DRAGSTRIP 66 opened its doors in Los Angeles in January 1993 (just as Bill Clinton was sworn in), and soon became the communal home to creative revelers who needed to celebrate life together again after 12 long years of right-wing politics and the shadow of the HIV/AIDS crisis. For two decades, it was the inclusive safe space for ALL kinds of people – gay, straight, bi and trans – to feel completely welcomed and encouraged to express themselves without judgement.
Monthly themes drew upon movie, TV, camp and pop-culture mash up touchstones – “Florence Of Arabia,” “Queen Acres,” “Victor/Victoria’s Secret,” “Mi Navidad Loca” – inspiring an explosion of spectacular and imaginative patron drag, masquerade, cross- dress, and newly minted personas. From the start, ‘Dress A Mess, Get In For Less’ meant attendees in any manner of drag or cross-dress got discounted cover admission.
DJs Paul V. & Tom Walker played an eclectic mix of alternative, rock ‘n roll, disco, funk, new wave, and edgy electronica music. And Gina Lotriman hosted the Midnight Stage Show of local, national and international drag queens, all singing live to Gina’s completely rewritten parodies of popular music befitting the evening’s theme.
It should be noted that many future “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” girls either attended or performed there, including: Raja Gemini, Alaska, Detox, Willam, Kelly Mantle, Tammie Brown, Raven, Delta Work and more.
Through the years, many celebrities popped in to party with the east side queens: Roseanne Barr, Drew Barrymore, Karen Black, Anderson Cooper, Nina Hagen, L7, Traci Lords, Mink Stole, Scott Thompson, Lea Delaria, Claire Danes, Marilyn Manson, Andy Dick, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jennifer Coolidge, Perry Farrell, Susan Tyrrell, Adam Lambert, Jane Wiedlin, Alan Cumming, Sir Ian McKellan, Ann Magnuson, Heather Graham, Pedro Almodovar and more.
DRAGSTRIP 66 was a seminal part of a synergistic movement in the early 90’s that sought to redefine what LGBT nightlife could offer, with a shared vision found at places like Squeezebox & Jackie 60 in New York and Trannyshack in San Francisco. The club ended its unprecedented run in January 2013, on its 20th Anniversary.
“Frockumentary” co-directors Phil Scanlon and Paul V. will share the story of the now-legendary pansexual nightclub while inviting viewers to experience the convergence of ’90’s alternative music, queer politics, and the subversive drag ethos that defined the Dragstrip 66 aesthetic, in the infant-internet, pre-social media age.
The movie will feature appearances and commentary by many of the club’s renowned performers and vocal supporters, such as: Mink Stole, Jackie Beat, Momma, Joey Arias, Sharon Needles, Holly Woodlawn, Sherry Vine, Varla Jean Merman, Heklina (Trannyshack), Kay Sedia, Kelly Mantle, Chi Chi LaRue, Miss Coco Peru, Willam and countless patrons sharing their beloved memories of attending the club.
The filmmakers need your support so please contribute here if you can. We need more and more of this type of media as we chronicle our history and road to equality.