Tag Archives: Gay Sex

Gay History Flashback – The Infamous Adonis Movie Theater NYC, NY (1975 – 1988) NSWF

The 1,433-seat Adonis Theater, was originally built as the Tivoli Theater in 1921 by Billy Rose for Fanny Brice of all people and it was one of a kind.  But as time went by the grandly opulent vaudeville house turned movie theater on Eighth Avenue and 51st Street in its declining years became famous for anonymous stud romping, porn and SEX SEX SEX. 

Adonis Theatre in New York, NY - Cinema Treasures

It was a cinema palace that survived by giving Doris Day and Rock Hudson (oh the irony of it all) the pink slip and bringing in and out and in again Jack Wrangler, Kip Knoll, Richard Locke and the infamous Falcon Video-Pac guys to survive and became one of New York’s most popular ALL-GAY adult theater in the 1970’s and early 1980’s.

Not much history remains of the Adonis in books or on the internet just a few fading memories of those who who wandered its dark interior in days and nights of an era long gone by.

The Adonis came complete with a grand lobby and a balcony flanked by solid two-story Ionic columns.  Even as men prowled the aisles looking for sex the vast if not somewhat faded grandness of the theater could not be overlooked. Even Variety went so far to peg it as the largest and most lavish gay porn theaters in New York City.

In the late 70’s the Adonis was a sexual amusement part.  While the images of Jack Wrangler and Movies by Joe Gage flickered on the screen men in the aisles, the seats, the balcony, the bathrooms and anywhere they could find would act out their own sexual fantasies.  Sundays were so crowded that it was hard to find a seat in Adonis but that was all that was hard to find. Patrons would literally avoid the seats under the balcony’s edge at busy times for fear of being showered with semen from high above.

The Adonis was crowded at most times of the day, and night. Sleazy, and dark, it attracted a fun, fast crowd. Instead of popcorn you could buy small tubs of lube, cock rings and poppers at the concession stand. And for “boys on a budget” If one didn’t have the $7 admission you could easily meet someone in front of the theater to pay your entrance fee.

The Adonis’ house manager had a stake in the career of iconic  porn star Jack Wrangler.  So in 1977 a  film called A Night at the Adonis  was shot in the theater.  Theater employees such as Bertha the cashier acted in bit roles, and as soon as a print was readied it was on the screen at The Adonis.

A net posting by Oliver Penn recalls the movie.  . . “it was rather odd to be in the exact theater that was being depicted on the screen, sort of a movie coming to life all around you. What was happening on the screen was also happening in real life as you were watching the film.”

But the theaters size, age, and the outbreak of AIDS epidemic took its toll.  There were also some serious structural problems because of its age and lack of upkeep.  In the mid-’80’s the balcony collapsed. Luckily no one was hurt

Real estate developers that had a stake in the neighborhood  and deeply closeted Mayor Ed Koch who was using the AIDS epidemic to clean up Times Square was trying to get the theater closed down to tidy it up for the building of the monolith Worldwide Plaza, soon to be built on the next block. One prospective tenant, a a homophobic law firm law firm Cravath, Swain & Moore, stipulated that the theater had to close before Worldwide Plaza was built. The plaza’s developer, William Zeckendorf, subsequently bought up the site, and that was the beginning of the end of the Adonis.

Later a little known bizarre postscript to this story surfaced when a partner in said law firm David Schwartz—instrumental in shuttering the Adonis—was murdered by an 18-year-old male prostitute whom he’d spent the day with at his Connecticut summer home and then took to a sleazy Bronx motel. Schwartz had been stabbed 27 times.  It turned out that this moral pillar of the community who had a wife and three children liked rough street trade and had been living a double life for years.

But The Adonis did live on for a bit longer and transferred its name to another theater owned by  further south on Eighth Avenue, at 44th Street which was quickly outfitted with campy Greek statues and roman columns but it wasn’t the same.  Not long after the city of New York was doing its best close down every gay sex establishment in NYC and “new” Adonis was eventually closed in 1994 by the City’s Health Department after a raid revealed high-risk sexual activities taking place among patrons.

The grand old Adonis Theatre would stand like a grey ghost until the spring of 1995 on its corner of 8th Avenue and 51st Street until it was demolished. Now its memory is a ghostly reminder of the heyday of gay sexual freedom in a now scared and scary post-AIDs world.

Do you have stories about The Adonis or other forgotten NYC gay places?  If so leave them in the comments.

Bijou Blog - AT THE ADONIS
Adonis Theatre in New York, NY - Cinema Treasures
Inside The  Adonis Theater, December 1994
Lost Adult Theaters of New York: Then and Now - The Rialto Report

WATCH: A Night At The Adonis – Directed by Jack Deveau. With Jack Wrangler and Jayson MacBride – NWSF – Adults Only – RATED X

*Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research.

NEW FEATURE: Sunday's Society of Extraordinary Gentlemen Pictorial [NSWF]

NEW FEATURE: Sunday’s Society of Extraordinary Gentlemen Pictorial [NSWF]

EDITORS NOTE: Back2Stonewall has decided that since we are a website predominately (but not exclusively) for gay men and since human sexuality has always being a huge part of the gay struggle we believe it is time to share more images of male beauty, gay sex, and vintage models and movies in marked NSWF posts.

Please view these new posts at your own discretion and if you do we hope you enjoy and support this latest change

Will Kohler – Back2Stonewall.com

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@CurtyGeeXXX on Twitter

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#FlashbackFriday – Man’s Country Bathhouse NYC Cable TV Commercial (1970’s) – Video

Man’s Country was a wildly popular bathhouse chain that had branches in New York City and Chicago in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Man’s Country in NYC was located on a residential street in a former office building.

The most interesting thing about Man’s Country was that he main orgy room featured a full sized tractor trailer cab for use to fulfill your trucker fantasies and  have sex on/under/inside, you name it. It was also famous for it’s $1.00 Tuesday night rates, that attracted mammoth numbers of men.

While popular Man’s Country never reached the same popularity level as the downtown St. Marks Baths or the uptown Everard Baths it was well visited to say the least.

Man’s Country NYC closed at the beginning of the AIDS crisis in 1983.

UPDATE 11/26/16:   Man ‘s Country Chicago owner Chuck Renslow announced to his employees that he will be selling the building, which has been around since 1907 and was originally built as a lodge hall.

The Windy City Times article includes a lot of history over the 43 years that Man’s Country has existed. Check it out here.

One paragraph in particular serves as a wonderful summation:

Renslow is rightfully proud to say that for a long while Man’s Country was the finest bathhouse in the country. After 43 years, the eventual closing of these doors will also be the end of an era. For generations Man’s Country stood as a symbol for the evolution of gay liberation and consciousness. Though its original grandeur has tarnished, the value and necessity of this building and it’s place in the evolution of Chicago LGBT history cannot be minimized.

The true end of an era.

Washington D.C.'s Last Remaining Bathhouse The Crew Club To Close

Washington D.C.’s Last Remaining Bathhouse The Crew Club To Close

The Crew Club Washington D.C.’s last remaining gay bathhouse in Logan Circle will host a closing down party this Saturday night (February 29, 2020), before shutting its doors forever.

In a message posted to Facebook, Owners DC Allen and Ken Flick said: “Thank you for 25 years of love, support, patronage and community. On February 29, 2020, The Crew Club will close its doors. This was a heart-wrenching decision for us.

“It’s been an honor serving the DC community. Our true measure of success and joy was not from any financial reward, but came from a love for this community, the opportunity to offer a safe and liberating space to our membership, and the ability to provide employment to our loyal and hardworking staff.”

The owners had sold the property to a real estate development firm. Although the sale was arranged back in 2016, the sale was due to complete only this year.

According to Allen ” We sold the building four years ago at the height of the market and we were trying to work out a lease-back program but it just didn’t seem to be working the way I thought would be a profitable thing to do,” Allen said.

Last May, the Glorious Health (and Amusement) Club was closed by the The D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Glorious Health was originally opened in 1979 on O Street, S.E.,  home to many of the gay sex clubs including a Club Baths and a porn theatre all of which displaced by eminent domain in 2006 for the Washington Nationals baseball stadium. It later reopened on West Virginia Avenue, N.E. bills itself as a spa, art gallery and community center catering to gay men. It plans to reopen after it fixes what the city agency said were multiple violations of the city’s building code.

Glorious Health Club, gay news, Washington Blade
Undercover Sex Sting in Washington DC Park Results In Arrests of 26 Gay Men

Undercover Sex Sting in Washington DC Park Results In Arrests of 26 Gay Men

The U.S. Park Police have made at least 26 arrests during the past year in Meridian Hill Park known as Malcolm X Park in Washington, D.C. of men seeking other men for a sexual encounters according to a Park Police spokesperson.

Malcolm X Park, has been known for at least 50 years as a cruising spot in a secluded areas of the park at night for mostly African-American gay men.

Washington, D.C. defense attorney John Albanes and other attorneys who are representing  some of gay men who were arrested report that undercover officers are pose as consenting partners interested in a sexual tryst.

“I am on a D.C. Superior Court trial lawyers association listserv and recently several criminal defense attorneys on the email list have mentioned that they have had criminal cases involving essentially the same set of facts,” Albanes told the Blade in an email. “[U]ndercover plain-clothes Park Police officers entice men in Meridian Hill Park for purportedly consensual sexual activity and then proceed to arrest their targets for a crime (often misdemeanor sexual abuse),” according to Albanes.

“I find this pattern extremely disturbing and reminiscent of the Stonewall days when gay men were often the target of police discrimination. The tactics used in these cases just fly in the face of proper police work and should be exposed,” he said. The officers are posing as willing participants in a consensual encounter between adults. The target is deceived into thinking that what he is about to do is wanted. This raises serious doubts about whether the government can prove criminal intent.”

Sgt. Eduardo Delgado, a Park Police public information officer, told the LGBT website the Washington Blade the 26 arrests made in the park since Aug. 7, 2018 involve charges of one or a combination of Disorderly Conduct, Lewd Acts, Unlawful Entry, and Simple Assault (Sexual).

In a statement Delgado said : “The U.S. Park Police receives complaints about lewd acts that occur within Meridian Hill. As with any other complaint of illegal activity, we then take actions to stop it,” he said. “Plain clothes officers are just one method of enforcement sometimes used to deter, stop, and/or arrest violators within the parks.”

Before being “reclaimed” by the neighborhood and gentrified in the 80’s. Meridian Hill Park was a virtual den of thieves. One newspaper article quoted a police officer who called it “a supermarket of drug dealing.” A 1989 study called the park the “Most Murderous” in that section of the city.

Turkish Pop Singer Bulut Duman Accused of Gay Blackmailing Over 50 Men

Turkish Pop Singer Bulut Duman Accused of Gay Blackmailing Over 50 Men

German-born Turkish pop singer Bulut Duman has been accused by over 50 men of  in Turkey of blackmailing them about their secret gay sex affairs.

According to court documents seen by daily Hürriyet, more than 50 men in the provinces of Istanbul, Bursa and Giresun have recently filed criminal complaints against pop singer

After they engaged in a relationship with the singer, they said Duman swindled their money through fraud or blackmail by using footage of their sexual encounters.

A policeman from Istanbul who filed a criminal complaint alleged that Duman had taken 80,000 Turkish Liras from him. ($15,000.00)

Another complainant, who was unidentified, attempted to commit suicide by jumping into the sea in Istanbul but was saved by fishermen.

Duman was convicted for fraud and sentenced to jail in one case and was acquitted in another. Several legal cases still proceed.

Same-sex sexual activity was legalized in the Ottoman Empire (the predecessor of the modern-day Republic of Turkey) in 1858 and in modern Turkey, homosexual activity has always been a legal act since the day it was founded in 1923

Duman denies all of the 50 accusations.

 

Who Will Buy? – One of the Few Remaining Gay Sex Spaces Seattle’s Bathouse Club Z for Sale

One of the few remaining gay bathouses in America, Seattle Washington’s Club Z in the Capitol Hill section is up for sale.

Here is the realtor’s description for the $2.15 million listing for 1117 Pike:

Built in 1906 this three story commercial building is for sale for the first time in almost 40 years. The Pike Building is located just above downtown Seattle in an A+ Capitol Hill location. This offers a Buyer the rare opportunity to purchase a pride-of-ownership property located only 3 blocks from downtown Seattle.

“The property offers endless potential for an investor to redevelop the property or maintain the existing use,” the marketing copy concludes.

The building has been home to a gay bathhouse for decades. Today known as Club Z, (originally called the  “Zodiac Social Club”) the sex club is one of the few left in the country.

The Stranger’s Christopher Frizzelle wrote a rather sex-negative history of the Club Z building’s place in Seattle — a mix of early 20th century hotels, World War II internment, AIDS, drugs, and sex — as the property was being planned for demolition and development in the early 2000s. A project to create a multi-story condominium development began the permitting process but never made it past planning phases. The property continues to be held by the same real estate investor who purchased it in the 1970s.

In January Chicago’s landmark gay bathhouse Man’s Country closed after 44 years in business.

Shall we start a $2.15 million dollar GoFundMe campaign to buy it and save our historic gay sex spaces?

Vatican Police Raid High Ranking Cardinal’s Drug-fueled Gay Orgy

Vatican police raided a drug-fueled gay sex party at the apartment of an aide to one of Pope Francis’ key advisers, according to reports from Vatican City.

 Without revealing the name of the occupant of the apartment, police said that the person is believed to be a priest who serves as a secretary to cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative texts and a personal adviser to Pope Francis.

 According to Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano which first published the news, police raided the apartment in June after complaints from neighbors who reported unusual behavior among people visiting the apartment.

The newspaper quoted the police as saying that they found drugs and a group of men engaged in sexual activity when they entered the apartment. Drugs can change you completely, drug rehab in Tampa FL can help you start over.

The police have arrested the priest and taken him for questioning, presumably on drugs charges. It is not a criminal offence to engage in private same-sex activity in Vatican City.

Ironically the apartment belongs to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose duties include investigating clerical sexual abuse.

Lawsuit Brought Against NY Port Authority Police For Gay Sex Entrapment and False Arrest

Lawsuit Brought Against NY Port Authority Police For Gay Sex Entrapment and False Arrest

 

A class action lawsuit has been brought against the  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police for targeting gay men who use the restrooms at New York City’s main bus terminal.

The complaint accuses officers of making targeted arrests on the discriminatory basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation and to boost quality of life arrest statistics

The suit, filed Monday in Manhattan federal court, claims Port Authority police officers engage in discrimination by falsely arresting men perceived as gay at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on baseless charges including public lewdness and exposure.

The suit was filed by Winston & Strawn LLP and the Legal Aid Society. The plaintiffs are seeking a stop to the practice, as well as compensatory and punitive damages.

“The PAPD have continued to make such targeted arrests knowing or believing that most of those arrested will ultimately be forced to plead to lesser charges to avoid public embarrassment and humiliation, costly legal fees, and jail sentences, as well as reputational and professional harm associated with the false charges,” the suit explained

Cops spy on men who seems “gay or non-gender conforming” through the slats in the privacy dividers in the man’s bathroom and then lie and say that the men are touching themselves, according to the suit and plaintiff attorney Ross Kramer

 “The use of police assets and resources in this unconstitutional and unconscionable way is particularly stunning in light of the world in which we live,” said Thomas Patrick Lane, partner with Winston & Strawn.

The specific QOL arrest initiative goes back to at least 2004, when Port Authority police arrested Alejandro Martinez, accusing him of masturbating in public. Martinez was found not guilty and was awarded “substantial damages,” but the police still continue the practice of arresting men for lewdness without probable cause, said Kramer.