this is so incredibly sad.. i don't want to accept it....

after 48 years in business- THE SPOTLIGHT, the oldest and last remaining gay bar, (besides antebellum!) in hollywood is closing it's doors?!! supposedly on january 3rd, 2011.

1601 Cahuenga Blvd. @ Selma

Hollywood, Ca.
this was the cryptic posting left on spotlight's facebook page
-" Spotlight Bar ‎...an official statement will be posted soon. Thank You to all our friends over the years, It's been a fucking blast! (Serving Stiff Ones...Since 1963) Cheers!"

(the now infamous portrait of the spotlight bar- hollywood-
courtesy- peter palladino)

I have so many personal memories and events that took place @ the spotlight, it's like a part of me will end with the closing of this bar.

when the spotlight opened in 1963, there were over 15 gay bars on selma ave, (from vine st to highland ave) this is more gay bars than west hollywood in the present day. back then selma ave was the weho of it's day, perhaps a bit more sleazy, and more for "hire" if you know what i mean.

(owner since 1963- don)

fave bartender- gerry)

(fave bartender- benji)

i vaguely remember having a birthday party there sometime around 1994.
it was very crowded. everyone was very drunk. there was a black trannie in a wheelchair, and a guy with ill-fitting faux-leather chaps with a bowie knife tied to his leg. two guys were fighting and there was a german shepherd, (as in dogs, not sheepherders) in a brawl as well. the paramedics came in with a gurney, passing the two guys and dogs fighting, and collected a guy in the back who had passed out. my group of friends were dancing on the table. michele mills went into a personal rendition dance when Madonna's lucky star came on the jukebox. we got kicked out for being unruly.. the two guys fighting and the dogs did not.

i organized the premiere party for HUSTLER WHITE during june 1996. i had my photo taken with tony ward on one arm and joe dallesandro on the other.

to pay tribute to the end of another era, i am posting photos i took @ the spotlight for ATTITUDE MAGAZINE- UK for designer
andrew mackinze, featuring TONY WARD, and a cast of others. the shoot was called-

all photos- rick castro


  1. When it was on Vine Street in the 60s there was rough trade. That's when marines would buy me drinks.