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Arts & Culture » Theater

50 Years in 50 Weeks: 1979, Divinely Granted

by Jim Provenzano

Divine's 'The Neon Woman' & the porn star-infused 'Good Health Club'
Divine's 'The Neon Woman' & the porn star-infused 'Good Health Club'  

While News stories were filled with coverage of the May 21 White Night Riots, in lighter fare, drag theatre in 1979's Arts section included an advance interview with the late great Divine (January 18) about his local show at the Alcazar Theatre, The Neon Woman, (burlesque club owner fights to keep her business alive as strippers get murdered), a full-page ad (January 4), and a subsequent Paul Lorch review that called it "overgassed" but wild fun (February 1) .

Indulge us with another treat with ads focusing on the intersection of muscularity and sexuality, as adult film stars Gordon Grant and Dan Wesling served as 'instructors' at the Post Street Club, and its after-hours members-only 'Good Health Club,' no doubt as an erotic lure for patrons caught up in the growing fitness trend, where apparently sex on premises was part of one's workout (August 2 and September 13).

Also of note are a two-page ad for the critically acclaimed art porn feature, Le Beau Mec (January 18) and an ad for a post-Pride dance party at Studio West, located off the Embarcadero on 100 Vallejo St. (June 21).

As the 1970s came to an end, AIDS had yet to fully appear, and the porn, performances and parties were still going strong.

For more 50th Anniversary features, go to www.ebar.com/special_issues.

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