Tea Room Theatre

145 Eddy Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 41 comments

oskar on March 27, 2012 at 11:02 pm

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

astrojeepie on August 7, 2010 at 1:01 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.

TLSLOEWS on July 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Interesting reading on this site.

stevemcgarrett on April 26, 2010 at 11:15 pm

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.

delta on May 2, 2008 at 7:20 am

Any pics of the ‘auditorium’?

kevinlofaso on January 9, 2008 at 11:41 pm

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.

st94066 on April 30, 2007 at 6:47 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?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 29, 2006 at 9:28 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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davidkaye on September 21, 2005 at 1:36 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 August 16, 2005 at 12:30 am

Here is a rather old photo of the sign, courtesy of the San Francisco Archives.
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robertgippy on July 7, 2005 at 10:16 pm

The Tea Room theatre, was a store at sometime. It is a dingy place inside, you pay your money and walk thru the curtain to the small auditorium, which has the screen and a disco ball in the ceiling, where they used to do live nude gay shows inbetween movies. A aisle went down the center kind of and to the left of the screen was a curtain where you walked through, and the restrooms were there, with two rooms that are very dark which sexual activity went on. The place was filthy, with it’s patrons being mostly homeless. Been there for years, and it does well.

AndyT on February 19, 2005 at 9:28 am

The open-mindedness by most folks who are intrigued by Cinema Treasures is a key factor in making this site interesting. Oddly enough, our hobby has a slight relationship with something (porn) that gets almost everyone’s blood boiling one way or the. Keep in mind that it was porno that saved hundreds of theaters from the wrecking ball for years. Many of them were rehabilitated at least partly as a result of their X-rated survival. Additionally, who are any of us to be critical about another’s sexuality or choice of films? As if I don’t already have enough to think about … . lololol.

longislandmovies on February 19, 2005 at 5:27 am

but it is funny to watch this……

MagicLantern on February 18, 2005 at 6:19 pm

Ken – absolutely. I might add that, for all the progressiveness and banality sex sports these days, seeing a pornographic film in a theatre is a jarring experience to say the very least. I think it has something to do with the proximity of others to a private, personal act. Maybe that’s just this reporter’s sensibility…then again, I wholeheartedly support a mass influx of guys with cravats, monocles, pince-nezes, top hats and tuxedoes into so-called “gentlemen’s clubs”.

longislandmovies on February 18, 2005 at 4:35 pm


Manwithnoname on February 18, 2005 at 4:25 pm

I’ll say this: Can’t be too many listings with 28 comments in the first day!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 18, 2005 at 3:58 pm

When you go and take ‘tea’ there next weekend, can you count the seating capacity for us please, projection facilities, and other features not covered in the above postings(ok>>>well check them out too, just make sure we have all our facts right)!

On my recent visit to the city I only had time to photo the exterior (too many theatres, too little time).

A correction to your first posting on here(17th Feb).

The name ‘tea room’ is a gay slang term used in the USA since the 1960’s(that I know of) for public restrooms where gay men have annonimous sex (ie tea room trade)

In the UK, gay slang for a public convenience is a ‘cottage’(in use since the 1950’s). So named after the many public loos built in parks etc in the Edwardian era and 1920’s that were designed to look like mini cottages, so that they didn’t look so offensive and hid their real purpose. Some of them are now Listed Grade II buildings!

As for the rest of Europe, I don’t know what words would be used in French, Spanish, German, Italian etc.

I have a twin set up here, the living room screen 1 has a 32inch widescreen LCD flat panel monitor screen (all aspect ratio’s are available), THX and Dolby Pro-Logic surround, and a 3 seater black leather sofa (kinky). The bedroom screen 2 has a small tv and bog standard mono sound and at least room for 3 but who cares once the lights go out.

The End!

longislandmovies on February 18, 2005 at 3:58 pm

that was some vivid look into the tea room thanks to TOM SCOTT

MagicLantern on February 18, 2005 at 3:12 pm

Well, so just don’t invite Moviemanforever when you run porn. Those semen rivers can be so annoying…

Manwithnoname on February 18, 2005 at 3:08 pm

On second thought, I can’t list my living room. I run porn sometimes!

MagicLantern on February 18, 2005 at 3:02 pm

I’m going to go there next weekend and have some tea just to snub all the nay-sayers. Neener.

Manwithnoname on February 18, 2005 at 2:51 pm

As I have a TV and a DVD player I’m seriously considering listing my living room! It has 3 seats and DTS surround sound. :-P

Manwithnoname on February 18, 2005 at 2:45 pm

Hey MagicLantern: Was that you sitting on the park benches in the back last weekend?

But seriously, this discussion is a passionate one for me (pardon the pun). It has been established elsewhere on this site that a place that runs movies for the general public whether it be movie palace or storefront theater qualifies as a “cinema”. Heck, I attended many shows at drive-ins and never watched the movie because I was otherwise occupied. Should drive ins be banned because I had steamed up windows half the time? Should they be banned because they were called “Passion Pits”? Give me a break.