One of the few LGBTQ public spaces in the lower Rio Grande Valley is officially closing their doors this weekend. After eight years in operation, Studio 69, the only gay club in Brownsville, will be having its final show on Saturday, April 21.
Gilbert Medellin, the president and CEO for Studio 69, broke the news on Facebook earlier this week.
“Studio 69 has meant support for some, opportunity for others, but for most of us it has been like a second home, always welcoming to everyone,” Medellin told Neta when asked what Studio 69 has meant to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) community in Brownsville.
When asked about why the venue was closing, Medellin said it was due to a decrease in attendance in recent months, but he remains appreciative of the people who supported the club over the years.
“We thank you for your continued support over the years. We will cherish the memories and the friendships. We will continue to be an LGBT advocate, always.”
The venue was known for its drag shows over the years, including many performances from Brooklin Mars Monroe, who became a regular over the years.
“Studio 69 will always mean a lot to me because it was the first venue I ever competed in,” Monroe said. “So I grew a lot there. I met a lot of people and made a lot of friends. It will always be a part of my roots, and I’m so happy I got to be a part of it along with all of the other amazing queens who have performed there.”
One of the other queens that became a regular there was Asa Brooks, who also expressed sadness over the news of Studio 69 closing.
“I would like people to remember Studio 69 as a place where all kinds of people, from all walks of life or sexual preference could come together and enjoy great entertainment and have fun,” Brooks said. “A place for the community where we could call home. A place where anyone could just be themselves and a place that opened the doors for many who are now flourishing in the entertainment business like myself and many others.”
As far as favorite memories over the years for Studio 69, one stands out for Medellin.
“Too many to mention but for the sake of mentioning one, when the equality law passed for same sex marriage, we started having lots of on stage proposals and on-site marriages,” Medellin said.
The last two nights for Studio 69 are Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, which will is being promoted as a “Pre-Splash Party” and a celebration of Studio 69 and the memories that were created there. There will be performances from Monroe, Geneva Karr, Luna Lestrange, Aeon Mavis York, Freddy, and Georgy Q. Feathers. It will be the last chance that people can experience a night at Studio 69.
“Studio management and all the entertainers would really very much appreciate anybody who attends this final weekend,” Monroe said. “I’d like to encourage as many people to come out one last time to close a chapter in the Valley’s gay history.”