Last Adult Theater In Paris Closing Up Shop

PARIS – In yet another sign of the times and indication of the internet’s impact on how adult entertainment is consumed in the digital age, the last adult theater operating in Paris will soon close its doors.

Originally opened in the 1960s The Beverly has been operated since 1983 by Maurice Laroche, who purchased the theater in 1993 after managing it for 10 years as an employee.

“I did not see the time pass, because it was a pleasure to come to work,” Laroche told Le Parisien, adding that the Beverly just can’t compete with internet-connected computers and mobile devices “on which 10-year-old kids can see any porn movie.”

For Laroche, it’s dismal time to be a brick-and-mortar adult theater operator, especially when viewed in contrast with the salad days of yesteryear.

For years, any theater in France could screen adult films. In 1975, the government passed a law requiring theaters which displayed adult movies register and be regulated separately from mainstream theaters. While the legislation possibly led to fewer total screens showing adult films, it also created a niche market for theaters which didn’t mind registering.

“In the early 1980s, the atmosphere was happy,” Laroche said. “There were 20 porn cinemas in Paris and 110 across France. Today, when we sell 600 tickets a week, we are happy. Twenty years ago, we sold 1,500-1,600.”

Laroche said over the years, the Beverly has served couples whose sexual dalliances therein turned out to be far more than just a dirty quickie in an out of the way spot.

“Fifteen years ago, a couple came to introduce me to their baby, conceived, according to them, at Beverley,” Laroche said.

These days, the Beverly demographic trends older and is almost exclusively male, according to Laroche, who said about three-quarters of his customers are over 60 – although there are plenty of exceptions to this general rule.

“It goes from 18 years to 101 years,” Laroche said, “and we have all social categories.”

Across the channel in England, the last adult theater there (“The Office”) was reportedly shut down when the property owner discovered it had been operating without a license – and without his knowledge – beneath a block of apartments he owned.


Paris photo © Joao Ernani Oliveira

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