Show Palace Theatre

670 8th Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 22 comments

PatB on July 17, 2017 at 8:14 pm

The place closed June 11, 1995. Jeff, I remember putting the money in their sock or boots.

jsolo on January 22, 2017 at 9:41 am

Hey folks, I am writing a fictional period piece and wondered if anyone can advise me. ANyone know what the rules would have been in summer of ‘85 at the Gaiety or Follies about touching dancers while they stripped. Where were you allowed to put the money, and what were you permitted to touch? email me at if you can provide any historical accuracy, or post here. THANKS!

ladypearl on February 14, 2016 at 8:24 pm

I loved to go there!! They had some hot men with hot bodies!! I miss the good old days…

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 16, 2015 at 9:51 am

There is a bookstore one block up with the Show Palace name now.

fred1 on June 16, 2015 at 9:28 am

Its a Halloween theme restaurant nightclub

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 16, 2015 at 9:28 am

I think it closed around 1994.

PancakesPlease on June 16, 2015 at 8:24 am

Does anybody know when the Show Palace closed?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 12, 2014 at 5:13 pm

GeorgeCheeksSr, if you scroll down on that site you will find your answer. Only peep shows co-existed on that block.

GeorgeCheeksSr on October 12, 2014 at 3:31 pm

On the Show World side of the street I thought there was at least one theater closer to 43rd st. It didn’t have the big awning/sign that sat out over the sidewalk but I thought for sure there was an adult theater on that block. I must scour the net to see if I can find a picture of the full block during the 80’s. If I can find it (right or wrong) I will post it. I wish there were more pictures of this time or a site like this for adult theaters.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 12, 2014 at 10:05 am

This site might help.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 11, 2014 at 9:17 am

I don’t recall theaters immediately adjacent to Show World, GeorgeCheeksSr. Up along Eighth Avenue about a block up was the Cameo (which became the Playpen), and further up from there at 47th Street was the Hollywood Twin, and then the Adonis further still, around 50th Street. All of these were on the same side of Eighth Ave as the Show World, but not on the same block.

Aside from the theaters, I remember tons of bars, cabarets, novelty stores, peep shops, and adult book shops. Possible you may be thinking of some cabarets, where they may have had live sex shows on stage? They probably featured marquees above the entrance, like the cinemas did.

Unless you’re thinking of the Venus, Eros, and Capri, theaters, which were all on the same block between 45th and 46th Streets, but on the other Eighth Ave – same side as Show Palace.

GeorgeCheeksSr on October 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Does ANYONE remember the name of the two theaters across the street next to Show World? I know there was at least one (I think two) adult theaters next to Show World on 8th ave between 42nd & 43rd Sts back in the 80’s. Any help? Are they on this site?

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.

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.

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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez 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 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.

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.

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

woody on May 7, 2009 at 6:03 am

that brings back memories!
here is a high res scan of my previous posting
View link

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
View link

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

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 12, 2008 at 7:51 am

This link provides some insight into this socially unique “treasure” as well as Show World across the street.

The address was once the popular Oyster Restaurant but that may have been a previous building or the 8th Avenue back of the old Astor Hotel.