Ellwest Stereo Theater
155 West 47th Street,
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This tiny XXX porn house was created from converted retail space on the ground floor of a multi-level parking facility just east of Seventh Avenue and facing the stage door and fire exits of the venerable Palace Theater. A C/O indicates that theater space was first created here in February of 1969 with an amended C/O in 1973 still indicating a small theater in addition to stores and parking.
Ellwest also concurrently operated a small porn theater around the corner at 723 Seventh Avenue (near 48th Street and adjacent to the Metropole Cafe) under the same name. Both theaters were subject to aggressive police raids during the efforts by the Lindsay Administration to clean up the mid-town area of such establishments. However, a NY Times article from July of 1973 indicates that a State Supreme Court had issued a restraining order in favor of Ellwest Theaters and against the police sergeant who had most aggressively taken action against the theaters.
In that Times article, an Ellwest employee described the decor as being very clean and featuring “wall to wall carpeting and red drapes”. Another employee also claimed that the theaters featured only “soft, soft-core pornography”, but confiscated film from the projection booth was ruled by a judge to be most definitely hard-core.
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