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Melrose Baths

1966 2017
7269 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

aka Melrose Spa

Bob Damron '77-84: * (Some OC, chubby chasers)

The Melrose Spa first opened in 1966. According to Lorenzo Talavera, the former Executive General Manager, it was once a Turkish bathhouse.

On January 10, 1988, the LAPD raided the Melrose Baths, arresting three patrons for “lewd conduct.” Between January 17th and 22nd, officers likewise raided the Corral Club, the Compound, and again the Melrose Baths. “Clearly, no one should think that these actions are isolated from the AIDS-hysterical decision recently made by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to give broader powers to the County Department of Health Services to close the bathhouses at their discretion,” commented the newsletter of the Los Angeles chapter of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. Such raids were the most explicit example of the state’s use of repressive methods to attempt to control the spread of AIDS.

The spa’s lease expired after 52 years on June 30, 2017 with no option to renew. According to Talavera, business had been steady.

Attr — Contact '75; Bob Damron '77-84; De Orio, Scott, "Punishing Queer Sexuality in the Age of LGBT Rights" 2017 pp. 264