Royal Theatre

709 Vine Street,
Cincinnati, OH 45202

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Royal Theatre

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The Royal Theatre opened in 1910 and closed on 31st July 1979 making it the longest continuously operating movie theatre in downtown Cincinnati. It was operated throughout its life by Associated Theatres Inc. who over the years owned and operated 15 theatres, the Royal Theatre was the last one to go.

The Royal operated as a second run house, later going to third run and for the last 15 years of its life ran soft core X-rated sex movies.

It was demolished within a week of closing, together with adjacent buildings on the corner of 7th Street and Vine Street.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

hanksykes
hanksykes on August 29, 2007 at 6:12 pm

Hello again ken mc, That butterfly facade really was a stunner! It pre-dated what Las Vegas has created today as Times Square surely is another current example. Course all that statuary covering the theater was ordered from a cast iron manufacturers catalogue. It was standard across America as the butterfly motif was a popular one.Until soon,Hank

hanksykes
hanksykes on September 17, 2008 at 7:39 pm

The Royal Theater never carried any other name than Royal even when it showed soft porn.

Joeallen
Joeallen on October 3, 2008 at 4:53 pm

The Royal was already showing soft porn the first time I saw it as a kid but it had that butterfly and the neighborhood was actually clean. Now it is a parking lot and part of the 7th St. Garage sits on the property. Wow, things surely change.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 2, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Well, up to the standards of the ROYAL is playing MADAME ZENOBIA. Rated X. Quote from Variety “Canny use of Sound.” Can’t make it up. ADULTS ONLY .

milanp
milanp on January 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I remember a single-screen movie theater in downtown Cincy that was opened in the summer of 1975. They were playing “Revenge of the Pink Panther” at the time. Does anyone know whether it was the Royal? It looked lovely all lit up at night, but I didn’t have the chance to go inside unfortunately.
Also recall a really tiny downtown Cincy twin theater inside of an office building (or small shopping center) that was in operation in November ‘75. Anybody???

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 31, 2011 at 8:03 pm

milamp: The twin in the office building might have been the Skywalk Cinemas. I’ve just posted a comment on that page with a hyperlink to a 1973 Boxoffice article about the twin. Maybe you’ll recognize it from the pictures in the article.

I’ve been unable to discover which downtown theater ran “Revenge of the Pink Panther” in 1975.

hanksykes
hanksykes on March 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm

milap, try the Studio Cinemas on this web site in cincinnati for your twin screens. The Royal in the 1970’s played soft porn only.

meheuck
meheuck on May 9, 2011 at 3:22 am

milamp: 1975 was when RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER, not REVENGE, was released. (REVENGE was around 1979) As such, the downtown single screen you’re thinking of was probably the Times Towne Cinema – they got a lot of UA product back then.

CADMAN
CADMAN on July 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I have 60 or so old silent movie actors and actress autographed photos addressed to A.J. Paul at the Royal Theater. Cincinnati, Ohio. Would anyone know if someone in the industry could use them. there all at least 8x10’s

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

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