Ellwest Stereo Theater

155 W. 47th Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Additional Info

Functions: Retail

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Ellwest Stereo Theater (on 47th St), New York City, NY

This tiny XXX porn house was created from converted retail space on the ground floor of a multi-level parking facility just east of 7th Avenue and facing the stage door and fire exits of the venerable Palace Theater. A C/O indicates that theater space was first created here in February of 1969 with an amended C/O in 1973 still indicating a small theater in addition to stores and parking.

Ellwest also concurrently operated a small porn theater around the corner at 723 7th Avenue (near W. 48th Street and adjacent to the Metropole Cafe) under the same name. Both theaters were subject to aggressive police raids during the efforts by the Lindsay Administration to clean up the mid-town area of such establishments. However, a NY Times article from July of 1973 indicates that a State Supreme Court had issued a restraining order in favor of Ellwest Theaters and against the police sergeant who had most aggressively taken action against the theaters.

In that Times article, an Ellwest employee described the decor as being very clean and featuring “wall to wall carpeting and red drapes”. Another employee also claimed that the theaters featured only “soft, soft-core pornography”, but confiscated film from the projection booth was ruled by a judge to be most definitely hard-core.

Contributed by Ed Solero

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 8, 2006 at 4:35 pm

I just want to turn my notification on here. But, I did submit both Ellwest Stereo Theaters to CT. This was the second one I submitted. I hope the other wasn’t deleted because they both had the exact same name.

I also wanted to add that it appears Ellwest Stereo Theaters ran a number of porn houses in cities across the country, including Seattle, Phoenix, Dallas and Nashville. A search of the name on google returns a number of legal decisions from lawsuits that were tried at the circuit court level in several States. I wonder if any of those cinemas are listed here under different names…

I am somewhat familiar with this parking lot and can recall looking down on it from my room at the Doubletree Suites Hotel when I stayed there overnight on several occasions over the last 6 or 7 years. It’s a fairly large facility with rooftop parking in addition to the indoor levels. Several storefronts line the ground floor inlcuding a deli and a coffee shop. The theater would have been at the western most edge of the building, closest to Seventh Avenue.

randytheicon on June 14, 2009 at 7:56 am

Ellwest also had a location in downtown Baltimore, on Guilford Ave. near that city’s infamous “Block.” The site is now occupied by a garage.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 1, 2010 at 9:55 pm

A police report of adult establishment in 1995 lists the LAP MOVIE THEATRE at 204 West 47th Street. Has anyone heard of that one?

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