Gay Paree Cinema

90 Walton Street NW,
Atlanta, GA 30303

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The Gay Paree Cinema is listed in the 1977 edition of Bob Damron’s Address Book as a gay pornographic cinema.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

StanMalone on October 9, 2007 at 1:14 pm

Scott: I am not aware of any other raids on the Gay Paree. The Glen Art Theatre had long engagements of both Deep Throat and The Devil In Miss Jones but was never raided. In that case, the fine print in the ad indicated that they were showing the “Optically Edited” versions. I was told that meant that the XXX parts of the scenes were covered by black dots and strips, a la the fight scene in Borat, or were smeared like you will find in some airline prints these days. It could be that is the type of fare the Gay Paree showed, or perhaps there was not enough publicity to be gained by a raid unless is was showing something high profile like Deep Throat.

Ed and Ken: Thanks for the kind words. I know very few people in the Atlanta area read this site, but your comments encouraged me to post comments on the Peachtree Art and the Fox. One paragraph of the Fox post might interest you:

Another event during this summer of 1973 was the first and perhaps only time the Fox hosted the Atlanta Film Festival. This was a short lived effort during the 70’s that is notable here only because there was quite a bit of attention paid to it since it had been announced that “The Last Tango In Paris” would open the festival. Not a big deal you would think except for one small detail. This is hard to believe now, but although the film had been in release around the country for weeks if not months, it had yet to play in Atlanta. This was because the Fulton County Solicitor General, Hinson McAuliffe, had made a name for himself, and attracted a lot of free publicity, by raiding theatres playing adult movies. He usually left the hardcore 16MM stuff alone but never hesitated to go after higher profile targets such as the Andy Warhol movie “Lonesome Cowboys”, “Oh Calcutta'‘, and later "Story of O’‘ and "Flesh Gordon”, and quite a number of managers and projectionists who were not exactly threats to the public were carted off to jail. McAuliffe had already vowed, in advance, to raid any theatre which dared expose the good people of Fulton County to such filth. A lot of us were waiting to see if the Fox Theatre, of all places, would get busted for daring to run Tango. As it worked out, the Fox declined to get involved and it was announced that Tango would open the festival at a different location. However, McAuliffe was hot on the trail, and the movie never played, or if it did, not to the public.

David DeCoteau
David DeCoteau on March 4, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Terrific information Stan. Thanks for the post.

JFBrantley on May 19, 2008 at 4:38 pm

The Supreme Court case for Carnal Knowledge came from Albany, Georgia. I think it was in 1971 give or take a year.

Champlin on January 8, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Following the US Supreme Court overturning the Georgia Supreme Court verdict in favour of Carnal Knowledge, the film was subsequently shown with Night Porter (another Avco Embassy release) as a double-feature during 1974. Does anyone remember seeing these together at this time (and in Georgia)?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 5, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Albany ,Georgia was the city. While we are talking about banning movies Augusta Police Chief,James Beck, stated he would raid the IMPERIAL THEATRE there if it showed A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Being an ABC theatre and wanting no bad press it was pulled only to play later when it was released as a R rated movie,

rechols on November 12, 2010 at 3:42 am

I used to pass the Gay Paree while riding the #23 bus to downtown for my classes at GSU.
I never went into the place, gay is not my orientation and I don’t speak French.
Now that you mentioned the Houston Street Art, Stan, I passed that place many a time too while
a student at GSU. I believe it had an “adult” bookstore attached, or it might have been just
next door. Someone told me that they showed movies there with people actually “doing it."
I didn’t believe that – had to check it out. Went into the place, little foyer. High up the wall straight
ahead was a little window – this was the projection booth. The projectionist granted admission. $3,
very pricey for 1971. I forked over the three bucks and the guy asked me, "Which one, one or two?"
What?? "Which movie you want to see?” The straight one. “They’re both straight.” So it was door number one for me. Went into the auditorium, seated maybe 20, folding chairs, the light from the
projection booth lit the place up pretty well. About a half dozen guys, all looking intently at the
screen. And yes, they were “doing it” onscreen. Still couldn’t believe it.
I was just back from Vietnam then. Shocked that Coke had gone up to 25 cents a can, bus fare
on the Atlanta Transit System was $1.25 and hardcore porn was being shown in Atlanta. The times they were a changin'.
It took Hinson McAuliffe about ten years to shut all the hardcore places down. And they stayed
shut for a long time.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Nice comment Ralph.

hiker on February 15, 2012 at 11:06 pm

I remember this theater as well… on two accounts. (1)it was the first gay theater I had ever seen, and (2) it was just down the street from both the Atlanta Boy Scout office at 167 walton, which was virtually next door to the “Main” Atlanta YMCA, home of the skinny dip. I used to think it interesting that the gay theater was within a block of the two largest male-centric organizations in town! for those younger folks, up until probably the late ‘60’s swim trunks were forbidden at the “Y” swimming pool— everybody skinny dipped!

rechols on February 17, 2012 at 1:28 am

Somewhere along the line I remember reading that the Gay Paree was a Mike Thevis operation. Thanks for the updated location photo, Ken. Hinson McAuliffe did indeed periodically raid the XXX theaters in Atlanta, think there were about 7 or 8 of them. After a raid they would switch to showing softcore for a while – but they had good lawyers, and when the heat died down, they went back to hardcore. It took McAuliffe a while to fine tune his prosecutorial skills in that area, but by 1980 he did succeed in shutting down all the porno theaters in Fulton County. The Buckhead Cinema was the only “adult” theater that remained open – it survived by switching to a softcore format (most of the major adult film companies shot in two versions: hard and soft.) Open secret among the raincoat crowd was the Buckhead showed hardcore late at night on the weekends. With the glut of porn on the internet and tons of dvds now available, it’s hard to imagine that the pruriently inclined once had to go to public ‘adult’ theaters to scratch their itch.

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