Paris’ Last Surviving Erotic Cinema

By

18th Dec, 2012

20121218-122543.jpg

Still screening movies on 35 mm film, tucked away in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris is a 1960s cinematic time warp with a loyal appreciation for the forgotten vintage paragons of French erotica. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, I’ll admit, and you might be thinking that I’m really scraping the barrel here but hear me out.

20121218-122615.jpg

Operated and owned by a Monsieur Laroche, Le Beverley is the last-standing establishment from a golden era of clandestine movie theaters that began to emerge around the same time the brothels of Paris were outlawed. Before the maisons closes were shut down, erotic cinema was originally screened in their lush waiting rooms and lounges. Adult movie theaters like the Beverley soon became a discreet and popular alternative. When it opened its doors in 1960, Le Beverley was first known as Le Bikini, but other than its name, the picture house has mostly gone unchanged. With it’s kitschy neon sign, old school ticket booth and 90s leather seats in the evocative retro viewing room, ironically there’s a quirky charm about it.

Still with me?!

20121218-122607.jpg

Open everyday, Monsieur Laroche offers two vintage 35 mm films a week, screened back to back. Twice a week he holds a special couples nights– screenings reserved for couples looking to inject a little excitement in their relationship for the evening. “It’s become an institution,” says Laroche, “You’d be surprised to see how many American tourists stop by here the minute they arrive, every before going to see the Eiffel Tower”. Erotic poetry readings for women have also become a regular addition to the cinema’s monthly events.

20121218-122619.jpg

But for Monsieur Laroche’s, the threat of the cinema’s closure is never far from his mind. “The government taxes us more than any other cinema. That is why all my colleagues have closed down their spaces.” Out of a €12 ticket, which will buy his patrons a entire day’s pass at the cinema (all you can watch), Monsieur Laroche only gets to keep €1.50.

But ofcourse it’s not just the government threatening the independent cinema, the internet, with its 40-50% p0rnographic content, isn’t doing Le Beverley any favors. “Men are men, and they need visual excitement. That’s not going to change. The difference is that now you have seven year-olds who know about what doing a **** means, because they’ve seen it on a smartphone.”

Le Beverley has become an unlikely sanctuary that welcomes elderly members of the community looking to pass their time in a less conventional way.

“Most of my clients are at least 70 and are retired and lonely, so they hang out here the whole week. It’s like a second home to them,” says Laroche, “I often worry about what is going to happen to all these men once this place closes.”

I for one hope that Le Beverley has a chance of becoming a protected cultural landmark that continues to serve Paris’ connoisseurs of vintage French p0rn! Although I have a feeling I might have trouble rallying any support trying to save it…

Beverley Cinema website here.

Sources: HERE and HERE

:::

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

.

You might also like

Comments

More in AbandonedConversation StartersForget ParisLife is MessyNostalgiaObscure historyTime travel

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

volcanobbq2

The Restaurant that Grills its Food over a Volcano

It's about that time of year again when we're dusting off our BBQs and getting ready to fire up the grill to see who can turn out the most badass backyard burgers this summer. But I don't suppose ...

Trending 575
swallowtail2

A 1970s Hippie Commune turned AirBnB Escape

Hippie house-hunting is one of my favourite past-times on the internet; searching for a piece of that free-spirited way of life that us city folk long for. Today I discovered a historic art studio ...

Trending 1,441
forgottenhouseboathotels

The Forgotten Houseboat Hotels of Kashmir

There was a time when these floating hotels that have rested on the lakes of Kashmir since the 1800s, were host to movie stars, artists, writers, famous musicians and wealthy western travellers sear...

Trending 3,811
dancersrussia

The Stylehunters of Soviet Russia

In communist Russia of the 1950s, members of a provocative subculture put their own original twist on street style. Labeled "Stilyaga" or "Stilyagi" (plural) by disapproving outsiders – a name th...

Trending 3,530