San Francisco's celebrated, unionized and worker-owned peep show the Lusty Lady will close its doors in just two weeks on September 2nd. According to the co-op, which broke the news on Facebook and Twitter this morning, the ladies are being forced to shut the peep show partitions one last time due to a lease dispute with the landlord at their Kearny Street home.
In a Facebook Status update this morning, The Lusties write:
Dear Ladies and Friends in the Community, It is with shaking hands & tear stained cheeks that I write to say, we just heard from our land lord, they will NOT agree to a new lease, they are closing our doors.
They have given us just TWO WEEKS. WE CLOSE OUR DOORS AND SAY GOODBYE on 9/2/13
Please help us spread the word, and make it a glorious & glamorous two weeks!
Thank you so much for all the love and support over the years!
SFist spoke this morning with Lusty Lady performer and PR mistress Princess, who told us the group had negotiated a lower rent with their landlord months ago. A new lease was signed and notarized by the co-op but not immediately returned by the landlord. After a few months paying the lower rent, the landlord apparently reneged and went back to the higher rent, which the club didn't have room for in their budget.
The landlord put off new negotiations until yesterday evening when the group was notified they had to be out by September 2nd — just two weeks away. The short turnaround obviously doesn't give the Lusty Lady much time to rally their supporters or raise funds for a team of lawyers to fight back. "We can't pay the rent with smiles," Princess said. "He's not even giving us time to catch our breath before we have to close."
Although plans for a final blowout at the trailblazing peep show are still coming together, Princess tells SFist that the performers plan to go all out for the next two weeks and that feeding the timer with big bills is obviously encouraged. "We're just gonna go nuts for the next two weeks," Princess explained. Former dancers and friends of the Lady are already making plans to fly in from LA and New York to be there for the end of an era. The term "balls-to-the-wall" was thrown around and there's talk of hosting New Orleans-style, pink umbrella funeral procession. "Good thing we have all those tissues," Princess said, "because we're gonna be crying."
Although many are rightfully lamenting the impeding loss of a unique sex-positive, alternative adult entertainment space, this is not the first time the neon ladies in the window have been in danger of going dark. Back in 2006, internal disputes and infighting flared up when a dancer and co-op member posted an email from a male Lusty Lady employee detailing customer complaints about a BBW night at the theater. Last year, the group almost fell apart when all but two members of the co-op board quit during a union dispute.
With all that said, in Princess' words: "if someone out there has a miracle up their butt" they are encouraged to reach out to the Lusties at [email protected]. We will, of course, keep you abreast of any developments.