Philadelphia's Last X-Rated Theater Closes

PHILADELPHIA—The Forum Theater, Philadelphia's last X-rated movie theater, closed Nov. 30. The theater's owner, Richard Basciano, who also owns about a dozen properties within a couple blocks of the theater, plans to develop new apartment buildings and retail space in the area.  

Basciano, now 87 years old, was known as the king of Times Square porn and still owns the famous Show World in Times Square. 

The Forum Theater, located in Philadelphia's City Center neighborhood, about five blocks west of City Hall on Market Street, attempted to stay in business as people increasingly watched porn at home on DVD or the internet. In 2010 the owners tried to transform the theater into a full-service sex club but after initially winning approval from the city, the court overturned the zoning variance it needed to operate. 

The Forum was once located on a seedy strip in the neighborhood, but now the surrounding area has become more upscale. 

While it's been slow going for Basciano who's attempting to buy up surrounding property, it's likely the Forum Theater will give way to a parking lot.