Bijou Theater (Chicago)
The Bijou Theater is a gay adult theater and sex club located at 1349 N. Wells in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood. The Bijou Theater opened in 1970 and it is the longest-running gay adult theater and sex club in the United States.
The Bijou Theater presents a new double bill show every Friday, and it features the “Bijou Classics”—adult films produced by Bijou Video in the 1970s and 80s—every Monday. The theater also hosts live shows including special appearances by top porn stars every third Friday of the month.
The Bijou Theater features a 15' by 18' foot silver screen and seats 77 people in anchored, theater-style cushioned seating.
The theater's lobby hosts a DVD counter to purchase gay adult films. A desk and computer are set up for patrons who would like to peruse the Bijou's website listing over 14,000 titles. Titles found on the website are then available for purchase at the DVD counter.
The Bijou Theater is widely recognized for its second-floor sex club. Travel magazines implore readers to explore the “gay man's fantasy playground” replete with glory holes, dark corners, and a BDSM dungeon with slings, crosses, and other fetish objects. Guests are invited to rent a locker to store their street clothes and change into their "play clothing." In warm weather, the club opens the Bijou Gardens, an outdoor playground.
The Bijou Theater is owned and operated by American pornographer Steven Toushin. In 1989 at the Adult Video Awards show in Las Vegas Toushin received (while he was in prison) the Reuben Sturman Award “For Legal Battles on Behalf of the Adult Industry. In 2007 at the GayVN award show in San Francisco, Toushin was awarded the “Life Time Achievement Award” from the Gay Adult Industry. He is the 3rd person to ever receive this honor. In the June 2008 AVN (Adult Video News) magazine’s 25th anniversary edition Toushin was acknowledged as one of the 25 pioneers who developed the Gay/bi Adult Film Industry. Toushin was inducted into the Founders Branch of the Adult Video News Hall of Fame at the 2009 AVN Award Show in Las Vegas, NV. Other Founders include Phil Harvey and Larry Flynt.
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