After the Haussmann renovations in the late 19th century, the Grand Boulevards quarter of Paris became traditionally associated with popular leisure, vaudeville theaters, and wax museums.
The construction of the famous and gigantic Le Grand Rex in 1930 marked the apotheosis of cinema as the most popular form of spectacle. A plethora of less grandiose movie theaters emerged, offering visual feasts for every palate. The Beverley is one of them, and the films on the menu were not your standard fare.
Originally opened in 1960 under the name Le Bikini, the Beverley came into being a decade later as an adult movie theater. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the invention of cinema was immediately applied to erotica, which was originally screened in bordello waiting rooms. With the advent of the golden age of sexploitation, adult movie theaters like the Beverley became discreet but very popular institutions, with patrons safely hidden in the darkness, knowing that they would find adventures both on screen and in the seats around them.
Today it is the rare survivor of an era of celluloid kink. For over four decades, on a weekly basis, the Beverley has offered two different 35mm films: the forgotten, vintage treasures of French erotica. The audience is mostly composed of nostalgic baby-boomers who were young men during the rise of the Beverley’s popularity.
The Beverley is praised for providing a welcoming community to the unconventional—occasional crossdressers, lusty moviegoers, swinging couples, voyeurs, and anybody who embraces sex positivity. Sure, the Beverley looks a bit shabby and the films are dated, but for connoisseurs of vintage porn, it’s far better and more welcoming than the glow of a computer screen.
Update: This theater closed at the end of 2017.
Know Before You Go
Metro Bonne Nouvelle