Cine Royale Theatre

912 Canal Street,
New Orleans, LA 70112

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Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Described as the Center Theatre in this 1937 trade article: Boxoffice

gentillyorleans
gentillyorleans on March 7, 2012 at 9:50 am

Well friends, let’s go back a bit further. The theatre at 912 Canal Street was first known as the Wonderland, and was acquired by Henry Lazarus in the 1920’s. He already owned the Newcomb Theatre, next door, at 908 Canal Street. In 1934, they lost their lease on the Newcomb. In 1934, there was a fire that partially destroyed the Wonderland. Mr. Lazarus gutted the entire theatre and built an entirely new modern theatre. It opened on October 26, 1936 as the Center Theatre. The Lazarus family operated it until 1967, when Isadore Larazus had a heart attack. It was completely remodeled, then leased to National General Theatres, then to Mann theatres, then to George Echols, who changed the viewing policy to adult films, then to Essex. one of the better adult theatre operators. As for those who dislike the fact that ‘sleeze’ product was shown at some of these theatres, I have a differing opinion. If adult movies had not continued to keep some old theatres operating, such as the Paris (circa 1903) the Cine' Royale (1920’s), the Cinerama (circa 1963), the Tiger-Riget-Grit (circa 1950), they would have closed, probably been demolished, and I would have never had the opportunity to work in these fine historic theatres, and learn about the rich history that took place at each though the years. So from my point of view, I am very happy that these theatres were open when I began working in the business (1972). It allowed me to have the opportunity to learn more of the history of these incredible classic theatres, regardless what they were showing.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm

This opened on April 18th, 1968. The grand opening ad has been uploaded in the photo section.

meflaherty
meflaherty on October 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm

The name of this theatre should be the CENTER theatre, just as the State Palace should be under LOEWS or Loews State. Those are the names that most people would recognize these theatres.

Before the Center Theatre went to sleazy adult entertainment, I remember seeing “The Atomic Kid” starring Mickey Rooney there. That movie was from 1954, but I think it wasn’t a first run at the Center, so it could have been a few years later.

ArthurHardy
ArthurHardy on June 11, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Announcing a book about New Orleans Movie Theaters

THEREâ€\S ONE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
The History of the Neighborhood Theaters in New Orleans
is being written by 89-year-old Rene Brunet, the dean of the motion picture industry in Louisiana, and New Orleans historian and preservationist Jack Stewart. The 160-page,coffee table book will be released in November and is being published by Arthur Hardy Enterprises, Inc. Attention will be focused on 50 major neighborhood and downtown theaters, culled from a list of nearly 250 that have dotted the cityâ€\s landscape since the first “nickelodeon” opened in 1896 at 626 Canal Street. The book will be divided by neighborhoods and will open with a map and a narrative about each area. Each major theater will feature “then and now” photographs, historic information, and a short series of quotes from famous New Orleanians and from regular citizens who will share their recollections.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
We are trying to acquire memorabilia and additional photos of this theater for this publication. (deadline July 1.) You will be credited in the book and receive a free autographed copy if we publish the picture that you supply. Please contact Arthur Hardy at or call 504-913-1563 if you can help.

BigEasyBarry
BigEasyBarry on August 10, 2009 at 5:46 am

I can remember visiting drive-in-mike at the Cine back in the late 70s. Mike and I have been friends since the seventh grade and our friendship has endured into our 50s.

joysmovies
joysmovies on May 1, 2009 at 12:27 am

Here’s an ad for the Cine Royale from 1976:
View link

joysmovies
joysmovies on January 24, 2008 at 9:54 pm

Here’s an ad for a the Center Theatre in 1963:
View link

DonLewis
DonLewis on January 18, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Thanks for the good news and photo link. That is my favorite area of New Orleans.

joysmovies
joysmovies on January 18, 2008 at 12:58 am

Hi Don:
The Walgreens at 900 Canal St. did get damaged in the hurricane, but from what a relative who still lives in New Orleans tells me, it’s back open, and all of the nostalgic neon sign is lit again.
Here is a link to a photo of the Cine' Royale in the late 70’s.
View link

DonLewis
DonLewis on January 16, 2008 at 2:54 am

Hello drive-mike and thank you for the very informative and interesting post.

Do you know if the Walgreens survived the flood?

Don………

joysmovies
joysmovies on January 16, 2008 at 1:35 am

I was a projectionist in the 70’s, and later manager of the Cine' Royale theatre.
The theatre opened as the Wonderland and had a fire in 1935. It re-opened as the Center in 1936, and continued to operate under that name until 1968, when the owner, Mr. Isadore Lazarus, had a heart attack, then sold the theatre.
The Lazarus family owned a small chain of theatres in New Orleans, namely the Circle, the Carver, the Crown, the Cinema (aka Casino), and the Coliseum, where I also worked as the last projectionist in 1976.
In 1968, the theatre was remodeled, and re-named the Cine' Royale. It was operated by National General Theatres, then Mann Theatres, and in 1976, was acquired by International Theatres Unlimited, bringing adult movies in. ITU also operated the Paris theatre at this time.
ITU was owned by George Echols, and in (about) 1980, he was convicted of obscinity, and the theatre was sold to Essex, an adult film company who at that time, produced top quality adult product. Remember, this was in a day where the adult industry was trying to become legit, by making nearly Hollywood quality movies.
Essex operated both the Paris & Cine' Royale until they were busted for Interstate transportation of obscene material, then the theatre was acquired by Leroy Griffith of Miami Beach, who previously operated the Pussycat in New Orleans, which was an old Cinerama theatre.
In 1997, the theatre was sold to Walgreens Co., and became part of the expansion of the store located at 900 Canal St.
Looking now, you would never know that a theatre was on this site for nearly a century.

DonLewis
DonLewis on December 4, 2006 at 3:08 am

My b&w photograph of the Cine Royale and front of the building.
www.flickr.com/photos/lastpictureshow/313704532

DonLewis
DonLewis on December 2, 2006 at 11:08 am

I have a Cine Royale picture from my black and white phototograpy days that I am in the process of editing for my flickr site to be posted soon.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 1, 2006 at 9:43 pm

Here is some additional information:
http://tinyurl.com/yf2ubt

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 1, 2006 at 5:04 pm

The 1950 edition of Film Daily Yearbook has a Center Theatre listed at 910 Canal Street with 600 seats…..same theatre?