Tea Room Theatre

145 Eddy Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Aquarius Theatre, Tea-Room Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Tea Room Theatre

Located in the aptly named ‘Tenderloin’ district of downtown San Francisco, just off Market Street, this is a small storefront type of theatre, of which there were once many in the operating in the area.

The Aquarius Theatre was opened March 28, 1970 screening hetrosexual adult movies. It was advertised in the San Francisco Chronicle in November 1976 as the Aquarius Theatre screening straight ‘hardcore’ one hour feature and two hour shorts for $3.00 admission. (New shows every Monday).

On December 4, 1976 it was renamed Tea-Room Theatre screening gay male porn movies, later adding live performances to the film program.

Contained within the West Hotel building which has been renovated, the front of the theatre and signage are very smart and decorated in the rainbow colours.

The Tea Room Theatre was closed May 15, 2016.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 42 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 29, 2006 at 9:28 am

Well boys(& girls), here’s what all the fuss was about!

Photographs I took in January 2005. Looking very smart and inviting in its new ‘Rainbow’ livery:
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st94066 on April 30, 2007 at 6:47 pm

Wow! This place sounds awesome. Has anyone seen a ‘live performance’? What does this entail and how can I find out the schedule of movies and performances?

kevinlofaso on January 9, 2008 at 11:41 pm

If the question is whether the Tea Room is a theater or a sex club, everyone wins: it is both. What makes the Tea Room unique is, I believe, that it IS unique. I think it’s the last of the old-style porn theaters in the City. You don’t even see representations of this type of theater much anymore. The last I saw was a scene in “Burnt Money”, of a theater in Uruguay in the 1960’s. In the day, when police raids were common and even gay sex in one’s own home was illegal, theaters like this were tremendously popular. The intention wasn’t to be (merely) seedy, but to be safe. Along with the old-style bath-houses (some of which were palatial), this is something—a type of theater, and enough like a “theater” to turn “legit” as soon as police poked a head in the door—that may not come again, but certainly has a place in San Francisco history. And in the hearts of those of us who remember. Some of the posters on this site may like to take a field trip.

delta on May 2, 2008 at 7:20 am

Any pics of the ‘auditorium’?

stevemcgarrett on April 26, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Just small cedy & sleazy is all I havta say D. Slack. Establishments like the Tea Room you do have to visit them because all u will find is outside exterior pics.

TLSLOEWS on July 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Interesting reading on this site.

astrojeepie on August 7, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I live a few blocks away from this movie house. Kind of surprised that it is listed on this site. However NO CENSORSHIP- please. If you don’t like it go to another theater listing-OK.

oskar on March 27, 2012 at 11:02 pm

It has not been kept up to cleaning standards…one of the employees is rude would not go back

rivest266 on August 11, 2018 at 11:13 am

This opened on March 28th, 1970 as the Aquarius theatre. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

rivest266 on August 13, 2018 at 8:13 am

Reopened as “Tea Room” on December 4th, 1976 with male adult programming. Ad in the photo section.

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