Cinematheque 16 Moviehouse

8818 Sunset Boulevard,
West Hollywood, CA 90069

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Additional Info

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Sun Art Theatre

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Cinematheque 16 Moviehouse

Built in 1935 as a retail unit. The Cinematheque 16 Moviehouse was opened on June 9, 1966 with James Cagney in “Public Enemy” & Edward G. Robinson in “Little Caesar”. This 16mm movie theatre functioned as the site of a fundraiser for Norman Mailer’s bid for Mayor of New York City in 1969; Jim Morrison read poetry at this event. By September 1972 it was operating as an adult movie theatre. On September 26, 1974 it was renamed Sun Art Theatre screening Linda Lovelace in “Deep Throat” & “The Devil in Miss Jones”. It was closed in 1976.

It’s now Book Soup, a venerable neighborhood bookstore.

Contributed by MagicLantern

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 6, 2005 at 5:51 pm

The number 16 in this theater’s name might mislead some younger people to surmise that it was an early multiplex operation. In fact, it was a small, single screen house showing underground, independent and experimental movies which had been shot on (and were projected with) lower cost 16mm equipment.

I believe there was also a Cinematheque 16 that operated briefly in Pasadena about the same time. I know that it was originally planned to open in the main hall of the old Masonic Lodge building (now long since demolished) on North Fair Oaks Avenue, but I don’t know if it actually ended up there. I wasn’t paying much attention to underground cinema in the late ‘60s.

scottfavareille on June 7, 2005 at 1:14 pm

Some of these 16mm houses would go to hard porn. Was this one of them?

MagicLantern on June 7, 2005 at 3:03 pm

“Located on the infamous Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, Book Soup has been serving the Hollywood community for twenty-eight years!” says their website, so there’s a slim chance it went porno chic in the early 1970s, but since it’s in the heart of the Sunset Strip, possibly not.

kencmcintyre on June 13, 2007 at 4:55 pm

Here is an ad in the LA Times dated 9/15/72:

Cinematheque 16 – Adult Movie Theater

8816 Sunset – 1 Block east of Larrabee on the Strip

Intimate Erotic Action – Double Features
Show in our large, comfortable theater

Continuous 10 am to 2 am, Friday & Saturday till 4 am
Complete new show every Friday

kencmcintyre on June 13, 2007 at 5:46 pm

An ad in the LA Times in July 1969 puts the theater at 8816 ½ Sunset – “Skin-Beautiful and Graphic”.

rivest266 on October 27, 2019 at 12:09 pm

The Cinematheque-16 opened on June 9th, 1966 with “Public Enemy” and “Little Caesar”. Ad posted.

rivest266 on November 13, 2019 at 6:02 pm

Reopened as the Sun Art on September 26th, 1974 with “Deep Throat” and “The Devil in Miss Jones”. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on November 13, 2019 at 6:03 pm

Also closed in 1976 (or stopped placing ads in the LA Times.)

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