times, their business dropped by 10%. (The other LA paper at the time, The Herald-Examiner, still advertised adult theaters, but their circulation was about 1/5 of what the Times circulation was.)

Also, the same operator of this theater operated the Cove Theater(also XXX)

rivest266 on July 28, 2005 at 2:51 pm

I had a look at Dallas newspapers, all the adult ads (including the big ones)were text only but no pictures and all of then had the words “not suitable"
in Montreal, there were never any restrictions (massive ads in the French papers.)

William on October 3, 2006 at 12:15 pm

This was retail building that the operators converted into a small XXX theatre. There was a Ralphs supermarket and a restaurant at one time next door. This was not a true theatre be design, just conversion of space.

kencmcintyre on August 12, 2007 at 12:56 am

Here a couple of ads from the LA Times, circa 1972:

kencmcintyre on May 13, 2009 at 9:33 pm

The theater is on the corner of Yale and Wilshire, as someone mentioned earlier. Driving by, you would never suspect that this was a theater, but that makes sense if it was just a storefront. It is now After Hours Formal Wear.

Here is a June 1974 ad from the LA Times:

kencmcintyre on October 24, 2009 at 11:43 am

Here is part of a January 1971 article in the LA Times:

SANTA MONICA-Five theaters featuring adult movies-most of which portray sexual acts-have opened here in the last sixteen months and several city officials would like them to leave.

The offerings range in quality from crude and poorly filmed to full-length, slickly professional features. The pioneer adult moviehouse in Santa Monica is the Vixen at 3007 Main Street, open since September 1969. Another is the Ventura, at 1454 5th St, which manager claims attendance of 80-100 per day. Largest of the adult theaters in Santa Monica is the Pussycat, 1442 2nd Street, part of a large chain.

“We feature drama and comedy that is spiced with sex”, said general manager Jay Fineberg, “rather than the so-called wall-to-wall sex. Rather than getting ‘dirtier”, we’re trying to get more erotic.” The 450-seat Pussycat, which claims 1,500 customers a week, is the only theater in the city which advertises its features through photographs outside.

In sharp contrast to the carpeted luxury of the Pussycat is the newest theater in the city, Sinema-X, a storefront operation at 2814 Main St. “I guess I’m doing the worst of them all”, said part-owner Charlie Creel, a 25-year-old New Jersey native. “I tried to get a job as a bartender, but there were no openings. I figured the way they were throwing these things up, it would be a good idea to start my own, but I’m not getting rich.”

What is perhaps the most ambitious adult movie theater in Santa Monica is the Yale, 2838 Wilshire Boulevard, owned by Tom Parker. A grandfather, who wears his gray hair in mod style, Parker is a film-maker whose Topar Films supply his theater.

“Our customers are not the Skid Row type at all”, Parker says of his $80,000 investment in Santa Monica, which is newly remodeled and attractive, if simple. “People who go to these movies don’t want to be put down”, he said, “They want a little more story…something they can identify with. The sex parts of the movies now have to be contemporary with the sex lives of the patrons.”

The average Topar movie costs $35,000 to $50,000 to make, and actors earn $150 to $500 per filming day, Parker said. He admits that he once made a family film for teenagers, but he could never get it released. It remains packed in his garage.

DonSolosan on December 27, 2010 at 8:06 pm

After Hours Formal Wear gave way to Men’s Warehouse, and now the space is empty, looking for a new tenant.

DonSolosan on February 12, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Now a vitamin shop.

rivest266 on November 6, 2019 at 2:37 pm

The Yale theatre opened on October 23rd, 1970. It was with the same chain as the Viewing Room, Tom & Cat (Hollywood), Sho-Mor (Gardena), Sand Box (North Hollywood). Grand opening ad posted.

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