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The Venus Theater was the last of three adult mini-cinemas to be opened by Chelly Wilson on the eastern block front of 8th Avenue between W. 45th Street and W. 46th Street. The first two were the Capri Theater and Eros Theater, just a few doors from each other and opened in 1969.
The Venus Theater opened in early-1970 as the Eros 2 Theater, during a time when sexploitation ‘skin flicks’ were making the transition from explicitly simulated sex scenes to the genuine hardcore XXX action that would cause increasing furor as the decade progressed. This was also a boon-time for the so called “mini cinemas' (theaters with seating capacities in the 100 - 300 range) during which the Times Square area would see a proliferation of similar store-front conversions to handle the growing demand for sexually explicit material. The Venus Theater, though relatively small, offered balcony seating and advertised itself as "New York’s Most Unique Adult Theater” playing a rotation of “3 Hit Porn Flicks” on a continuous grind for some 25 years.
Many attempts would be made by a succession of mayoral administrations to clean up Midtown Manhattan and rid Times Square of its myriad porn establishments (from book shops and peep-shows to pleasure palaces and porn pits). Along about 1996, the Giuliani administration finally pulled off what Lindsay, Beame, Koch and Dinkins only dared to dream about, when all three theaters were shuttered and renovated into trendy theater-crowd eateries.
The space has been completely gutted and is now a restaurant called Trattoria Daniela.
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