Fair Theatre

90-18 Astoria Boulevard,
East Elmhurst, NY 11369

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Fair Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Not too far from the Shea Stadium (now demolished and Citi Field built on the site in 2009) and LaGuardia Airport on Astoria Boulevard in the East Elmhurst section of Queens. The Fair Theatre opened in 1939 and was named after the World Fair which was held on Flushing Meadows.

After years of being a neighborhood theatre, it went over to screening XXX adult porn movies for many years. In around 2006, these were dropped in favour of screening Bollywood film productions. By 2009, Kung Fu type movies were also being screened as well as adult movies.

Contributed by SteveSmith

Recent comments (view all 348 comments)

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 17, 2015 at 11:08 am

You joined Cinema Treasures just to post that comment? Thanks but no thanks…

Robbrown
Robbrown on December 25, 2015 at 11:23 am

Do they still allow you to cross dress?
I loved to cd there, a few years ago. Would like to do so again.
Tammy

Alton P.
Alton P. on January 5, 2016 at 8:29 am

There have been rumors over the years about this place closing. A brief review of this theatre’s history (and its neighbors') reveals the struggle to stay in business.

In February 2006, when the Polk Theater in Jackson Heights closed for good, the Fair Theatre was the only remaining cinema in Queens offering XXX movies. Despite its “monopoly”, the future did not look bright for adult-oriented cinemas.

Back in April 2007, when Indian movies were being promoted and shown on its big screen, many feared the Fair was abandoning adult movies and going “Bollywood” – just like the Mayfair/Bombay Theater in Fresh Meadows and Earle/Eagle Theater in Jackson Heights had done several years earlier.

Fast forward to 2009, and the Indian movies were quietly discontinued – this may have been partially due to a major movie studio strike in Mumbai which crippled distribution of Indian films worldwide (that year, the Eagle Theater closed for good). The Fair carried on, as it had previously, with Asian martial arts movies and other “grindhouse”-type programming for awhile, then heavily curtailed that as well.

In 2011, the Fair “celebrated” its 40th anniversary as an adult venue by offering complimentary snacks, refreshments and other perks as a “thank you” to its loyal, long-time customers (for many years, the place was also known as the “Adult Fair”).

The Indian movie posters still hang all over the lobby and entrance, there is still signage touting “international films”, and the recently redesigned website still promotes movies not currently being shown, but the Fair’s primary business is still the same as it was since 1971. It remains – despite zoning laws, business regulation, legal actions, harassment from the neighboring evangelical church…not to mention a recent economic recession, adult home video and Internet sites.

Some of us are not particularly thrilled about the Fair as it currently functions and would have preferred a more desirable use for it. However, given the limited options for a theatre of this type, and the fate of its contemporaries, we should at least be happy that the building still exists (with its original features mostly intact). This place is truly a survivor!

pablopaulo2011
pablopaulo2011 on May 11, 2016 at 4:19 pm

I can see gay movies?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 11, 2016 at 4:25 pm

Go and find out. And make sure you report back here. Not.

ChocolateXxx2016
ChocolateXxx2016 on September 16, 2016 at 10:16 am

Was thinking about checking out the cinema but a little reluctant.Do they still play adult fims there?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 16, 2016 at 4:01 pm

Neely O'Hara says, Art films? Nudies! That’s all they are. Nudies.

theatrelvr
theatrelvr on March 19, 2017 at 12:11 pm

There is a doc on vimeo about this theater called “Been Too Long at the Fair.” It’s free to see the trailer and only a buck to rent. I’m watching it now. Short film, interesting.

robboehm
robboehm on March 19, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Mike- Remember when strippers were “exotics”?

Willburg145
Willburg145 on April 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm

Anywhere know where the box office was located back in the day?

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