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.

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 65 comments)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 4, 2006 at 8:25 am

Ha! Excellent point, Al. Thanks for pointing that out.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 6, 2006 at 12:02 pm

Here’s another image from Woody’s flickr page dated 12/2005 that follows up the earlier shot of his (1990’s?) that KenRoe posted somewhere above.

Here’s that earlier shot again to avoid having to scroll up.

mujerado
mujerado on March 18, 2007 at 6:39 pm

I was last in the Gaiety in 2004, with my friend who lives back in NJ. The place was about half full. Silence reigned supreme while the boys were stripping, but my friend and I made noise and stuffed bills in the strippers boots—all they had on!—and had a lot of fun. Some of the strippers were just ordinary guys getting a few easy bucks, but a couple of them were really hot and seemed to enjoy showing off. By then there was no j/o, just flaunting of erections, and no touching of the strippers, by order of the “bored” voice over the speakers. I was only ever inside twice, but I’ll remember it as a part of gay history in NYC.

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on May 1, 2007 at 10:53 am

Yep this place has gone as has the Howard Johnsons on the same block. The Duffy Theatre that was on the same block but directly on Times Sq has gone also but is now housed in the “Snapple' centre a few blocks up Broadway.I remember you entered The Gaiety up steep stairs right next door to th Broadway theatre- The Lunt-Fontainne. It was an interesting place for New Yorkers and tourists. Very small and in its last years very dirty and run down.The ‘performers’ i saw certainly didnt have their mind on the job and seemed pretty aggressive. Where do guys go know dare i ask?

woody
woody on October 10, 2009 at 4:09 am

and here is shot of the whole block including the Howard Johnsons
http://www.flickr.com/photos/woody1969/73329909/
just prior to demolition

robboehm
robboehm on October 5, 2011 at 2:37 am

Miss the chicken croquettes at Howard Johnson’s. They were conical shape and had some sort of white sauce on them.

rivoli157
rivoli157 on November 17, 2011 at 8:21 am

Harlequin rehearsal studios was directly next door to the Gaiety, and if you werent paying attention to which entrance you were using, you quickly found out by the pictures on the wall as you went up the stairs!

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on April 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Hello-

1.i went to the Gaiety on a regular enough basis thru out the 30 years it was open. to the best of my knowledge it was never known as the Kings Cinema.

2.also the theater closed the 3rd week of March
2005 not 2006.

jasonfury
jasonfury on November 14, 2012 at 11:22 am

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 6:20 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.

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