552 S. Bascom Ave.
It seems you never actually see anyone going into a pornographic
movie theatre. I was hanging about here for quite some time and
didn't. Just grey shadows in the corners.
Dave Hickey offers the following:
"The Burbank Theater is a San Jose landmark providing old-fashioned
pornographic movie pleasure to lonely gentlemen of all ages.
It is landlocked in a lower, middleclass family neighborhood
where the strolling presence of lonely, single men is piety-provoking
"It started as a neighborhood, double-feature theater only
to close down in the mid-fifties, reopening as an art theater
in 1964. In the seventies it evolved into an old, classic movie
theater, then changing to a porn motif in the porno-heydays of
1976 (See Boogie Nights). It shared a similar history with the
Gay (which was Straight) Theater downtown and the Towne Theater
on the Alameda (which was never in town)."
"In 1991, the Burbank Neighborhood Association banded together
to shut down the Burbank and 'take back the neighborhood,' as
the crusade leader so expressed it. I was the lone voice to keep
it open and pornographic, if necessary. The theater management
saw me as a farmer might see a praying mantis: great for eating
the aphids but just as repulsive. The close-down crusade leader
still does not speak to or acknowlege me in public for which
I am grateful. I now have the ambivalence of a saved Christian
to that earlier view, though I still carry compassion for those
men who are ugly, lonely, or diffident (or all three) and must
receive their psycho-sexual sustenance in their heads, so as
not to pose a nuisance to unwilling prospective partners. Through
changing times and modes, the Burbank Theater still carries on
as a neighborhood porn theater, enjoying enough business to stay
Demographics for patrons reveal downcast,
greying, bedroom-slippered men of fifty-plus, and fleet-footed,
shifty young men, very casually but not as badly dressed; whites
and Asians both. All drive battered vehicles.