Queer Maps Created with Sketch.

Circus Disco

1974 2016
6655 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Circus Disco was the oldest, and longest-running LGBTQ Latino nightclub in Hollywood and Los Angeles. From 1974 to January 2016, patrons of all races and orientations walked through the giant clown mouth at Circus Disco and into a cavernous warehouse where the judgments and inhibitions of the outside world got left behind. Opened by Gene La Pietra and Ermilio “Ed” Lemos as a primarily Latino alternative to the then-exclusionary nightclubs of West Hollywood, Circus quickly developed a reputation (along with Jewel's Catch One and, later, its next-door neighbor Arena) as one of the city's few gay clubs with no dress code and no racist door policy. The club expanded its clientele in 2000 when it became home to Giant, the city's first house and techno mega-club. Historic preservation efforts proved anticlimactic: The new owners have promised to keep the clown entrance and stick a disco ball in the lobby when they turn the site into a 786-unit housing complex.

Circus Disco played an important role in the Latinx LGBTQ community and in its history of political organizing and coalition building. In 1983, civil rights and labor leader César Chávez addressed roughly one hundred members of the Project Just Business gay and lesbian coalition at the bar, where he offered strategies for organizing boycotts and coalition fundraising.

Bob Damron: * (YC) (Disco) (D) (Very M) (3 bars, shops)

Also listed sometimes as 6648 Lexington Ave, Hollywood, CA

Attr — Bob Damron '79-84, LA Weekly, ONE Archives, LA Conservancy