Gaiety Burlesk

201 West 46th Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Gaiety Burlesk

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This was one of several gay male adult theatres in the Times Square area and it operated from at least the mid-1970’s until finally closing in March 2005, and was demolished in 2007.

It was formerly known as the Orpheum Dance Palace and had a prime location on the second floor of a building on the northwest corner of Broadway and West 46th Street, across the street from the former Gaiety/Victoria/Embassy 5 Theatre. It became the Kings Cinema, New Paris Cinema, Pussycat Cinema, Pussycat Theatre, present ‘straight’ adult fare before going gay.

The main entrance was on 46th Street up a flight of stairs. I recall going to see movies there in 1976 and during the break in the films, the ‘stars’ of the movie came on stage to meet their ‘fans’.

Advertised as the Gaiety Male Burlesk-‘The Only One in Town’.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 72 comments)

jasonfury
jasonfury on November 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I’ve written a great deal about the great Gaiety Burlesque and the Show Palace and the Kings Cinema in my novels of gay erotica, especially in my best-seller, THE ROPE ABOVE, THE BED BELOW, written under my pen name of Jason Fury. The Gaiety had fabulous boys, a type for every taste. The small theater encouraged an intimate vibe with your fellow audience members. The dancers were so close you could see their sweat dripping down their bodies. The music was great because of a superb sound system. If you were down, you felt like jumping up and dancing, esp. if the song was “I Love the NIght Life,” and “Good times,” by Chic. There was never any sexual activity in the audience but the Apollo Lounge—“where boy meets boy”—was a great chance to chat with your favorite dancers and watch them exchange phone numbers (this was before cell phone) with their wealthy admirers. Mayor Guilliani was responsible for shutting this flesh emporium down along withall the other gay meccas that once throbbed non-stop for us admirers and pursuers of hunky go-go boys! And only a few blocks away were the swanky Adonis Cinema and the 55th Street Playhouse—all mentioned in my fiction before the AIDS epidmic destroyed all these pleasure pits.

PatB
PatB on February 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm

I read with interest all the comments here and wonder if anyone wondered the same thing I did. How did Denise take being cooped up in that little cubicle all day long. From what I heard, she ran a very tight ship there. It was for different reasons I had to stop going long before it closed but it would’ve ruined it for me when women were allowed there. In fact even Denise ruined it for me even tho she kept a low profile. Jason, I hope to get a copy of your book.

xristo69
xristo69 on January 16, 2015 at 1:38 pm

I was a dancer at the Gaiety 1976 – 1978. Read about my daze and nites of hoofing around NYC clubs until I crashed & burned from D&A: Gaiety, the Gallery, Flamingo, Crisco Disco, the Anvil, Hurrah, Studio 54, Paradise Garage, Ice Palace 57, the World, Sound Factory,… Homo GoGo Man, by Christopher Duquette available now on DonnaInk.com & Amazon.com

don’t you want to know what went on behind the mylar curtain???

Tony_Brando
Tony_Brando on March 6, 2015 at 9:40 pm

So, people are still talking about the gaiety theatre – I used to run the shows “high atop Howard Johnsons in beautiful midtown Manhattan.” Haven’t thought about the place in a long time but was thinking of an old friend – Robert B. (forgot his stage name) And yes, I know what went on behind the Mylar curtain. LOL

RMeitzler
RMeitzler on March 11, 2015 at 10:45 am

Yes Tony, seems people still are talkin about the Gaiety. I’d love to hear some more stories from you if you’re checking this on the regular… What a cool history this place has!

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on October 1, 2015 at 8:17 pm

Mid `70’s photo added to Photos Section. Photo credit Diane Worland.

http://www.dianeworland.com/

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 5, 2016 at 6:56 pm

A recent search on this site found that at least one of the three rooms that were once the Orpheum Dance Hall showed films as the KINGS, NEW PARIS, and PUSSYCAT CINEMA sometime in the 70’s and 80’s.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 5, 2016 at 7:01 pm

Here is a marquee shot as the Pussycat Cinema.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on October 16, 2017 at 7:59 pm

March 4, 1960 photo added courtesy of Vintage Everyday Facebook page. Marquee behind the Howard Johnson’s.

xristo69
xristo69 on January 6, 2018 at 11:10 am

In August, 1976, I was a sexually suppressed 18 year old young man raised in IBM suburbia whose only claim to fame was winning Prom King for my choreographed dance moves I acquired by studying ‘American Bandstand’ and ‘Soul Train’. I always wanted to be a go-go dancer, on display for the world to admire. On the day I escaped my parents’ scrutiny and claustrophobic home by entering Stony Brook University, I chose to troll X-rated Times Square to satisfy my homosexual lust instead of settling into dorm life. I was quickly approached by a humpy Italian not much older than me, who gently introduced me to my first man-on-man sexual encounter with the experienced hands of a professional male hustler. My one hour romantic affair changed gears as my new lover challenged me to follow his lead as a stripper on the stages of the Gaiety Male Burlesque, where I would satisfy the audience and Denise, the conservative Greek business owner, to become a regular dancer on weekends from Stony Brook. I wrote about my experiences being mentored by street savvy coworkers at the Gaiety who guided me into the new lifestyle I apparently welcomed and succeeded at for two years, making more money than an 18 year old still in college knew what to do with, where and how to dress for success, where and how to take drugs, and became entitled to VIP treatment at the best high-end discos and entrance to the most exclusive underground clubs, dancing to the best DJ’s and music, making me feel like my Prom King Trophy come to life. Homo GoGo Man: a fairytale about a boy who grew up in discoland, by Christopher Duquette was published by DonnaInk DP in Dec.2014, sold well on Amazon and BarnesandNoble, consulted on disco articles, exhibitions and projects. I will be reading the chapter “the Gaiety Burlesque” with DJ accompaniment of the music relevant and threaded through that chapter and the rest of my overextended disco experience (1976 – 2004) as well as silver mylar curtains, disco ball and lights reminiscent of the Gaiety (or any iconic club you want to read about in my book), at the BGSQD bookstore on level 2 of LGBTQ ctr on 13th Street, NYC, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, 7pm- 9pm. View BGSQD.com for details, or, review my YouTube ‘Homo GoGo Man’ by Christopher Duquette 845 337 7048,

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