Walking into the Bijou Theatre, which opened back in 1969, is much like walking into any other independent movie theater; the building smells musty, the seats are old and most the patrons are regulars. But since the Bijou Theatre is attached to the longest-running sex club in the United States, the movies are gay porn and the floors aren’t sticky from popcorn.
And few besides the men who go there and men who work there had ever been past the neon pink sign until the Wayward Sisters began their monthly dance party, tonight’s in celebration of the last broadcast of queer radio show “Think Pink Radio.” Two DJs spin a mix of dance tracks and Motown, catering to the diverse crowd. “I swear they’ll be dancing later,” says Alex, motioning to the stage where an artist shapes a hundred-piece-long multi-colored phallic-symbol balloon-animal. Behind him, a group of girls cheer as a movie, titled “Full Load,” erupts into its climax.
Alex, who works at the Bijou, is also the mastermind behind the party. “This is just such a weird, interesting space,” he says, pointing at a guest in the direction of the Blowjob Corner, “and I think people are curious about it.” The Bijou, replete with forty or so strategically placed glory holes and a caged BDSM room, is like no other building in Chicago.
The night is certainly about sexual experimentation, but people end up swapping more stimulating conversation than spit. “I think it promotes conversation because at first everybody feels a little bit awkward here,” Alex says. (Reilly Nelson)