The Nob Hill Theatre, San Francisco’s last gay strip club, closes its doors on Sunday, ending an era.
The SF Chronicle reports: ‘In many ways, Nob Hill Theatre, which closed Sunday, Aug. 19, after 50 years in business, was a relic, a holdover from a time when San Francisco was called the “Smut Capital of America,” when gay men had few safe places to meet, pornography was hard to come by and phones didn’t have touch-screens or dating apps. The theater’s slogan, “Touch Our Junk,” wasn’t an empty promise. But it’s also true that up until its very last day, Nob Hill Theatre was a living and vital space, one that people from around the world would come to visit, and one that even people who had never visited before told Steward they’d miss. Sometimes there’s a comfort in simply knowing something exists.“This is another nail in the coffin of gay San Francisco,” Steward said, just days before the closure. “It’s the end of an era.”’
KTVU adds: “Much of the ephemera has to be gone within a week, but Luce assured the GLBT Historical Society has come by to scoop up some of the gems inside. If the ’80s made gay bathhouses all but disappear from San Francisco due to the AIDS crisis, what’s contained within these walls (much of what is not appropriate to show on this platform) seems to have survived bygone eras. If you are interested in any of the wares, they will hold a garage sale on Sunday. Once you get past the free condoms (made available upon requirement), stamina pills, gay porn playing on the TV screen and freshly folded towels in the lobby, the main floor— referred to as “Fantasy Land,” contains a small 74-seat theater complete with a disco ball. The art-deco lighting fixtures remain in tact and a mirror strategically placed at eye level runs the entire length of the theatre to ensure maximum peering at what exactly your fellow clientele may be looking at. “