Punch Line Café

7059 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Additional Info

Functions: Office Space

Previous Names: Athena Theatre, Avon Theatre, Bijou Theatre, Odeon Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Punch Line Café

The address locates this theatre in part of a building just to the west of the former Hollywood Galaxy Theatre. The Athena Theatre was opened on September 9, 1969 screening straight adult movies. It operated until January 1970. From February 1970 until May 1971 it became the Avon Theatre, screening all-male adult movies.

From August 1971 to August 1973 it operated as the Bijou Theatre screening mainstream revival films. Frome September 1973 until April 1974 the Bijou Theatre reverted back to screening all-mail adult movies.

Closed for a while, it reopened as the Odeon Theatre in September 1975 screening mainstream revival films again. It was closed as a movie theatre in January 1977.

From January 1977 it reopened as a live performance comedy venue named Punch Line Café with a tag line “Corkers, or What Do I Take For A Running Gag”. It was closed in April 1977.

The building which housed the theatre is part of a building which now houses offices for the Ron Hubbard Foundation.

Contributed by David DeCoteau

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

MagicLantern on March 5, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Disagree strongly.

kencmcintyre on March 5, 2008 at 9:56 pm

I thought that ad looked familiar.

MagicLantern on March 6, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Because obviously those aren’t true ads.

GoodOleDays on January 13, 2011 at 11:51 pm

This was a Great little theatre next door to Grauman’s Chinese Theater, home to the hand & footprints of the Hollywood Stars,
located at the northeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Drive, just west of Highland Avenue.

The Hollywood, Avon theatre along with the San Francisco, Nob Hill (Adult theatre still in existence and doing very well) and the LA, Park where among the first Gay theatres in American and had a direct impact on gay social evolution and acceptance of gays in the United States. Many of Hollywood’s whos who attended screenings at the Avon under cover of Private Membership.

ChasSmith on August 4, 2011 at 5:31 am

Saw this location pinned on the map and it triggered a memory. In 1972 or 1973 I saw “Gaslight” and “North by Northwest” as a double feature at the Fine Arts in Beverly Hills. Soon thereafter I saw an ad for the same pairing of these films in Hollywood, at a theater I wasn’t familiar with. It turned out to be a storefront type of thing with 16mm projection, just a little west of the Chinese. Could that be this place?

GoodOleDays on August 4, 2011 at 8:17 am

ChasSmith; no I don’t think so, it’s been along time but the Avon was not a corner theatre, for one thing, however, it did run 16mm Bell and Howel projection. As I recall, if standing in front the theatre on the street and facing the theatre; to your right would be Grauman’s Chinese theatre with a big white spooky looking Hotel either between the Avon and the Chinese theatre or directly to the left of the Avon. Across from the Chinese theatre was a 1st run Loew’s house (on Hollywood blvd,of course).

During this era/time you could open a theatre with less restrictions if it had 50 or less seats or perhaps it was less than 50 seats (49 seats). This ordinance was perfect for this type of theatre (Gay) and made good Business Sense. Low investment to test a new and unknown market vs. high investment for a larger and nicer house with Higher Risk that you would or could be raided at any moment. Remeber Vince Miranda’s Pussycat porn houses running deep throat were getting raided like crazy all over during that era so there was Very High Risk in opening a Gay theatre so a 50 seat house fit the bill. Looking back I can now say it took Shan Sayles lots of balls to start the Continental Theatre chain, which is another story of it’s own lol.

GoodOleDays on August 5, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Hmmm Chas after doing some reasearch on mapquest you may be right my memory must have faded lol. By the way that spooky hotel was/is the Roosevelt where the first Academy Awards were held and they say on Wiki that it is haunted. I thought I saw some ghosts around there haha.

ChasSmith on November 8, 2011 at 9:43 am

But there was also a spooky old abandoned, derelict apartment building on the north side of the street in those years. I’m thinking a couple of blocks west of the Chinese, so, west of the Avon as you were remembering. I think it had a specific name, too, but I’m totally blanking on that. But it was a pretty well known abandoned structure back then, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find pictures.

moviebuff82 on July 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm

i agree chassmith.

CTCrouch on July 21, 2013 at 8:15 pm

The “spooky old abandoned, derelict apartment building” was the Garden Court Apartments.

I’m having trouble picturing where the Avon was. That block of Hollywood Blvd consisted of the Hillcrest Motor Building and the Garden Court Apartments throughout the 20th century. The apartment building stood from 1917 to 1984; the Hillcrest building (later a Shakey’s Pizza, Motorama Museum, Hertz/Avis car rental, and always a collection of misc stores on street level)1929 to present. The apartment building was replaced by the current shopping center (former home to the Galaxy Theatre).

The Garden Court was at 7021 Hollywood Blvd. and the building on the opposite corner of Hollywood and Sycamore, which currently houses Author’s Services, is 7051. Given the Avon’s listed address being 7039, that would require some sort of building wedged in between the apartment building and the corner of Hollywood and Sycamore. However, every picture I’ve found shows that parcel of land being a small parking lot up until the shopping center was built.

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