Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Marquee

Phoenix Landing at 512 Massachusetts
Avenue, the former Marquee
The Marquee

Location: 512 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Opened/Closed: 1970s - mid 80s?

The Marquee shows up in a lot of random memories. This one is from QWIMB, in an interview with Marcia Deihl:

In Cambridge in the 1970s, there were Lesbian Feminist Music Collectives and women’s bars within which to showcase their talents. Bars like the Marquee in Cambridge, Sneakers in Somerville, and Somewhere Else in Boston. Imagine having a bar in the city exclusively dedicated to serving gay women? Boston has not had a women’s bar in over two decades.

Then there is mention in a 2008 interview done for Actup Oral History Project. (JH is Jill Harris, SS is Sarah Schulman):

SS: What was your community involvement at that time? What was the name of that big famous lesbian bar in Boston? It was called like Our Place or –

JH: Somewhere.

SS: Somewhere. That’s right.

JH: Somewhere. I worked there.

SS: What?

JH: I worked there.

SS: You worked at Somewhere?

JH: I worked at Somewhere.

SS: So you were in Lesbian Central.

JH: Yeah, yeah. I was a waitress at Somewhere between college and law school. I stayed in the Boston area for a couple years after I got out of college, and I worked at – the Marquee in Cambridge was a big bar, I was a bartender there, and I was a waitress at Somewhere. It must have been like ’80. It was fun. It was a blast.

Here's a recollection from Elizabeth Stephens:

My next significant relationship was sealed when this hot woman who I had last seen at the skuzzy lesbian bar called the Marquee caught my eye at the AA meeting Crossroads on Tuesday nights. After the meeting Fredericka invited me to go apple picking with her. It was when we were both up the same apple tree that she revealed her gift of being able to pick apples with her toes. Being the latent ecosexual that I was, I was hooked. She picked apple after apple, as I got more and more turned on. After neither one of us could take it any more we climbed down the tree and took a roll in the hay that turned into a three-year relationship. Fredericka was fun when we weren’t in some fucked up power struggle. She too had ecosexual tendencies and must have sensed that we could explore them together.

Then there is this 1983 yahoo discussion where a lot of dudebro's are pontificating on whether a lesbian bar is "discriminatory," with specific mention of the Marquee. But I find it so annoying I can't bring myself to quote any of it. Do so at your own risk.

Today the site houses Phoenix Landing, an "alternative Irish bar."


  1. I went to the MArquee in 1983 so it lasted a bit longer than the 70's.

  2. Thanks. Will change the post to reflect this new info.


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