Gaiety Burlesk

201 West 46th Street,
New York, NY 10036

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xristo69 on January 6, 2018 at 9:10 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 for details, or, review my YouTube ‘Homo GoGo Man’ by Christopher Duquette 845 337 7048,

DavidZornig on October 16, 2017 at 5:59 pm

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

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

Here is a marquee shot as the Pussycat Cinema.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 5, 2016 at 4:56 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.

DavidZornig on October 1, 2015 at 6:17 pm

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

RMeitzler on March 11, 2015 at 8:45 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!

Tony_Brando on March 6, 2015 at 7:40 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

xristo69 on January 16, 2015 at 11:38 am

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 &

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

PatB on February 3, 2013 at 8:20 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.

jasonfury on November 14, 2012 at 1:22 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.

bigjoe59 on April 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm


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.

rivoli157 on November 17, 2011 at 10:21 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!

robboehm on October 5, 2011 at 5:37 am

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

woody on October 10, 2009 at 7:09 am

and here is shot of the whole block including the Howard Johnsons
just prior to demolition

AdoraKiaOra on May 1, 2007 at 1:53 pm

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?

mujerado on March 18, 2007 at 9:39 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.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 6, 2006 at 3:02 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.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 4, 2006 at 11:25 am

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

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 4, 2006 at 11:06 am

Ed, it was not rare for that double feature to have multiple runs. The theatres owned the prints so they kept bringing them back. It is precisely the lack of consistent distributors that caused Variety to stop tracking the films and the reason for recent claims that DEEP THROAT may have grossed as much as 600 million dollars making it among the highest grossing films of all time. No one can prove it.

THE BIRTH OF A NATION is the other title with a similar dilemma. Both films are politically incorrect so their true effect on history is being denied and erased.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 4, 2006 at 10:45 am

Wait. Before I get to relaxing… doesn’t the little circle in that ad say “Giant Double Feature”?

dave-bronx™ on October 4, 2006 at 10:30 am

it’s not a double feature – “Miss Jones” is playing at the Avon 7, and “Throat” is at the Love Theatre on 42nd St. I don’t remember that one but that’s what the ad says….

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 4, 2006 at 10:12 am

Hmmm. Robert… That ad at the bottom for the twin bill of “Deep Throat” and “Devil in Miss Jones” at the Avon 7 just threw my listing of the Frisco Theater for a loop! The Frisco opened just a few doors down the block from the Avon 7 and was purported to have played that double bill continuously for about a decade. I have an image of those titles playing there from 1973 plus newspaper clippings from 1980 and 1982 listing the films still on the Frisco’s grind.

Can you hear me scratching my head?

RobertR on October 4, 2006 at 9:06 am

1975 stage & screen show
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irajoel on July 24, 2006 at 9:11 am

here are four more photos. The photos are indeed from 1940. The movie Suicide Legion was made in 1937, but since it was British Im sure it was delayed because of the war in Europe. The other film shown is Saturday’s Children which is also 1940, and the parade is a publicity stunt for 20 mule team a 1940 flick.
View link
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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 24, 2006 at 5:57 am

How rude of me… I did mean to say “thanks for the images” all the same, ij.