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Behind the final days of Paris' last porn theater

The last remaining pornographic movie theater in Paris is about to spin its final reel.

by Alex Campbell
Dec 30 2017, 1:11pm

The last remaining pornographic movie theater in Paris is about to spin its final reel.

Located near the Parisian red light district of Rue Saint-Denis, Le Beverley cinema had more than 50 competitors in its heyday in the 1980s. But Maurice Laroche, the theater’s 74-year-old owner, is retiring in February after seeing ticket sales slump from about 1,600 a week then to just 500 today.

The theater's closing marks the end of a tradition slowly choked by digital smut and gentrification. Customers increasingly go online for porn, while fashionable cafe and bars slowly replace the neighborhood’s erotic stores and brothels.

“The salesmen are all tied to their computers these days,” Laroche said. “But we didn’t lose all of our customers to online videos. There’s a difference between watching porn at home and here, in a dark room full of mystery.”

This segment originally aired December 20, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.