Cinema du Sexxx 

A Review of Portland's Porno Parlors

In a world dominated by corporate movie chains, it takes a brave theater to provide what certain clients desperately need: porno. And even if they did offer dirty movies, would Regal Theaters provide individual viewing booths, glory holes AND paper towels? We doubt it. That's why it's time to tip our hat to the local porno theaters and arcades who buck the current moral system, and provide the instant and necessary relief that keeps people like me out of trouble.

CINEMAS

Jefferson Theatre, 1232 SW 12th

Much like a 1980s Times Square porn theater, the Jeff is small, dark, sticky, and open 24/7. Two screens--one showing straight, the other showing male-on-male movies--play three films continuously, changing up on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. A ticket good for 12 hours sets one back $8; couples enter for $12; seniors, for $7. One private screening room is available for those willing to pay $10 extra per person. The "auditoriums" each have about five rows--though most men prefer to stand, trawling for some friendly company. Coffee and candy are on sale.

Oregon Theatre, 3530 SE Division Street

More like an actual cinema than a circle jerk (though chicken-choking is not unheard of), the OT began operating in 1926, but became as an adult theater in the 1970s. The cinema's large screen and glut of cozy sofas make an outing comfortable. The lack of variety here (with only one screen, straight porn shows daily except for bisexual Wednesdays and Saturdays) is a drawback. Nonetheless, the OT is much less creepy than most of its kind--there's even bicycle parking indoors.

ARCADES

All of the following feature private booths for viewing an array of porn titles with an in-booth channel changer. Most include "buddy booths"--two adjoining rooms separated by a glass wall; some even boast that bane of the red states--the Glory Hole. Each contains a chair, a paper towel dispenser, and a wastebasket. Prices are roughly $1 for four minutes. For those who haven't been in one for years, arcades don't take quarters anymore--but most do accept $2 bills.

Fantasy Video, 3137 NE Sandy (plus five other locations)

Arguably the granddaddy of them all, space-age Fantasy claims the most superlatives (largest in size, most booths, most channels, closest to my house). Despite the fact that they have twice as many channels (200), they don't double the number of gay offerings (35). Yet considering the quantity of options, Fantasy has an advantage the others don't--a button that skips ahead 10 channels.

Frolic's Adult Superstore, 8845 NE Sandy

For some Portlanders, this spot is one-stop shopping. In addition to the usual selection of videos and toys, here they sell cigarettes and smoking devices. Arcade-wise, with only 16 booths (two buddy booths; no glory holes) and 60 titles (four of which were gay porn), this is one of the smaller places in town. Frolic's also has live performances: 25 bones snares you a woman for 15 minutes--the only thing separating you is a railing. As in life, the more you pay, the more she disrobes. For those planning to linger (or those with a long drive to Pendleton ahead of them), Frolic's offers free coffee.

Mr. Peeps Adult Superstore, 709 SE 122nd

In the shadows of the Midland branch public library stands the likeable Mr. Peeps. Though the arcade is very cruisy (expect knocks on your door), the friendliness of the staff and the better quality of paper towel makes this a good choice. They have 100 titles (20 gay, 2 lesbian)--One Night in Paris among them--and tasty lube samples. Mr. Peeps also provided live "baby oil shows" but, with legal advice pending, they are suspended temporarily.

Taboo Video, 237 SE MLK (plus three other locations—even in Vancouver)

A fine place to pop in after a meal at nearby Nicholas' or before a round at the Slow Bar, Taboo has the normal 20 or so stalls (100 channels, 25 gay)--only here the buddy booths are called "voyeur booths." Taboo also features a couple of "preview booths," where you can fast forward through a porn or two to see which one you'd like. And for suburbanites worried about their Azteks in inner Portland, Taboo tenders its own covered parking garage.

Paradise Video, 14712 SE Stark

A mere four blocks from the E 148th Avenue MAX stop, the booths at Paradise are probably the most amenable. Of their 100 channels, 25 show gay flicks. Each roomy booth offers an ashtray, a coat hook, and a stepstool (?); 10 are equipped with glory holes. Demonstrating the diversity of Paradise's clientele, two cars, one with a Bush/Cheney decal, another bearing a No on 36 sticker, were side by side in the secure back parking lot.

Fat Cobra, 5940 N Interstate

Fat Cobra gots the fattest glory holes in town, yo. Seriously, you can pass a phone book to your buddy through one. And you better like it--all of the booths (except two) have them. There are 50 channels here (15 gay, three lesbian) and a strict no-smoking policy. Perks include an agreeable staff, one viewing room that holds at least 10, and an old-skool Galaga game.

NOTE: Despite the relative cleanliness of these arcades, some jizz on the floor is inevitable. Though annoying (or, perhaps, stimulating), such should not reflect on the negligence of the staff but, rather, on the thoughtlessness of the patrons. It serves, too, as a reminder to clean up after yourself--whether you ejaculate in a Petri dish or wipe up with the provided paper towels.

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