BALTIMORE, Md.—One by one, the nation’s classic porn theaters are calling it a day and closing shop, resigned to their fate as memories of a bygone era when real men jerked off to porn in the company of other real men. In Baltimore, whose criminal soul was so perfectly memorialized by The Wire, one last emporium held its ground until it could no longer deny the imperative of time. As reported in the Baltimore Business Journal, “The Apex Theatre, an adult movie house that has somehow survived VCRs, DVD players and the Internet, will be auctioned on Oct. 11 and is likely to see redevelopment.”
The real estate agent brokering the property, Andy Billig of AJ Billig & Co, told the Journal he’s received around a dozen or so inquiries about the place, with ideas ranging from “turning it into a performance venue to apartments.”
Billig says anything is possible, adding, “It’s got a lot of potential for different uses. The reality is, it’s a big open room and a big open movie theater. If you pull the seats out and redo the theater, you could have a nice piece of property.”
Located at 110 S. Broadway in South Baltimore, a notoriously seedy part of town that attracts homeless people and other vagrants, area residents and businesses would rather have a non-adult business take over the building, the Journal noted.
According to Billig, the theater, which shows films from 10am to 2am, should be used for something else. The current occupant, he said, is on a month-to-month lease.
“I don’t think the tenant is the best use of the property,” he added. “The sellers have every intention of selling it. This isn’t the type of property they want to keep in their portfolio.”
Not everyone is ecstatic about the shuttering, though. Over at the City Paper, they’re sad to see the city’s last porn dinosaur go extinct. Despite the fact that the Apex, “which opened in 1942 and switched to porn in 1972, has been struggling for years,” writer Evan Serpick noted, “The closing was inevitable – and as the BBJ points out, probably a good thing for the neighborhood – but we’re always a little wistful when we see a piece of Baltimore history go by the wayside.”
So are we. It’s simply not the same when porn viewing is of necessity relegated to work or one’s mobile device during commute. Not the same thrill at all.
Image: Baltimore's Apex Theater, courtesy of the Baltimore Business Journal.