Tea Room Theatre

145 Eddy Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Tea Room Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the aptly named ‘Tenderloin’ district of downtown San Francisco, just off Market Street, this is a small storefront type of theatre, of which there were once many in the operating in the area.

It is long established as I have it advertised in the San Francisco Chronicle in November 1976 as the Aquarius Theatre screening straight ‘hardcore’ one hour feature and two hour shorts for $3.00 admission. (New shows every Monday).

For many years now it has been known as the Tea Room Theatre screening gay male porn movies with live performances.

Contained within the West Hotel building which has been renovated, the front of the theatre and signage are very smart and decorated in the rainbow colours.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 44 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 16, 2005 at 2:30 am

Here is a rather old photo of the sign, courtesy of the San Francisco Archives.
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davidkaye
davidkaye on September 21, 2005 at 3:36 am

The Tearoom Theatre was previously known as the Aquarius Theatre from 1970 to 1977 when it ran small independent films. I think its history as a movie theatre qualifies it to be listed here.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 29, 2006 at 11:28 am

Well boys(& girls), here’s what all the fuss was about!

Photographs I took in January 2005. Looking very smart and inviting in its new ‘Rainbow’ livery:
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st94066
st94066 on April 30, 2007 at 8:47 pm

Wow! This place sounds awesome. Has anyone seen a ‘live performance’? What does this entail and how can I find out the schedule of movies and performances?

kevinlofaso
kevinlofaso on January 10, 2008 at 1:41 am

If the question is whether the Tea Room is a theater or a sex club, everyone wins: it is both. What makes the Tea Room unique is, I believe, that it IS unique. I think it’s the last of the old-style porn theaters in the City. You don’t even see representations of this type of theater much anymore. The last I saw was a scene in “Burnt Money”, of a theater in Uruguay in the 1960’s. In the day, when police raids were common and even gay sex in one’s own home was illegal, theaters like this were tremendously popular. The intention wasn’t to be (merely) seedy, but to be safe. Along with the old-style bath-houses (some of which were palatial), this is something—a type of theater, and enough like a “theater” to turn “legit” as soon as police poked a head in the door—that may not come again, but certainly has a place in San Francisco history. And in the hearts of those of us who remember. Some of the posters on this site may like to take a field trip.

delta
delta on May 2, 2008 at 9:20 am

Any pics of the ‘auditorium’?

stevemcgarrett
stevemcgarrett on April 27, 2010 at 1:15 am

Just small cedy & sleazy is all I havta say D. Slack. Establishments like the Tea Room you do have to visit them because all u will find is outside exterior pics.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on July 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Interesting reading on this site.

astrojeepie
astrojeepie on August 7, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I live a few blocks away from this movie house. Kind of surprised that it is listed on this site. However NO CENSORSHIP- please. If you don’t like it go to another theater listing-OK.

oskar
oskar on March 28, 2012 at 1:02 am

It has not been kept up to cleaning standards…one of the employees is rude would not go back

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