East Village Drag & Punk Venue Pyramid Club Closes Due To Pandemic


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 as a result of pandemic.

“It’s with probably the most unhappy and heavy coronary heart that we should announce to our native and worldwide neighborhood 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 yr, and we by no means thought that we’d completely shut. Our hearts go to YOU, our neighborhood, 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 probably the most from this ‘Pause’ and are dealing with our exact same predicament.”

The Pyramid Membership opened on Avenue A in 1979. It first gained recognition as a punk and drag membership that was generally known as “a protected haven for freaks, geeks, weirdos, queers, and dreamers to return collectively and create,” in line with this glorious oral historical past of the venue from 2014. Bands together with Concern, GWAR, Lydia Lunch, and he Butthole Surfers all carried out there; each the Crimson Sizzling 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 Girl Bunny. The membership additionally helped bankroll the unique Wigstock, the famend drag pageant began by Girl Bunny which first befell at close by Tompkins Sq. Park in 1985.

“I felt that the drag reveals served a bit as type of like USO reveals that will 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 if you happen to weren’t embracing that solely,” drag performer Linda Simpson mentioned in that oral historical past of the membership. “I felt like drag queens had been the cheerleaders indirectly. It was a welcome reduction, indirectly, 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 mentioned.

Though the managers needed to reopen with a meals menu and socially-distanced dance flooring, the homeowners 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 yr, The Pyramid Membership homeowners 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 advised Gothamist they do not essentially really feel geared up to reopen but with such low capability numbers.

Learn extra: LES Venue Arlene’s Grocery On How Music Venues Are Struggling To Survive Throughout COVID

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 possibly can learn a couple of tributes to the membership beneath.