The New York City space that launched Lady Bunny, RuPaul, Larry Tee, Antony Hegarty (Antony and the Johnsons) & countless drag and performance artists is shutting its doors. The Pyramid Club (long credited with helping craft the iconic East Village gay scene, as well as helping to amplify the political voices and messages in that scene) announced this week that they would not be reopening after a year of being shuttered.
Closed since the pandemic started, The Pyramid Club was the locale where bands like Nirvana and The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed some of their first shows, Madonna held her first AIDS benefit, and the festival known as Wigstock was born. Manager Maria Narciso and her fiancé, general manager and house DJ TM.8 (aka Quirino Perez) told Evgrieve that simply “The Pyramid Club closing is another consequence of COVID-19. Once we heard that COVID-19 had reached NYC, we immediately decided to close to keep our staff and patrons safe. In doing so, we became the first NYC business to close. March 7, 2020, was the last time our doors were open to the public.”
Narciso went on to say “No one expected this “Pause” to last more than a year. While many businesses were allowed to open with heavy restrictions, nightclubs and performance venues/theaters have suffered the most. With no relief in the near future, or clear requirements/restrictions for reopening, not to mention the loss of being shuttered over a year, The Pyramid Club owners decided to close.”
The moment that announcement that this legendary space would be closing, legends of New York City nightlife immediately recalled some of their favorite Pyramid moments. Joey Arias said “RIP Pyramid Club. We did so much in this venue, MERMAIDS on HEROIN was created here … The Klaus NOMI album cover SIMPLE MAN was taken there. Not to mention every person and band that graced that stage. So much Creativity was flowing & sex.! Hahahahaha! Thank You Pyramid Club for so many great evenings.” Flotilla DeBarge recalled a particular performance saying “One of my favorite shows/performance at the club. Channel 69 night. ‘Love On The Rocks with a Twist of Lime’ hosted by Tabboo and special guest Afrodite.”
New York City drag performer and historian Linda Simpson said it best on Facebook by not just recalling the history of this space, as well as offering hope for the future, by saying “I’m sad to hear the Pyramid Club is closing, even though it hasn’t been a gay and drag hotspot since the 1990s. Wouldn’t it be great if new owners recognized its incredible queer history and made it fabulous once more?”…