Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Show World Center


Last year, Richard Basciano, "New York’s former prince of porn," died, leaving behind the Show World building at 42nd St. and Eighth Ave. While the big Show World closed in 2004, the next door Show World Center remained, a glittering warren of peep booths, sex toys, and crossword puzzle books. I wrote, "Now is probably the time to go and say goodbye. The last gasp of smutty old Times Square may not be here tomorrow."

Well, Show World Center is now gone.

The lights are off and the shutter is down.

The inside is empty. A peek around back shows the hallway with its mirrored diamond decorations, along with stacks of boxes waiting to be moved out.

A number of other businesses in this building have also shuttered, making me wonder if the place has been sold and will be demolished for another glass hotel tower.

I talked to the Nuts 4 Nuts guy who works outside and he told me that Show World Center closed last month. He said the building will not be torn down. A security guard confirmed that information, saying the place will be renovated instead.

It's totally unlikely that a new Show World will open in the spot. We'll probably get a chain store of one kind or another. That's what the new Times Square deserves. But some will remember that for 40 years, Show World was here, smelling of bleach and orange-scented mop water, doing its service for New Yorkers, commuters, and tourists alike. With one more down, only a few peeps remain.

See inside Show World:
Last year
Before the closure in 2004 
In 1980
And read Death Knell of the Peeps

(Thanks to Warren for the tip.)


Mykola Dementiuk said...

I spent a load of quarters jerking off and cuming in those times... Ah but those were the days.

King Scrod said...

I stopped in back in March and talked with the manager, who had been at SW for 28 years, and he said when Basciano died his daughter didn’t want anything to do with the business, but his granddaughter was willing to take over. And we can now see what her motives were for taking over (as if that wasn't a forgone conclusion anyway). He let me take a few pictures for posterity, and I also have some from 2017 right after Basciano died, if you're interested.

Unknown said...

At one point we were sitting around bs'ing at lunch time, as folks do, and we started trying to come up with the "worst punishment ever". Winner? "A slap in the face with the mop from Showworld". RIP old Times Square.

RMAN said...

The last bastion of unfiltered humanity, gone.

Back in the day Show World was just one of dozens of sleazy peep show places - some even had live acts.
It was like going to a zoo to see humans in their native habitat, it left an impression for sure, as a young kid sneaking in it was amazing to see this stuff.

I'm sure Show World will be replaced by some generic middle-American homogenized pure and wholesome store for the pure tourists.