Playpen Theatre

693 8th Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Consolidated Amusement Company

Firms: Eisendrath & Horwitz

Styles: Neo-Classical

Previous Names: Ideal Theatre, Esquire Theatre, Squire Theatre, Cinecitta Theatre, New Cameo Theatre, Cameo Theatre, Adonis Theatre

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News About This Theater

Playpen Theatre

The Ideal Theatre was opened in 1915 and was operated by the New York based Consolidated Amusement Company. It had many owners and name changes over the years. In the 1960’s it was owned by Chelly Wilson, who owned a handful of similar theatres in the area. According to Sleazoid Express, this place was famous for the “Olga” movies.

The Playpen Theatre was demolished in December 2007.

Contributed by Gena

Recent comments (view all 126 comments)

biff33 on November 17, 2012 at 5:30 am

Another picture of the interior, when new, is here:

Willburg145 on March 26, 2017 at 8:41 am

I went to the New Adonis (for research). I’m glad I got the chance to see the old theatre before it was closed. The balcony was still open.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 27, 2017 at 7:14 am

That’s a pitiful opening description for a theater that lasted over 90 years…

HomecrestGuy on February 21, 2019 at 1:49 pm

New old photos for the Ideal and Squire theaters, both former names for the Playpen, posted in Gallery. The Squire photo is from 1917 and of excellent quality, from the New York Historical Society. The Ideal image is from the NYC Tax Photos, 1940.

bigjoe59 on September 8, 2019 at 2:21 pm


I believe the Ideal Theater opened in 1915.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 17, 2020 at 10:20 pm

Two photo/clippings added

rbrenner on February 3, 2022 at 2:07 pm

For a research project I am working on, I would like to interview anyone who actually knew Chelly Wilson. If you knew Chelly Wilson, please reply to this comment.

bigjoe59 on February 4, 2022 at 2:08 pm


I am not aware of exactly when actual porn debuted. to which on pg.1 of the photo section ads for such films as Vapors, Erotic Salad and Post-Graduate. I’m guessing by the dates given for the ads that they were exploitation films and not actual porn.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on October 13, 2023 at 1:43 am

As the Cinema Verdi, this theatre is occasionally confused with the Arena Cinema Verdi, both on 8th Avenue.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 13, 2023 at 5:09 am

The Little Cine Met Cinema Verdi was at 104 west 39th street. The Arena was at 623 West 8th Avenue. When was this the Cinema Verdi?

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