Hollywood Century Theatre

5115 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90027

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Hunley's Theatre exterior

Opened as Hunley’s Theatre on September 22, 1921 with Elsie Ferguson in “Footlights”. It retained the Hunley’s name until at least 1952. It was located on Hollywood Boulevard at N. Normandie Avenue, about 1 mile east of the Apollo Arts/Star Theatre. By 1967 it had been renamed Century Theatre playing mainstream movies. On November 21, 1973 it became a gay male adult movie theatre, renamed Hollywood Century Theatre, opening with “Nights in Black Leather”. (In 1977, there was also a much smaller Hollywood Century Theater, operating as a gay male adult theatre at 5903 Hollywood Boulevard).

The marquee of the Hollywood Century Theatre was similar to the marquee at the New Beverly Cinema. When it became an adult house, the films were promoted with large "cut-out" posters which faced Hollywood Boulevard. The posters usually contained oversized pictures of pensive-looking, unintelligent, teen-age stud muffins that starred in the films for reasons other than their acting ability.

An interesting aspect of the Hollywood Century Theatre was that it had become a ‘private’ theatre. This meant that a patron would pay an admission price of $10 or $15 and receive a membership card (for a reduced admission price upon subsequent visits). Also, the private status meant that the management could legally allow sexual activity on the premises. Usually, in this type of venue, there was a lot of activity in the auditorium and the rest room. In addition, the area behind the screen was cleared out, dimly lit (if at all), and made available for even more furtive, anonymous encounters; this was known as the ‘back room’.

The Hollywood Century Theatre was still operating in November 1984 as a gay male adult theatre. It was possibly closed in the late-1980’s. It was later destroyed in a fire. I drove through the area several years ago and could not see any trace of this theatre.

Contributed by george haider

Recent comments (view all 56 comments)

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on February 8, 2011 at 8:41 pm

i remember this theater showing gay porn when i first visited
L.A. May of 1980. when exactly did it close as a mainstream movie
house and after that when did it start showing gay porn?

William
William on March 16, 2011 at 7:10 pm

It stopped showing regular Hollywood type movies when GCC sold the house. So that was somewhere around 1972-73.

talkwithjacob
talkwithjacob on September 22, 2014 at 12:52 am

Hey Twistr54 I would love to purchase some of the notepads/envelopes that you mentioned you have of the glorious Century Theater. Email me, this would be a very meaningful gift for a friend who used to work there, just need it soon.

hollywood90038
hollywood90038 on March 11, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Now that I am retired, I can HONESTLY say that working at the HOLLYWOOD CENTURY THEATER in the 70’s was the most fun job I’ve ever had.

David DeCoteau
David DeCoteau on April 15, 2017 at 11:09 pm

Just read that Shan Sayles passed away in December of 2016

David DeCoteau
David DeCoteau on June 22, 2018 at 9:34 am

Sadly the owner of The Century Monroe Beehler died this past May. https://www.legacy.com/funeral-homes/obituaries/name/monroe-beehler-obituary?sid=106104642&v=forestlawn&pid=189041288&view=guestbook

David DeCoteau
David DeCoteau on February 18, 2019 at 5:55 am

https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2018/10/17/commemorating-two-forgotten-figures-stonewall-era-gay-film

rivest266
rivest266 on November 11, 2019 at 12:52 am

Started its adult policy on November 21st, 1973 with “Nights in Black Leather”. Ad posted. Cinema was with Statewide, Loew’s, General Cinema.

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