Saturday, October 10, 2009

"Blast From The Past - The Palm": by Donny Digital

Doc here with the second installment of "Blast From The Past".  Frequent contributor Donny Digital takes us down memory lane in his article about The Palm, in San Mateo, CA.

Take it away Donny...
Hi folks, Donny Digital here again.

After seeing the last report about a theater that closed recently, it brought to my mind the first theater I ever went into as a young lad (ok I was close to 27). It was called the Palm theater (sometimes called the Hairy Palm) located in San Mateo CA ...part of the SF bay area. This theater was unique in many ways. First it was located in a residential area of town off the main highway (El Camino Real) so finding it was not easy. The theater was built in 1949 showing mainstream, first run films with a capacity of 750 seats. This was quite large and was well decorated inside for that time period. In 1972 it began showing porn. In the front of the theater were dozen panes of etched glass, two framed prints -- one depicting W.C. Fields and Mae West -- and a couple of placards that read, in part: "Now showing X-rated film -- If you are easily offended, please do not attend!"

In the early 80s it was one of the first to convert to video projection using a very expensive Advent unit with VHS playback. The image size was large but somewhat fuzzy and dull especially by today's standards. There was plenty of seating so that one could find a spot to be alone or find someone that wanted company. There was 2 entries in the back and a 4 ft wall that was behind the last row of seats. This allowed one to stand there and be played with by someone with reasonable privacy. The place was fairly clean and felt very safe. Since it was in a residential area park was good and secure unlike downtown San Francisco. On my first trip there, a couple came in and sat down in the seats in front of me. She was much younger that the guy she was with. She had a skirt on and she raised it so he could play with her. Within a few minutes another guy came over and sat next to her. They said a few words back and forth and then he knelt down in front of her and started to lick her pussy. This being my first theater encounter, it really blew my mind not to mention my load. It was very dark but I still saw lots of action. Then the 3 of them got up and left...maybe for a motel? I was hooked and wanted to see more but had to cut my trip short. Since then I love to check out the local theaters to see what is happening.

I returned to the Palm several times in the next decade but sadly it was closed in 2005 to be replaced by condos. Even though it was considered a historic building, efforts failed to save it. At that time it was the only adult theater in the bay area. Its been quite some time since I have been back to SF so I don't know what the local porn has to offer. Maybe someone can comment on recent action in the bay area.
Great job as always Donny!  Those of us who have invested in "This thing of our's" have plenty of stories about theaters present and past.  What are your's?
Please send your stories (just like Donny Digital) to  Consider it a public service for people like us... Yeah, that's the ticket.  A public service.