Show Palace Theatre

670 Eighth Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Show Palace Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located on the East side of Eighth Avenue, between 42nd Street and 43rd Street. The Show Palace Theatre possibly opened in the late-1970’s as it is not listed in 1976 but is listed in November 1980 as an ‘All Male’ movie theatre.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

woody on September 1, 2008 at 3:03 am

here is a shot taken in 1992, taken in a hurry as it was a rough crowd and didnt want to lose my camera at knife-point
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The Show Palace was a complete sleazy hole, you walked up to the first floor to the “box office” and then on into a series of grubby rooms, a couple showing hardcore gay porn on video projection with cheap plastic seats and a strong smell of disinfectant, then there was the main show room with seats around a central stage against a back wall of grubby mirrors, this is where the resident porn stars would bump and grind naked, the audience could touch them but they could not touch other audience members (a big no-no, described as “an insult to the artist” by the doorman)

The Show Palace was immortalised by Marc Almond (Soft Cell) in his song Champagne on his album Tenement Symphony

“takes the subway early afternoon, downtown to eighth avenue, to the show palace theatre, where champagne bares all in a low rent nude revue, in the darkness shadow people, stare at champagne glassy eyed, takes the tips and imitates a smile, waits for the aching to subside” – marc almond

Needless to say the Show Palace was swept away with the redevelopment of 42nd Street in the mid 90’s

woody on May 7, 2009 at 6:03 am

that brings back memories!
here is a high res scan of my previous posting
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rivoli157 on November 18, 2011 at 7:59 am

as far as I can tell ,the location for this theatre was on the east side of 8th Ave, almost at the corner of 43rd.
The Westin Hotel is now at that location

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Correct, rivoli157. The entrance to Show Palace was almost directly opposite its sister facility, the infamous Show World. Both enterprises (as well as the similarly named Show Follies on Seventh Avenue next to the old Mayfair/DeMille Theatre) were owned by porn entrepenuer Richard Basciano. He also owned a number of smaller porn shops and theatres in the area. I think he may still own the Show World building, a portion of which is now home to an off Broadway facility named the Times Square Arts Center.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Looking at the street view, it was a couple of storefronts to the left of the subway entrance. I guess it may have been closer to 43rd Street then I recall. I redirected the street view towards that part of the block.

Tinseltoes on November 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm

To label this a “theatre” is an insult to the word. Certainly the two-word “Show Palace” tells us all that we ever need to know about this shoddy business enterprise.

AlAlvarez on November 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm

The comedy club section of Show World is now Times Scare, a year-round haunted house and horror theme bar.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

An old argument, Tinseltoes, that has some merit, but was ultimately settled long ago by the administrators of this site. You could level the same sort of criticism towards some of the shoddy strip-mall mutliplexes slapped together in the ‘70’s and '80’s that ran mainstream fare – or even those old Nickelodeons that were the precursors to modern cinema 100 years ago. Regardless of any one of our individual feelings about establishments such as the Show Palace, they have found a home here at Cinema Treasures and have been welcomed by a number of members. There are plenty of pages devoted to the grand palaces like the Roxy Theatre, Radio City Music Hall and the Paramount Theatre to serve folks who object to CT’s liberal submission eligibility policies.

jasonfury on November 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I immortalized the fabulous Show Palace in my best-selling novel, The Rope Above, the Bed Below, writing as ‘Jason Fury.’ I’ve mentioned it many times in my other novels. This was my favorite gay hangout during its heyday and I watched its downfall after the big AIDS scare of the l980s. I loved its unbridled hedonistic vibes, it’s out-and-out enjoyment of nudity, sex, etc. When it shut down, it definitely marked an end to NYC’s reign as the leader of gay pride and gay fun.

PatB on February 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I just found out about this after finding the 1 about the gaiety. I have some memories about this place. I remember 1 man died of a heart attack there. (Its not the last place I’d wanna be.) The 1 good thing about this place was it was stag place, unlike the gaiety. I think it was different reasons it closed. I think everything on that sidewalk had to go. I passed by there last Oct. right before the hurricane. I see the entrance to where s.p. was is now a pretzel store. I wonder if the owners also owned that Eros place. I don’t know how that place stayed in business.

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