When you hear "peep show" you probably think of video cubicles that reek of Pine-Sol and bleach (one person per booth, please!). Now, with the closure of The Playpen, looks like Manhattan has but three actual live-girl peepshows still in operation. Come with Intern Sheila on a trip to Times Square.
The Playpen, which closed on August 1st, had it all—straight and gay video peeps, plus wall-to-wall porn, with categories ranging from "barely legal" to "shemale" to "animal." Plus! Live, nude girlie shows, albeit behind glass and costing $35 for five minutes (we hear). Actual vagina!
The Playpen's marquee also featured a neon skyline that included the Twin Towers, which they never bothered to remove after 9/11, presumably to show the terrorists that they might be able to destroy our buildings, but they could never crush our reluctance to spend money on cosmetic changes.
But after thirteen years, the Playpen era is over. What other venerable porn institutions has 693 Eighth Avenue housed? Well, there was the Adonis, a notable gay theater, which was closed in 1994 due to rampant sexual activity. Before that, it was the Cameo, which also featured the cinema of the three X's.
The reason for the closure is totally boring, yet chilling: The building, a theater that opened in 1916 and has much of its original stylings intact, was sold in 2003 and will finally be put to good use as either the luxury condo or hotel that developers always knew it could be. Or maybe a condo-hotel!
Currently, city preservationists are asking that the Tishman Realty and Construction stop the demolition of the building, which could happen any day now, citing its architectural significance. Playpen joins Paradise Alley, also on 8th Avenue, and the Noose fetish shop in Chelsea, as the latest porn store to shut up shop.
But we know what you're wondering: "Where will I get my live-girl and porn fix the next time I'm in Midtown? The Hawaiian Tropic Zone restaurant and Hooters just don't cut it." For the record, the remaining live-girl peeps can be found at 781 Eighth Avenue, 687 Eighth Avenue, and 42 W. 33rd Street. Pay a visit before they're gone too!