East Village mainstay Pyramid Membership, which has served as a neighborhood establishment and longtime drag, punk and dance venue for the reason that Nineteen Eighties, has completely closed.
Managers Maria Narciso and Quirino Perez made the announcement on Instagram on Thursday morning. They wrote that the shuttering of the 41-year-old membership, which had been closed since March seventh, 2020, was because of the pandemic.
“It’s with essentially the most unhappy and heavy coronary heart that we should announce to our native and worldwide group and household that The Pyramid Membership NYC won’t reopen. We’re one other unhappy consequence of COVID-19,” they wrote. “We’ve patiently waited for over a 12 months, and we by no means thought that we’d completely shut. Our hearts go to YOU, our group, who’ve stored us going over these previous 41 years, in addition to different nightclubs, dwell music venues, and theaters, companies that, like us, have suffered essentially the most from this ‘Pause’ and are going through our exact same predicament.”
The Pyramid Membership opened on Avenue A in 1979. It first gained reputation as a punk and drag membership that was referred to as “a protected haven for freaks, geeks, weirdos, queers, and dreamers to come back collectively and create,” in accordance with this excellent oral history of the venue from 2014. Bands together with Concern, GWAR, Lydia Lunch, and he Butthole Surfers all carried out there; each the Purple Scorching Chili Peppers and Nirvana reportedly performed a few of their first NYC gigs there.
The Pyramid Membership was additionally an influential platform for rising drag artists and performers together with the likes of John Kelly, Larry Tee, Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, RuPaul and Woman Bunny. The membership additionally helped bankroll the unique Wigstock, the famend drag competition began by Woman Bunny which first passed off at close by Tompkins Sq. Park in 1985.
“I felt that the drag exhibits served a bit as type of like USO exhibits that might entertain the troops as a result of, I believe that something having to do with homosexual or queerness again then, particularly within the East Village, was type of politicized, even in case you weren’t embracing that completely,” drag performer Linda Simpson stated in that oral history of the membership. “I felt like drag queens had been the cheerleaders ultimately. It was a welcome reduction, ultimately, to have some comedy and to have some campiness occurring.”
Narcisco expanded on the circumstances of the closure with EV Grieve. “Quirino and I by no means doubted that The Pyramid Membership would reopen. All through 2020, and as not too long ago as two weeks in the past, we’ve labored on plans to reopen,” she stated.
Though the managers wished to reopen with a meals menu and socially-distanced dance flooring, the house owners of the venue knowledgeable them by textual content message not too long ago that they had been chucking up the sponge. “With no reduction within the close to future, or clear necessities/restrictions for reopening, to not point out the lack of being shuttered over a 12 months, The Pyramid Membership house owners determined to shut,” Narcisco added.
As of April 2nd, arts and leisure venues in NYC can start reopening at 33% capability, with an indoor max of 100-150 attendees. Regardless of that, many venues and music golf equipment told Gothamist they do not essentially really feel geared up to reopen but with such low capability numbers.
Narcisco and Perez (who additionally goes by DJ TM.8) will proceed internet hosting a few of their in style Pyramid Membership dance occasions at different venues within the metropolis; The Rapture Darkish ’80s and Obsession Friday will occur at Eris in Williamsburg, and Temptation Saturday will happen at DROM.
You may learn a number of tributes to the membership under.
Whole bummer. I keep in mind the primary time I went there within the 80s, drove up from HS (I am 17) to see E-book Of Love. I bought there at 6 and parked on the road and it wasn’t open. 7pm, not open. 8pm, not open. ?? I used to be so dumb. At 10pm, the gates went up. Band performed at 3am. https://t.co/KiTQ5qBL0S
— Jack McFadden (@tigermountainbk) April 1, 2021
The Pyramid was the primary (and solely?) bodily area the place my queer and hardcore identities really intersected in each a sensible and historic method. I noticed some unimaginable exhibits there in the course of the day whereas realizing what occurred there at night time. RIP 👊+ 🏳️🌈 https://t.co/sn6HtTf4DP
— Norman Brannon (@normanbrannon) April 1, 2021