Ellwest Stereo Theater

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Ellwest Stereo Theater was an adult movie theater located at 1804 4th Avenue North. The business allowed patrons the use of a private booth from which films could be watched using a coin-operated projector.

The theater was part of a national chain founded by Valeri "Larry" Trambitas and his wife, Vesta, of Seattle, Washington. The business was often associated with the San Diego, California-based Jolar adult bookstore and cinema chain. The Birmingham business was incorporated in May 1973.

On July 13, 1973, detectives from the Birmingham Police Department's Vice Bureau raided the Birmingham theater, seizing movie projectors and 17 films judged to be "lewd, obscene and having no redeeming social qualities." The raid was the first following the passage of an obscenity ordinance.

Prior to the raid, Ellwest had advertised as the home of "Birmingham's Finest Adult Movies."


  • Kennedy, Harold. (July 14, 1973) "Under new code, police seize lewd movies." The Birmingham News