Adonis Theatre

839 8th Avenue,
New York, NY 10019

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Consolidated Theatres

Firms: Eisendrath & Horwitz

Previous Names: Tivoli Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Adonis Theatre

Opened in September 1921 as the 1,443-seat Tivoli Theatre. It also had a 951-seat roof garden theatre. It presented movies and vaudeville and was equipped with a Kimball theatre organ. In the 1970’s it was operating as a ‘straight’ adult movie theatre up to February 1975

In March 1975 it became one on New York’s most popular adult all male film theatres, renamed Adonis Theatre, which operated successfully until it was closed in 1989, and business transferred to the Cameo Art Cinema on 8th Avenue at W. 44th Street (later the Playpen Theatre). The Adonis Theatre was demolished in 1995.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 132 comments)

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 5, 2020 at 10:33 am

While we’re at it, two ads posted in photos, one as the Tivoli from February 1975 and one as the Adonis from March 1975

bigjoe59 on May 6, 2020 at 3:15 pm


to Mike(saps) thanks of the info. so it seems the theater played regular films of whatever genre till the early 60s. the first time I remember seeing an ad for the theater when till called the Tivoli was in say 1969/1970 when it was showing soft-core straight exploitation films.

just out of curiosity. in the approx. 15? years it was tied with the 55th St. Playhouse as the leading gay porn house in Manhattan the box office was always in the upper left hand corner of a rather large lobby. is that where the box-office was when it a regular movie theater?

grindhouse on May 9, 2020 at 6:19 pm

18 months before “Deep Throat” took the world by storm, The Tivoli made history in NY by playing “Mona” the first sexually explicit “feature” film with actors and plot and not a movie disguised as a pseudo documentary or marriage manual. Opening ads in photo section.

bigjoe59 on May 11, 2020 at 1:45 pm


to grindhouse thanks for the info. the 55th St. playhouse was showing hard-core gay porn a good three years before the Adonis started doing so. now the film that made people take note of gay porn was Boys in the Sand which opened at the 55th St. Playhouse Dec.‘71. but that was not the first hard-core gay porn film to open in Manhattan just the first people took note of. since you seem quite knowledgeable would you happen to know the first hard-core gay porn film to open in Manhattan before Boys……..?

grindhouse on May 11, 2020 at 5:55 pm

Hey bigjoe59 from everything I have heard, Wakefield Poole’s “Boys in the Sand” was indeed the first feature length picture, opening at the 55th. Even HBO’s “The Deuce” had an episode devoted to it.

bigjoe59 on June 14, 2020 at 5:20 pm


in the approx. 15 years the Adonis and the 55th St. Playhouse were in a tie for the leading gay porn house in Manhattan the 55th St. often had the star or stars of a new film do personal appearances the opening weekend. now I don’t remember the Adonis doing so but did they?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 14, 2020 at 10:25 pm

Jesus Christ…! (And I mean that as a prayer.)

bigjoe59 on January 31, 2021 at 3:35 pm


does anyone know how long this theater was closed so they
could shoot the scene for the film Times Square?

jwmovies on January 4, 2023 at 6:02 am

For the curious (literally!), check out the gay porno A Night at the Adonis to actually look at the interior (most of whichntakes place in the restroom which goes without saying!)

BTW THIS was Jack Wrangler’s and Casey Donovan’s 2nd home! I kid you not! It’s where Jack met his wife Margaret Leighton of all places! Tom Tryon (The Cardinal) usedbto look for Casey in the catwalks and rdstrooms! Fun facts…😁😳🤭😝

m00se1111 on January 4, 2023 at 7:06 am

Oh my, they made a movie at the Adonis theatre? No one has ever posted about that on this page, thank you so much for that.

Jack Wrangler’s wife is Margaret Whiting.

Not quite sure what a ‘usedbto’ or ‘rdstrooms’ is

ps - the adonis had no catwalks, but since Tyron had a documented relationship with Casey from 1973-1977, so I highly doubt he’d need to ‘look’ for him.

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