Cine Lido

200 West 48th Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Arista Theatres

Viewing: Photo | Street View

“So this is gay Paree

Come on along with me,

We’re stepping out to see

The Latin Quarter"

The building was originally the Palais Royal, a legitimate theatre and concert hall, later housing the Broadway location of the Harlem-based nightclub, Connie’s Inn. At various other times, it became a Chinese restaurant, and then George White’s Gay White Way nightclub. In 1935, it became the Club Ubangi, featuring live African-American entertainers and showgirls. In 1936, it became the second location of the famed Cotton Club, originally in Harlem. This Cotton Club lasted until 1940. In 1942, the Latin Quarter nightclub opened in this space.

By July 1969 the Latin Quarter chorus girls had gone on strike and Morton Minsky acknowledged that the historic site had seen its best years. New Yorkers were already into ‘porn chic’ years before the New York Times coined the phrase when “Deep Throat” hit the scene in 1973.

Nick Justin’s Arista Theatres were in the market to capture the trend of fashionable upscale sexually-liberated Manhattanites, willing to shell out top dollar for the classy, soft core, beautifully filmed works from the likes of Radley Metzger, director of “Camille 2000”, “Therese and Isabelle” and “The Lickerish Quartet”.

From 1969 to 1978 the upstairs room supper club of the historic Latin Quarter became the a 15,000 square foot, $100,000 red and black remodel known as the Cine Lido.

Opening with the aforementioned “Camille 2000”, the theatre, and its sister location the Cine Malibu on the east side (it eventually sprang the Lido East as well), the theatres were an immediate success with the film getting rave reviews and the X-factor theme an instantly acceptable concept.

An original plan for burlesque style stage shows was quickly abandoned when the ‘art’ film concept worked.

By 1973 the porn business had become a cause celebre thanks to “Deep Throat” and the films were getting more explicit. Politicians jumped on the band wagon to clean up ‘smut’ and started harassing theatre owners.

A major raid of eleven New York film houses in July 1975 lead to the closing of the Cine Lido and confiscation of a print of the “The Newcomers”, a symbolic act to satisfy the puritans since the movie opened again the next day. Several other theatres were closed in the raid when they turned out to be showing bootleg prints of their films but content censorship remained elusive. The sole proprietor arrested was World Theatre owner Robert Sumner with his hit film “High Rise” confiscated. The arrest was considered payback for bringing “Deep Throat” to New York the previous year.

By 1977, even the New York Times yielded to pressure and stopped accepting ads for X-rated fare. This signalled the end of the Cine Lido’s ability to reach its target audience and by May 1978 the location was being advertised for lease.

It went on to operate as the 22 Steps disco and the legitimate Princess Theatre before being demolished in 1989 for a high rise.

Contributed by Al Alvarez

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on March 2, 2010 at 6:49 am

This location most likely became the Pussycat 2 in later years.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 19, 2011 at 6:56 am

In keeping with the tradition of posting one comment per year on this page…

Here’s a 1950’s view of the Latin Quarter in full swing and here is another of the 48th Street entrance. This shot from 1948 shows an earlier marquee. Finally, here’s one last shot of the Broadway marquee and the adjacent Playland arcade that cut through from Seventh Ave to Broadway and I remember still being in that location into the 1980’s.

I recall another Playland location next to the Rialto Theatre’s Seventh Avenue entrance. And I believe there was one remaining Fascination arcade on Broadway in the upper 40’s. I never went into the Fascination location – never even knew exactly what it was until years later, but I remember the sign on Broadway and I’ve seen photos of other previous locations in the area, particularly on 42nd Street.

Anyway, I am unable to locate any images of this site operating as the Cine Lido, or any of its later incarnations. But I did find this 1930’s shot showing this building as the Times Square location of the famous Cotton Club.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 19, 2011 at 7:43 am

There is a shot of the Cine Lido in the book NEW YORK THEN AND NOW but it is from so far away that even the marquee title is illegible.

View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 19, 2011 at 8:14 am

Good work, Al! Glad I posted here today.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I found an old article that states the landlord was none other than E.M. Loews, who evicted the Latin Quarter due to overdue rent. Does anyone know if E.M. Loews was the actual operator of the Cine Lido and Cine Malibu?

ParadiseGray
ParadiseGray on June 7, 2013 at 8:51 am

The Latin Quarter was the incubator of the Golden Era of Hip Hop 1985 – 1988. It was the scene of epic battles and performances..ie KRS-One vs Mele-Mel., KRS-1 VS MC Shan etc.. It was where folks like Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Big Daddy Kane, Eric B & Rakim, Salt & Pepa, Kid & Play, 3rd Bass, Schoolly D, Jungle Brothers and numerous others went to get their start.

We relive those lofty days with Paradise Gray of X-Clan.. he was the one who ran the show back in the days and he has lots of insights and stories to tell. Enjoy the interview

The History of the Latin Quarter-Hip Hop’s Legendary Nite Club: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h0c9EOo0GU

stevengoldberg
stevengoldberg on August 17, 2013 at 12:35 am

I was the owner of the Princess Theatre on Broadway and was the one who re-opened the Latin Quarter. I have film footage and memorabilia from the original LQ both in NYC and Palm Beach Fla. I have also got stuff from Cab Calloways Cotton Club which was located there prior to the LQ. I also was the one who changed it to the first, biggest an best Hip Hop and rap club shortly there after. I was young and it was a lot of fun being a part of New Yorks history.

darrenparlett
darrenparlett on August 17, 2013 at 1:03 am

@Steve that is awesome. Do tell more (i love this historical experiences )

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