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Kings Highway Cinema

Okay, the origins of this trip started back on December 9th, 2011. That’s when I saw a link on the fine blog, One More Folded Sunset about the last porn theater in Brooklyn, The Kings Highway Cinema. From what I read in addition to straight and gay porn in two of the smaller theaters, it also shows classic movies in the larger 200 seat theater. This allows them to stay open, since 60% of their theater is devoted to “mainstream” entertainment, they can show porn in the two smaller theaters. The place intrigued me and One More Folded Sunset suggested I go out there. This theater has some history behind it. It originally opened up as The Jewel Theater in 1937 and one of the patrons enjoying foreign films back in the day was none other than a young Woody Allen.

After a fire in the 1960’s the movie theater went from foreign to porn and it’s been that way ever since.
Porn theaters are a dying breed, so today I’m going out to document the last one in Brooklyn. I have to admit I’m a little nervous, I’m sure cameras aren’t welcome there, so this is going to be an undercover mission. One More Folded Sunset warned me it might be a bit too daunting of a task to undertake and that was just the challenge I needed to get me obsessed over going there and doing a post on it. I took it as a well-meaning challenge. Hopefully I won’t get thrown out before I get some photos, but we’ll see soon!

Okay, time to hit the road. It’s sunny and warm out today, I’m always glad when January and February are over, they’re the two most depressing months of the year for me.

Downward into the subway we go into the depths of the subway.

After about a five minute wait, the Q train finally shows up. All aboard!

And after many stops, the train's next stop is King’s Highway in Brooklyn.

Okay, we’re here on King’s Highway. It’s funny, I thought it would be an actual highway and thought it might be difficult to get there on foot, it appears to be a main street in this part of Brooklyn. I’m learning so much as I venture out of Manhattan!

It’s quite a hike to the theater. The first store I saw that had a street sign was 1154 and the theater is located at 711 Kings Highway.

No, not that 7-Eleven Kings Highway!

I love some of the old school signs and stores out here.

And here it is, in all it’s shabby, run-down glory, The Kings Highway Cinema!

This is the other side of the sign, but there’s no information on movies playing here on it.

It looks like it might be closed. I swear to god if this is the case, I’ll go nuts for not having gone earlier. I’ll be crippled with obsessing over how I missed going to the last porn theater in Brooklyn. Let’s see what the sign says on the window.

Box office inside, okay, looks like we might be in business after all!

So it's through the doors we go!

Alright, I went inside and there was a guy behind a pane of glass reading a newspaper. He was an older, Spanish guy and I stood there in front of a turnstile a good minute before I finally said, “How much is it to get in?”

Slowly, as if in a Valium haze, he  looked up from his paper and slowly said, “Twelve dollars.”

I gave him a twenty, got my eight bucks change and went through the turnstile. I walked into the lobby of the theater and it was cast in a magenta hue, the lights were red in there. After adjusting my eyes I saw a soft drink vending machine against the far wood-paneled wall and to my left were video games. Standing separately in different corners of the room were three men. Two of them I glanced at and the third one kind of freaked me out. He was tall, medium build and had a shiny bald head. One thing I noticed is that he was glaring at me. Our eyes met and locked for about four seconds and it really creeped me out.

I looked the other way and saw a black door marked XXX to my left, next to the video games.
I went over opened it up and it was a tiny screening room with about 15 movie theater seats in it. I slowly walked into the darkness and saw about six middle-aged and older men sitting in various seats in the back. One guy who was in his middle or late 60’s with long gray hair that was done up in the same style as when Nick Nolte got busted for falling asleep at the wheel shot a toothy grin my way. I wanted to run out of there, but I thought this might be the only place to get a photo and document my time in there. I turned away from the men in back and looked forward and it was then I noticed the smell in the room. It smelled like a combination of 99 cent store aftershave, Lysol and a grandfather who hadn’t showered in a few weeks.

I took a seat in the second row where no one was seated and fished my camera out of the pocket of my jacket. I made sure the flash was off and pointed it at the screen and took a photo.

Here’s the first shot I got of the screen in front of me.

After took the photo, I first got a glimpse of the film playing in here.
It was blonde woman in a pair of white panties masturbating. Elvis would’ve loved it...in fact the Weekly World News claims he’s still alive, so maybe he was in the room! I also noticed there was no sound. Only one word can describe sitting in a dark room watching silent porn with about a half a dozen pervy senior citizens seated behind me: Skeevy! Skeevy to the nth degree. Skeevy squared. Skeevy Wonder. Okay, I’ll stop.

I held my camera up to get another shot and then I looked over and who’s in the far corner of the little theater room but the bald creepy guy. He was staring at me and I quickly put the camera back in my pocket. I walked to the lobby and he followed me out there. I felt like leaving, but wanted to get more photos. I saw some steps to my left and went down them. Baldy didn’t follow me.

I got down and the room had theater seats around the walls, I took a photo, but the room was dark and my flash was off, so it turned out like shit. I spun around and saw there was a TV set on the ground.

I took this photo and then heard someone coming down the stairs, I put my camera in my jacket and expected it to be Baldy, but to my surprise, it wasn’t.

It was some fat guy who looked mildly retarded, kind of like Junior Samples from Hee Haw.
I only looked at him for a second and then stared at the TV and hoped he’d go away. He didn’t. He came over and stood right next to me. I continued to stare at the TV which appeared to be tuned to a Spanish station and the sound was off on it too, this was too much. I had to get out of there. It was starting to feel like a third-rate Quentin Tarantino movie and I wanted leave there the gimp came out! I walked up the stairs and who’s at the top but Baldy. And he’s got his arms outstretched on either side of the wall so I can’t get around him.

When I get nervous I sweat like crazy, I always liken it to Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. So I’m at the top of the stairs and Baldy’s blocking it and sweat is rolling down my face. My stomach is in knots.

“What are you doing in this place?” He asked training his beady eyes on mine.

“Nothing,” I said, “I’m just trying to get out of here.”

He didn’t move.

“Are you some kind of investigator or something?” He asked, I noticed he kind of sounded like Clint Eastwood but squeakier and a little more high pitched. His voice was just as creepy as the rest of him.

“No, I had read about this place and was just curious,” I answered back, wiping the sweat off my brow.

He stared at me and I just stared back. After a minute or so of playing stare-down, he moved to the side and I walked past him and towards the front door.

“Hey,” he barked out as I was just about to open the door.

I looked back towards him and he said, “Don’t come back here.”

Without answering I shot out the door and headed back down Kings Highway towards the subway station, looking over my shoulder every now and again to make sure he wasn’t following me.

As I got on the Q train back to Manhattan I checked my photos and was proud that I had gotten them, even if they aren’t the best quality. If the place closes next week, I’ve got inside shots of the last porno theater in Brooklyn.

I went home and took 12 showers and drank six beers...or did I take six showers and drink 12 beers?
Well, whatever, I was far away from Skeevyville and glad to be done with this mission! And the little obsessive man in my head is glad that I got to document and show some scenes from the last porno theater in Brooklyn.

Kings Highway Cinema
711 Kings Highway
Brooklyn, NY

Further Reading: The Research Buff, Cinema Treasures and
Sheepshead Bites.

Oh, I await the day,
Good fortune comes our way,
And we ride down the Kings Highway.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!

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Reader Comments (67)

yikes ! .... this post made me very anxious ........ glad you made it out alive - I need my daily dose of TWM !

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

You fucking nut. Even Batman had a Robin.
Glad you made it out intact.

On a lighter note; if normal movie theater floors are disgusting, and Show World mop guy is a terrible job;
wouldn't being the janitor there qualify as worst job in the world, creepy sex hooligans aside?

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp


March 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternight goat

Back in my '100 Whores' days, which were the 1960's & 70s ( you read my book), I was thinking of going through every movie house in Manhattan that showed dirty movies. After about four or five of them I just gave up, there was just a hell of a lot of them. Figure I'd concentrate on the whores, at least you could kind talk with them, the movies you just stared dumbly at them.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMykola Mick Dementiuk

@GENE: By the end of my trip there, I was beyond anxious to get out! Really a creepy vibe in there!

@csp: I probably could've found a Robin inside, but chose to go it alone, no pun intended! And yes, if there is a janitor on duty there, it's the worst job in the world!

@night goat: Thanks, I appreciate you chiming in!

@Mykola Mick Dementiuk: You could easily do a tour of them today, they're a dying breed. One more thing the PC Police and the internet have killed.

March 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Wow! This takes me back to when I used to hang out a bit at a local "Adult Theater" in Oklahoma City! The one I went to even had gloryholes in the bathroom stalls. It was wild. Can hardly count the number of times I got my knob polished in the bathroom by a stranger!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl Czervik

exciting post today!! cool that you got some photos in there! im amazed theres any porno theaters with free porn on the internet. was pee wee herman in there? lol!!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D

Oh, this is so fantastic, I'm not sure where to begin!! What a frightening end to that time, what a downer!! Always creepy dudes lurking around to ruin a good time...

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

THAT was a tale! How the hell did baldy peg you so quick? I'm guessing all their business is the same half dozen regulars.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNed Sparks

@Al Czervik: Uhhh...three letters: T.M.I!

@Bobby D: I didn't see Pee Wee, but he could've been hiding in the shadows!

@Lindsay: I'm glad I went but was glad to get out. Skeevy beyond belief!

@Ned Sparks: I think you're right about the regulars and I think I was the only one in there not eligible for Medicare!

March 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

H.P. Lovecraft and Steven King would have been proud of your post today Marty...did any of the regulars have tentacles poking out of their trenchcoats? I wouldn't have gone near that place with an Andromeda Strain biohazard suit! Brrrrr......

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

It originally opened up as The Jewel Theater in 1937 and one of the patrons enjoying foreign films Kiddy Porn back in the day was none other than a young Woody Allen

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMia Farrow

I've read about this place and wondered what the fuck went on in there! Thanks for taking a bullet for the team and checking it out! Great story and unbeliveable you had the balls to take photos in there!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJT

Ahahaha! This is too funny, although fairly NSFW. I had to read the post with the browser window shoved way down at the bottom of the screen, only one line visible at a time. It was almost like being there with you...uh, almost.

I wonder if you're on some cc-tv and those guys are now watching a film of you??

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoggla

Wow, I think that was the first-ever genuinely suspenseful TWM. I was actually feeling a little nervous myself. Glad you made it out of there in one piece, Marty.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Davis

@Jaws: Ha ha ha! And I don't know, I kept my eyes away from the trench coats!

@Mia Farrow: Thanks for the update, Soon Yi sends her regards.

@JT: Glad you enjoyed it! The photos aren't the greatest, but I was happy to get them under the circumstances!

@Goggla: That cracked me up about how you had to read this post! Thanks for making the effort! I can only pray I'm not on their cc-tv...maybe it'll show up on YouTube!

@Bruce Davis: It was one of those things that was really creepy and weird to do, but I was happy after I did it and glad I got the photos! As I always say, "Oh well, it'll make for a great story!"

March 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

After this first rate investigative report, I have a suggestion for another, less harrowing one. Get inside a Brooklyn mob run Italian social club and take some snap shots of the friendly folks there. Maybe ask them some questions about business and their associates? After Baldy, it should be a piece o' cake!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

Y'know, I could just see Yog Soth Oth...the Unmentionable One...the Lurker at the Gate wearing some big nose - fuzzy eyebrow joke glasses for a disguise and selling you your ticket...

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Lindsay writes:

"Always creepy dudes lurking around to ruin a good time..."

I think it's more of a case of creepy dudes lurking around looking for a good time.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@Spike: Okay, I'll go, but only if you come along as my bodyguard!

@Jaws: I love it when your imagination runs wild!

@csp: Whichever the case, "creepy" is definitely the operative word!

March 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

@Marty-Wow, this place makes Travis Bickle’s theater of choice look like the Paris Theater that's next to the Plaza Hotel. Glad you made it out of there alive. Also, small correction, I think you meant Medicare, not Medicaid.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDuncester

Too bad you missed out on the seedy strip joints on Third Avenue under the Gowanus in Brooklyn near Industry City. My husband used to be the electrician at Industry City and some of the tenants were of that nature, including one named Mom's. Of course, he only went to Mom's for the food. It was quite the seedy red light district at one time.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatrink

That reminds me, in the late 1960s, early 1970 after going into many Times Square porno theaters I had the idea of reviewing X rated movies for the Village Voice and I wrote a pretty decent proposal in the form of a query letter. Needless to say they ignored it, probably ridiculed it as they threw it in the trash can. I had some very good films in mind, Deep Throat, Devil in Miss Jone and other similar X titles. I could have created a literary review of porno movies, as it was, the Village Voice refused. Shows how much they know about the times they live in, they know shit.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMykola Mick Dementiuk

@Duncester: And they didn't sell Chuckles in there either! Thanks for catching that, I'll correct it now!

@Katrink: A strip club called Mom's? That's hilarious! Wish I could've gone there, are the places all gone now?

@Mykola Mick Dementiuk: That would've been a genius column for the Village Voice back then and would've been a huge hit. Really crazy for them to have ignored that idea, but it doesn't surprise me!

March 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Wow - well done!!! This was a great post, both nerve-wracking & very, very funny! I was feeling anxious about suggesting this trip, & am relieved you got out of there OK. A classic!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteronemorefoldedsunset

ooooh cold shower for gidget time...
I love creepy places like this.. they add to the excitement that I call life..
that being said i looked underage till i was in my late twenties.
i really freaked people out going into these places.. in which SF had a few right there on market street.
i even spent my 21rst birthday at the famous condor club watching strippers.. its very hard to shock me....
wish i could have gone with you!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@onemorefoldedsunset: Thanks for suggesting this! It was one of those things that was nerve-wracking while doing it, but I'm really glad I saw this place and had the experience.

@Gidget: This place is 11 on the creepiness factor, so you would love it! Although it's not the place so much as the old men inside of it, scary looking patrons!

March 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty


"It smelled like a combination of 99 cent store aftershave, Lysol and a grandfather who hadn’t showered in a few weeks."

I can't believe you survived that smell AND took photos!!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

Now I can't stop thinking about what Baldy thought you were am investigator. Maybe your overly shined shoes gave you away? I never figured you for a narc, but how much do we really know about you!?

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

@meleah: Happily I survived the smell and Baldy! A tough post to do, but fun to think back on!

@Spike: No comment! Oh and those people knocking on your door, it’s the Feds, the jig is up, my friend. As Cheap Trick once sang: Surrender!

March 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Marty, the next time kick Kojak/Mr.Clean in the nuts and send him on his way.

By the way, I'm told back in the ancient days of Brooklyn, Kings Highway was an old Native American/American Indian trail. Tonto would never have approved of your actions - he definitely would have kicked Yul Brenner in the balls.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveW

Marty - it's a dirty business but someone had to do it. Now, find us anonther awesome place for drinks and dinner. I'm hitting one or two of your most recents this Friday.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave - Everywhere

@DaveW: It's funny, kicking Baldy in the nuts is what I was thinking about doing on the stairs, my only concern was his backup men. Lucklily I got out of there without incident! I live to trip another day!

@Dave - Everywhere: I took your advice and found a great place, tune in tomorrow for the report!

March 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Another classic post Marty. I truely enjoy reading your blog every evening!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Oh man, Marty .....I owe you a BIG apology brother.
After you pulled that NYC Blog Mafia protection racket bullshit in my BEDROOM the other night I kinda lost it. The problem was that I was out with some of my Canuckistan Compadres and we were playin' the Sarah Palin drinkin' game....you know, the one where EVERY time she opens her mouth you do a shot of Vodka, throw an unopened bottle of Corona at a brick wall, and then shoot a can of Bud......things got a bit out of hand......and then Willlllberrrr.......well, I just kinda lost it.
Called up some of my Brooklyn Biker Brothers.......and they put me in touch with Vinnie.....who put me in touch with Esquardo......who I now realize hired Narfredo.....Mr. Baldy himself.
But that's not all.....when I came to the next day, I realized that my Captain Canada alter ego had pulled some evil shit the night before.....but the details were fuzzy.....I knew I had to make things right.... so I called back the bikers......and they arranged for Junior Samples (whose real name is Pauly.....I think) to intercept you, and to take you into the back room where there was a big banner reading Welcome To The Marty Porno Party with 16 VERY professional female sex workers, a PALLET of Tall Buds and a Skype hookup so we could have had a big laugh about the set-up.
But something went HORRIBLY wrong......and you don't know the HALF of it.......GOD I am so ASHAMED to admit this, but..... you are EXTRA lucky because I think I remember sayin' something about Mr. Baldy doin' some damage to...... to....... Gumby.......I AM FUCKIN' SLIME.....I LOVE Gumby too.....I REALLY do!
And now I see a PayPal button down at the bottom of the comment space sayin' I owe $27 for makin' this comment.
Marty man....we gotta get this relationship back on an even keel.....what if this ends up with a border skirmish......and then the Great Canuck/Yankee War of 2012......millions of bottles of beer consumed by BOTH sides....and we all end up attacking New Jersey......Jesus Marty, when will the MADNESS end?

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrBOP

@Peter: Thanks so much, I appreciate you reading the blog and chiming in! It truly makes my efforts worthwhile!

@Dr.BOP: You don't owe me anything, in fact, come on out to NYC and the beers are on me! Get out here quick before I'm broke!

March 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Marty, You fucking crazy bastard. You are Kolchak the Night Stalker . Darren McGavin ain't got nothin on you.
I was laughing a creepy laugh as I was reading this. Man, I would not have gone in that place without a weapon. You could have woken up with a red ball in your mouth wearing a leather g-string.

March 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdanny the freelancer

@danny the freelancer: Ha ha ha! "You could have woken up with a red ball in your mouth wearing a leather g-string." That line cracked me up! Luckily, I got out of there before the gimp came out!

March 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Chalk up another one for Jimmy Olsen!
Kevlar Vests never go out of season!

March 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

@"Boris:" Ha ha ha! Thanks, Chief!

March 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Hey Marty. Don't go back there. Listen to the man.

Scariest most twisted TWM ever, but well appreciated.

March 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlegitimatebeef

That's some scary shit, Marty! All of it!

March 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@legitimatebeef: Thanks, as scary as it was I was glad I did it and got out of there before trouble started!

@Biff: I don't think we need to put this place on your list!

March 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Great post! I love a good adventure story. Reminds me of my one and only visit to a Times Square XXX with my friend Eugene back in high school, somewhere around 1983.

March 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous271

@Anonymous271: I suggest you write a blog post about that adventure at The Half Empty Glass! Would love to read it!

March 15, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Am I the only one to wonder what video games were in the theater? :)

March 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvan

@Ivan: I'm not sure, because I'm not a video guy, was always more into pinball, but they were definitely old school video games!

March 15, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

That was the best story I've read in a long time. It's a whole segment of a movie that I'd have expected to end in violence.

March 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTorquil

Great post Marty!
How was their popcorn? Expensive, $8 for a small, $10 for a large.

March 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

The most amazing part of that post is that you only had to wait 5 minutes for a Q train.

@Ivan - I'm pretty curious about that as well - I'd make the MsPacman/Galaga combo machine a solid favorite to be there. Doubt I'd be touching the joystick on that bad boy tho.

March 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJAZ

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