Avon 7

724 7th Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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1972 photo courtesy of the Americas Past In Photos Facebook page.

The Avon 7 was one of a number of so called “mini cinemas” that opened in converted retail or office space in the late-1960’s and early-1970’s. Like all of its “mini” cousins in the Times Square area, the Avon 7 featured hard core pornography. Located in the old Studebaker Building, the cinema lasted well into the 1980’s and possibly into the early-1990’s.

Avon ran a number of other porn houses in NYC over the years, including the Avon 42, the Avon-on-Love and the Avon-at-the-Hudson. Sometime after the Avon 7 closed, the space was converted to restaurant use and operated for a number of years as Pommes Frites – an establishment specializing in French fried potatoes.

The Studebaker building was recently demolished to make way for a high-rise condo complex known as 1600 Broadway (the Studebaker’s main address).

Contributed by Ed Solero

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 5, 2007 at 9:25 am

I think the Post is probably your best bet out of all the dailies – though the Daily News still ran the ads and kept XXX theatres in the movie-clock into the early ‘80’s as well. Forget the Times or Newsday completely.

Here’s 1982 ad for the Avon 7 from the March 8th edition of the Post.
And here’s the following day’s ad offering a new program.

By the mid 1980’s (I have old papers from ‘85 and '86) the porn ads in either the Post or News were pushed off the main movie-ad pages and were very few in number – you might find one or two postage stamp-sized ads placed by a couple of XXX cinemas mixed in with the ads for strip clubs and hourly-rate motels. And the XXX houses were bumped from the movie clocks completely – even in the Post. A few porno houses still advertised in the News’ “Movie Directory” or the Post’s “Neighborhood Movie Guide” – features that lasted in both papers even into the early ‘90’s.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 11, 2007 at 1:11 pm

I did some porn homework today on the New York Post and the Village Voice and could find the Avon 7 by 1985.

I did stumble into some other oddities not on CT and showing movies (or video?):

1985 Village Voice
Film Charas (350 East 10th St.)Spanish Arthouse
Westworld (354 West St.)Male Porn
Moulin Rouge Triplex (777 Eighth Ave.) Male Porn-all three screens
Follies (7th & 48th St) Male Porn
Tom Cat (1207 West 48th St.) Previously mentioned Male Porn

1989 Village Voice
Jocx (711 Seventh Ave. ) Male Porn
Rick Nelson’s Screening Room (210 West 42nd St. ) Male Porn
(Did Ozzie and Harriet know about this?)
Rainbow theatre (Lower level of Show World, 671 Eighth Ave.) Male Porn

1993 Village Voice
Cinematographe (15 Vandam) Arthouse
Tribeca (41 White St.) Arthouse
Prince (399 West Side Highway) Male Porn
Show Palace (42nd & 8th) Porn
Cinema Classics (332 East 11th St.) Classics

Such treasures!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 11, 2007 at 1:56 pm

I remember Film Charas listings in the NY Times or maybe the Voice as recently as within the last couple of years, Al. I couldn’t find a current listing, but there is a now empty page for the theatre at movietickets.com and this website still lists the venue – though no schedule is available.

Here’s a 1994 NY Times article that mentions the Film Charas at 360 East 10th Street.

The Moulin Rouge Triplex listed in the ‘85 Voice at 777 Eighth Avenue shares the same address as the Hollywood Twin. In the early '80’s, there was a listing for the Night Shift Theatre (later Nightshift 1 and 2) at that same address. The Night Shift operated upstairs over the Hollywood Twin. Perhaps it had morphed into the Moulin Rouge Triplex by 1985.

Show Palace was located across Eighth Avenue from Show World between 42nd and 43rd Streets and both establishments were owned by Richard Basciano – in fact, Show World continues operation to this day, though in a smaller space than in its heyday. Show Follies was in the old Cine 1 & 2 (which is listed on CT) on Seventh Ave – sandwiched between the DeMille and the Doll – and was also owned by Basciano. I thought of adding the two Eighth Ave venues to CT at one point, but I wasn’t able to verify beyond doubt that either of them had ever screened actual films. I believe they were known mostly as “live” peep-show venues with video booths.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 11, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Ed, these were all advertised as showing features albeit some on video. I am aware of Show Palace as a video/peep/book store but I was unsure it ever screened films until I saw these ads.

Show Follies and Jocx do not show as previous names for Cine 1 & 2. I seem to recall a third screen upstairs when it was the West Side 1 & 2 which may have been the Jocx. It struck me as odd then that there was a male theatre upstairs when the venue was a Disney outlet in Times square. I figured Disney accepted the run out of desperation due to their alliance with City Cinemas elsewhere.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 11, 2007 at 8:11 pm

I posted an image of the Show Follies from October of 1993 on the Cine 1 & 2 page, but never pushed for the AKA as I wasn’t sure about film screenings. The marquee in the shot does boast of “4 Theaters” and “8 (XXX) Movies” now that I look at it again. I’ll post a comment there suggesting the AKA additions and see what happens.

Just curious about that Tom Cat listing you note from the ‘85 Voice. That address of 1207 West 48th Street would place the theatre somewhere in Union City, NJ, so I presume it’s a typo. Was the Tom Cat around the corner from the old Grand Pussycat Theatre on Broadway and 48th?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 15, 2009 at 7:22 am

The Avon 7 and the Frisco.

View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 2, 2010 at 7:35 am

I think the comments from Ed Solero and Lost memory on the Paree page about multiple screening floors at this location and at the Frisco may explain how the Avon 7, Mini, Frisco, and the last incarnation of the Park-Miller may have all operated from this site with overlapping dates.

robboehm on January 16, 2011 at 10:23 am

As a young adult I attended an evening of TV premiere showings at an Avon Theatre which was located on one of the main avenues. This was probably in the 1950s. You could tell it was an older theatre because of the boxy styled marquee. I’m sure it wasn’t this one, and certainly not the one of 42nd Street. So either it hasn’t made it to CT or it’s one of those also known as entries which would be almost impossible to find. Any thoughts out there?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 16, 2011 at 11:12 am

rvb, that would have been the Avenue.


robboehm on January 16, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Thanks. I never would have found it in a million years.

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