But the 70s were nevertheless a golden age for sex flicks in Paris. There were more than 50 porn theatres across the city, and the sector accounted for 15 per cent of all cinema tickets sold.
The advent of video however almost entirely killed off the communal viewing of porn films in France, as elsewhere.
Group consumption of pornography may be a thing of the past, but Mr Laroche is determined to keep up the tradition.
“Le Beverley is the only porn cinema in Paris recognised by the Centre National du Cinéma (the state cinema authority),” he says proudly.
He likes to regard his theatre as something of a gentleman’s club, insisting that it is not for sordid seekers of cheap titillation. His punters, he says, are not shabby men in raincoats, but those who like to hold intellectual discussions on erotic literature and exchange tips on where to find the best restaurants.
Le Beverley hosted a weekly erotic poetry evening until a few years ago, and every Thursday and Saturday holds couples’ evenings, to which lone men are not admitted.
“On those evenings we run the film but most of the action is among the audience,” Mr Laroche said with a knowing look.