Avon 7

724 Seventh Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 21 comments

robboehm
robboehm on January 16, 2011 at 10:17 pm

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

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 16, 2011 at 7:12 pm

rvb, that would have been the Avenue.

/theaters/6407/

robboehm
robboehm on January 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm

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?

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on March 2, 2010 at 3:35 pm

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 15, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Here is another shot of the Avon 7.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm

The Avon 7 and the Frisco.

View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 12, 2007 at 4:11 am

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?

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on December 11, 2007 at 11:44 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 9:56 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.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on December 11, 2007 at 9:11 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 5, 2007 at 5:25 pm

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.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on December 5, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Hmm…good point.

I will check some of my old Village Voice copies to see if I can get any addresses. Does anyone know if The New York Post was the best at keeping porn ads after the 80’s sudden morality binge?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 5, 2007 at 4:10 pm

If it did, Al, it would have only been temporarily so – as the theatre was operating as the Avon 7 well into the 1980’s (and perhaps later than that). Several mini-cinemas existed in the area of Seventh and W. 48th Street for which not a whole lot of history is available. I wonder if the Park-Miller relocation is a part of the elusive history of either the Frisco Theatre or the New Mini Cinema, both of which may or may not have been the same theatre operating under different names. Even closer to 48th Street, there was an Ellwest Stereo Theatre adjacent to the Metropole Cafe that opened around 1973. There’s also the Doll Theatre and Cine 1 & 2 to consider due to their proximity to 48th and Seventh.

Al… while you’re pondering all that, would you happen to recall a small storefront “World Theatre” that operated on the south side of 49th Street on the short block between B'way and Seventh Ave adjacent to the RKO Warner Video Store – probably opening up AFTER the original World Theatre had become the Embassy 49th Street in the 1980’s. I posted an image of the new World’s marquee on the old World/Punch & Judy page. Thanks for any info you might have on that one!

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on December 5, 2007 at 3:22 pm

The Avon 7 may have re-opened as the Park-Miller in May 1975 after the gay porn concept left the Henry Miller.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on November 28, 2006 at 5:51 pm

According to the NY Times (July 25, 1973) the Avon 7 was raided as part on an eleven theatre crackdown on porn. The film MONICA, DAUGHTER OF MONA was confiscated and Raymond Fernandez, also manager of the Cine Lido, was among those arrested.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 28, 2006 at 1:00 pm

Thanks Ed. I was trying to find a photo that showed the Avon 7 but no luck so far. I did find a nice photo of Times Square from around 1940 that shows movie theaters. You can see it at this link.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 28, 2006 at 12:37 pm

OK, the view in all of these photos seems to be from more or less the same vantage point, facing the 48th Street facade with Broadway running along the left. So the Odditorium photo is the corner of B'way and 48th with the dance hall entrance on 48th and the Ripley entrance facing B'way. The Avon 7 location would have been around the corner and out of view on Seventh Avenue.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 28, 2006 at 1:11 am

Ed….This is a postcard picture of the Studebaker Building. Maybe you can compare it to the Ripley photo and figure out the streets. If that doesn’t work, try this 2004 photo.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 28, 2006 at 1:01 am

Thanks Lost. Looks like you can just make out the Dance Hall marquee on the far right of the photo under the “Believe it or Not!” sign. Not sure if that entrance would be on the 48th Street side or the Seventh Avenue side… Do we know for sure what corner we’re looking at in the photo? B'way and 48th or Seventh and 48th?

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 28, 2006 at 12:16 am

In 1924, the Cinderella Ballroom was located at 1600 Broadway. Maybe that was the Dance Hall listed on the 1924 c/o. Here is a photo of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not at 1600 Broadway.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 27, 2006 at 11:51 pm

I’m not sure if any other theaters occupied the Studebaker Building during the ‘70’s, but the information on which I based the seat count for this theater is a C/O issued 11/20/70 for a motion picture theater with a capacity of 266 persons on the cellar level. The C/O also lists “stores, storage from first floor, boiler room, building storage and workshop” so that figure may also represent maximum occupancy for those areas as well. The only other C/O’s for the building (listed as 1600 Broadway on all of these) date back to 1923 for a Dance Hall and then in 1924 for Dance Hall and Restaurant.

The building itself was a fairly large 10-story red-brick and terra cotta structure that was built early in the century as showrooms and offices for the Studebaker Brothers vehicles (both the horse-drawn and horseless variety). Situated on the north side of 48th Street on that small slice between Broadway and Seventh Ave, the building’s rooftop served to hold aloft the giant signs that dominated the north end of Times Square over years – including Maxwell House, Chevrolet, Canadian Club Whiskey and Sony – until its view onto the Square was blocked by the high-rise Renaissance Hotel on the other side of 48th Street, where the low-rise Castro Convertible showroom had once stood.

This is also where the “Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium” and, later, the Howard clothing store were located. In this building, Jack and Harry Cohn formed the C.B.C. Film Sales Company with Joseph Brandt, which would later be renamed Columbia Pictures and move across Seventh Avenue to a buidling of their own. Finally, National Screen Service Corp, an outfit that produced movie posters, lobby cards and other promotional materials, also called the Studebaker home for many years. When owners of the building stripped the facade of its elaborate copper cornice in 1999, any hopes of having the structure landmarked by the LPC were dashed. Seven years later, yet another high rise condominum project has gone up on the site.