March 10th marked the last day The Roxy would open its doors. The club shut down after years of being a mainstay, especially in the gay nightlife scene. The Roxy was a rite of passage for many gay New Yorkers, and according to New York Blade writer Matt Kalkhoff, "an essential stop on any gay tourist’s agenda.”
This past Saturday night the doors opened at 10pm, and the club ended up staying opened until noon yesterday. Depending on the hour or what color "Roxy loyalty card" one had, price of admission ranged from $10 to $40. John Blair, who ran the Saturday nights, explained the loyalty card rating system:
“We gave out very few 1s — that’s the worst-looking, or for straight people,” he said. “Then, most people got 2s; if they’re pretty, they got a 3. Four is for people we have to let in free — either they’re really hot or they’re a friend of mine or somehow important in the club community.”
"End of an Era" cards commemorating the club were stacked around Saturday night, paying homage to the “53 disc jockeys”; “781 go-go boys” and “live music icons” (Madonna, Cher, Bette Midler and Beyoncé have all been known to perform short, unannounced sets). A remix of Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” played twice.
Madonna played there in 2005, and was rumored to be showing up Saturday but she was a no-show and there's no word of any other special music guests this past weekend. And the Roxy was featured in the movie, Beat Street. Here's a clip of the Rock Steady Crew going up against the NYC Breakers:
Photograph of the Roxy by openaperture on Flickr