It's been a half-century since law enforcement officers seized an X-rated movie from the Strand Theater in downtown Binghamton.

They confiscated a copy of the film "Deep Throat" and several posters from the Chenango Street business around 11 p.m. August 21, 1972. The theater manager was arrested. The business and the employee were charged with second-degree obscenity.

The theater acquired another print of the movie and that copy was seized two nights later.

According to The Evening Press, more than 6,000 people had paid $2.50 each to watch the sexually-explicit hourlong film at the Strand theater over a three-week period.

The action by the Broome County district attorney's office resulted in a December trial in Binghamton City Court.

A newspaper story reported that Judge Walter Gorman presided over the trial, which at one point moved from the courtroom to the theater so the six men on the jury could view the evidence.

The show that afternoon was free and open to the public. The Press reported 17 spectators "took advantage of the deal, including one elderly couple."

The defense attorney reportedly "laugh aloud several times" during the movie's screening. He contended the film had "comedic value."

The jury returned a verdict on a Saturday evening, concluding the move was not pornographic based on the language contained in the law.

The outcome of the trial put Binghamton in the spotlight, especially after the movie was declared obscene a few months later by a New York City judge.

Press columnist David Rossie apparently was unimpressed with the film. The newspaper quoted him as saying it "was a terrific bore."

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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