Marlena's Final Curtain Call

The final act of Marlena's Bar (488 Hayes) as we currently know it is on the horizon. While the bar will remain gay-friendly when the new owners take over in early March, the establishment just won't be the same without its namesake Garry "Marlena" McClain. (For some background, we first shared the news about Marlena's change in ownership back in January, and revealed the new owners in a follow-up article later that same week.) With emotions running high due to the closing of the staple SF drag bar, there are a few commemorative events planned to make sure Marlena's goes out in style.

Starting this Wednesday, February 20, there are a variety of events centered around the 48th coronation of the Imperial Court of San Francisco, a not-for-profit that has appointed drag emperors and empresses since 1965. The events at Marlena's that lead up to Saturday’s Coronation 48 event include: Wednesday, February 20th, 7pm In Town Show & Awards Thursday, February 21, 7pm Anniversary Monarchs Show & Reception Sunday, February 24, 3pm Texas & Alaska Victory Party (Open Show) Garry (Marlena) won the title of Empress XXV back in 1990, so the timing of this coronation and the closing of Marlena's is fitting. In addition to the Imperial Court events, Marlena's signature drag show, Follies, will have three nights of performances on its last weekend (March 1, 2 and 3) starting at 10:30pm every night. The last hurrah on Sunday, March 3, will run from 4:30pm until close. Everyone is welcome to attend and pay homage to this Hayes Valley neighborhood bar. While we reported in an earlier story that Follies may still have a home at Marlena's when the new owners take charge, according to Marlena herself, Follies is no longer part of the vision for the future of the establishment. "The new owners want to go in a different direction for a while, but may bring them back," Garry mentioned. Garry also told us that the show may exist at another venue, but everything is uncertain at this point. As usual, we'll keep you posted with details as we get them. Also, we're interested in hearing your special memories of Marlena's for a farewell tribute we'll run in the next few weeks. E-mail your name and a couple sentences about a special time you had at Marlena's to tips [at] hayeswire {{dot}} com.

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Marlenas final curtain call