You may never have heard of Dragstrip 66, but co-directors Phil Scanlon and Paul V. want to change that, as they’re hoping to bringing it to a wider audience with their ‘frockumentary’, but to do that they need your help. A crowdfunding drive has been launched for the movie over at Tubestart, were they hope to raise $66,000.
So what’s it all about, well here’s the description from Tubestart: ‘Is it Flip Wilson’s saucy “Geraldine” in the 60’s? Gender-bent 70’s and 80’s singers like Sylvester, Boy George and Jayne County? The famous faces of the 90’s and 2K’s like Ru Paul, Lady Bunny, and the girls from “Ru Paul’s Drag Race”? Or the King & Queen of filth ‘n trash themselves: John Waters and his legendary muse, Divine?
‘At DRAGSTRIP 66 all these influences converged together monthly at a Mexican restaurant in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles that was transformed in to a queer/mixed alternative nightclub event that ran for an unprecendented 20 years from 1993 to 2013.
‘Co-created by best friends Mr. Dan (aka hostess Gina Lotriman) and DJ Paul V., Dragstrip 66 launched just as Bill Clinton was sworn in, and soon became the communal home to creative revelers seeking to celebrate living again after 12 long years of right-wing politics in the shadow of HIV/AIDS. For two decades, it was the inclusive safe space for ALL people – gay, straight, bi and trans – to feel completely welcomed, celebrated, and encouraged to express themselves without judgement.
‘Monthly themes drew upon movie, TV, camp and pop-culture mashup touchstones – “Florence Of Arabia,” “Queen Acres,” “Victor/Victoria’s Secret,” “Mi Navidad Loca” – inspiring an explosion of spectacular and imaginative patron drag, masquerade, cross-dress, and newly minted personas. From the start, ‘Dress A Mess, Get In For Less!’ meant attendees in any manner of drag or cross-dress got discounted cover admission.
‘DJs Paul V. & Tom Walker played an eclectic mix of alternative, rock ‘n roll, new wave, disco, funk, and edgy electronic dance music. And Gina Lotriman hosted the Midnight Stage Show featuring local, national and international drag queens, all singing live to Gina’s completely rewritten parodies of popular music befitting the evening’s theme.
‘The stage show also featured the “Promenade” where any audience member in drag could take to the stage, be introduced to walk the runway, and bask in the glow – or glowering disapproval – from both the performers and the boisterous audience.
‘Through the years, many celebrities popped in to party with the east side queens: Roseanne Barr, Drew Barrymore, Karen Black, Anderson Cooper, Nina Hagen, L7, Traci Lords, Mink Stole, Scott Thompson, Lea Delaria, Claire Danes, Marilyn Manson, Andy Dick, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jennifer Coolidge, Perry Farrell, Susan Tyrrell, Adam Lambert, Jane Wiedlin, Alan Cumming, Sir Ian McKellan, Ann Magnuson, Heather Graham, Pedro Almodovar and more.
‘Also, many future “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” girls either attended or performed there, including: Raja, Kelly Mantle, Willam, Alaska, Detox, Tammie Brown, Raven, Delta Work and more.
‘DRAGSTRIP 66 was a seminal part of a synergistic movement in the early 90’s that sought out to redefine what LGBT nightlife could offer, with a shared vision soon found at Squeezebox in New York and Trannyshack in San Francisco. “Dragstrip 66: The Frockumentary” will share the story of the now-legendary pansexual club’s enduring impact on its patrons, while inviting viewers to experience the convergence of ’90’s alternative music, queer politics, and a subversive drag ethos that defined Silver Lake and Dragstrip 66’s punk/glam/camp aesthetic.
‘Think John Waters directing the KISS & The Ramones as styled by Bob Mackie and Goodwill!
‘The movie will feature appearances and commentary by the club’s renowned performers and supporters, such as: Mink Stole, Jackie Beat, Sharon Needles, Gender, Sabrah Summers, Kay Sedia, Momma, Mz. Alanna, Chi Chi LaRue, Holly Woodlawn, Varla Jean Merman, Sherry Vine, Joey Arias, Heklina, Kelly Mantle, Miss Coco Peru, Willam and countless patrons sharing their beloved memories of attending the club.
‘We believe we have an important story to share, not only for the LGBTQ community but also for the history of Silver Lake and Los Angeles in the pre-internet, pre-social media age.’
If you think you’d like to watch the documentary, help out over at Tubestart.