One of the GayBars in Halifax, which opened January 29, 1971 1. "Admission for the first night was 69 cents. They were going to try and be open Friday and Saturday, for $1.50, every weekend, until 3:00 a.m. ... No women were allowed. ... They closed down after only about four months ... and quickly found another place, the old Club777."
In the early 1970s "Thee Club" was the only gay/lesbian bar in Halifax. It was located in the GreenLantern Building. It was owned and operated by DavidGray, who was also the first Treasurer of Gay Alliance for Equality. "The Club" was located on the third floor (i.e,, two floors above the street entrance; there were apartments and some businesses on the second floor and Dave Gray lived in one of the apartments).
I first went to "Thee Club" in June of 1972 to attend a GAE meeting. The club consisted of a large dance floor area surrounded on three sides by smaller rooms with tables and chairs, and a tiny canteen area that also doubled as the DJ booth. Dave played the music and TomBurns?, the first chairperson of GAE, worked the box office and/or canteen, with Dave helping out while a record was playing. The cover charge, as I recall, was around two dollars and "Thee Club" was not licensed.
I became close friends with Dave and Tom and by the fall of 1972 I worked the canteen and Dave and Tom looked after the box office, with Dave still playing the music. When the club moved to the top floor, I continued to work the canteen. BrianDoat was the DJ. I left Halifax in May 1976, though I returned that Xmas and the following summer to visit Dave and my other friends there. "The Club" was still owend by Dave at that time. So my recollections of "Thee Club" are based on my close friendship with Tom and Dave (all three of us were heavily involved in the GAE) and on the fact that I worked (i.e., volunteered) there from 1972 to 1976, except for the period I was away in London, England.
The decor could best be described as dark and dingy, though this did not seem to bother anyone. It was open only on Friday and Saturday nights from 10:00 PM to 3:00 AM, and on long weekends it would be open an extra evening. I do not know the exact date it opened, but it would have been in either 1970 or 1971. (Perhaps the City of Halifax would have a record of Dave's business license, assuming he had one.)
"The Club" moved to the top (5th?) floor of the Green Lantern Building in the summer of 1974. That space (larger than the third-floor space) was renovated by Dave, BrianDoat, who was volunteer DJ in the club from late 1973 to 1977, and myself. Thee Club continued to operate in that space for the next few years under David Gray's ownership and management.
After the GAE opened The Turret across the street, David decided to sell "Thee Club" to CondonMacLeod? some time in mid-1977, when it was called CondonsBar. I never frequented it since by then I had left Halifax. I do not know how long Condon operated his bar.
As i recall the club in the GreenLantern Building on the third floor. At the time it was called "Thee Club" under the ownership of DavidGray. As you stepped inside of the main door, you were greeted by David himself, standing at the front counter to collect your admission fee. The counter was was a rather large square shaped affair which also housed a coat check and a concession area. To the right of this space was a sit and chill area with the largest octagonal table i have ever seen and in the center of it was a sunken imitation brass bowl. Past this point you entered into another room which was the dance floor area with some chairs along the side walls (in case your groovemaker started to sag). Also as you came in the front door and went to the left you entered another larger chill out area with a couple of bubble tubes that cast a rather harsh light on the space. Other than that there wasn't much more to it, but remember this was the early 70's and we were glad to have a plce to go.
Thee Klub..sometime in 1973 or 1974 Harris Sullivan did an interview with DavidGray ...it was aired on ATV and later on a program called Take 30. It is in the CBC or NFB archives. MissKitty, myself in an afro wig, Miss Marr, one of the go-go-boys from Steves tom be bar and a few others were in it, I remember the staff at school talking about the two fruits dancing together doing the bump: kitty and me. They didn't know it was me . There may be some info in the video that could help with the history of that bar . -- Tony
Friday night, October 18, 1976. My first step to officially coming out by getting my nerve up to go to Thee Club, on the third floor of The Green Lantern Building. There, a suite had been converted to a disco for the Halifax gay community. It shone with a mirrored tile wall and disco balls suspended from the ceiling, whirling siren lights, a generous dance floor. and overseen by a DJ Booth with two turntables for blended non-stop dancing from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday, and Saturday nights. There was a lounge area and bar counter for soft drinks. I had no idea then The Turret was right across the street from The Green Lantern Building.
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