Capri Cinema

738 8th Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Additional Info

Nearby Theaters

Around 1985.

Another of Time Square’s XXX cinemas. The Capri Cinema was opened in June 1969. The site is currently a a parking lot.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 13, 2006 at 2:14 am

Here’s a current shot that depicts the buildings that formerly housed the three theaters that comprised Chelly Wilson’s porn monopoly of this block. The Venus was located in the light colored building on the right, which currently houses Daniela Trattoria. Skip a building to the left and you’ll see the former Eros Theater site, now occupied by Playwright Tavern and opposite the small parking lot is the Euro Diner in the building once occupied by the Capri Theater.

Props to Lost Memory, who posted some photos from this site on other pages here (including the Eros) and got me browsing for more. I also posted this on the Venus page.

kencmcintyre on March 2, 2007 at 1:22 am

This case, referred to by LM a while ago, states that the Capri initially showed Greek films (ironically) and then art films before switching to adult fare:

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 3, 2007 at 1:18 pm

I wonder about the definition of “Greek films” and “art films” in that document… and who provided the theater history. As far as I know, adult films – including the prototype nudies that preceeded the first hard-core films circa 1969-70 – were part of the Capri’s bill of fare since Chelly Wilson first opened the theater in 1968/69.

In any event, I think we should update the data at the top of this page to include a seating capacity of 230. Status should also be changed to “closed” and present function to “restaurant” as the building still stands and is now occupied by the Euro Diner.

Shade on October 21, 2008 at 9:05 am

The Capri is now fully dismantled. It’s air. The entire building is being removed. About 1/3 of the bed and breakfast portion of the building remains as of today.

woody on May 7, 2009 at 3:12 pm

seen here in 1992 in the distance behind its neighbours the Venus and Eros
View link

MDchanic on December 15, 2009 at 3:01 am

The Health Department “code violations” from 1996, mentioned in the second post were probably violations of the City’s anti-AIDS law that targeted gay bathhouses and similar places where one might find quick'n'easy sex.

The expressions “Greek films” and “art films” were euphemisms from the days when it was a violation of the obscenity laws to show or promote porn.

A fascinating detail about this building – In the early nineties, while the theater was still in full operation, I had occasion, in a work capacity, to visit the upstairs “caretaker’s duplex apartment.” It was accessed through a very narrow, hidden-panel type door behind the box office, which led to flights of stairs. There I encountered an office-like apartment with a very integrated and cool 1960’s design, with a number of old-style 5-line telephones visible on end tables, etc. It was occupied by a pleasant, grandmotherly woman. Someone there said it was the apartment of the owner of the three theaters on the block (Eros, Capri, and Venus). I asked whether the elderly woman was the owner’s mother, and was told, “No, stupid, she IS the owner.”
True story.

DavidZornig on January 17, 2010 at 11:57 pm

There is a brief exterior shot of the Capri Cinema marquee in the Harrison Ford film “Regarding Henry”, circa 1991.
It can be found on YouTube sorted chronologically in parts.

Ford’s child like character is wandering the city unsupervised and enters one of the porno houses.
He is then shown to be uncomfortable in what he sees on screen.

The underside of another marquee is shown in the foreground, but the theater name is not visible.
The Capri however seems to be the establishing shot for the area he is in.

ShaunCostello on August 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm

The Capri Cinema was opened by Chelly Wilson in either ‘68 or '69. She operated this venue for only a year before selling it to another Greek Immigrant, Teddy Kariofilis, who, with minor partner Tom Gioulous, operated the theater until the early Eighties. With his pockets filled with pornocash, Teddy Kariofilis left the theater in Gioulous’ hands and returned to Greece to his family’s sheep farm. Gioulous continued to operate the Capri, which had become a crack house, until it was finally put out of its misery, and blessedly closed. I made many of the films shown at the Capri from 1974 until 1978, and knew both Teddy and Tom quite well. The theater was a serious cash cow, and played continuous porn to full houses, with little or no advertising. I’ll paste in a link to my Blog, with a story about Teddy and Tom, and life on Eighth Avenue, way back when.

DavidZornig on May 1, 2017 at 5:30 am

Undated photo added courtesy of the Robert’s World Facebook page.

rivest266 on October 7, 2020 at 7:55 pm

Opened in June 1969. First newspaper uploaded.

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