Friday, July 3, 2015


Behind the BarsThe Hollywood

Location: 304 West 4th Street, Austin, Texas, USA (later 113 San Jacinto)

Opened/Closed: 1980s through 90s

Hollywood is mentioned in an Austin Chronicle article on lost gay and lesbian bars.

The first gay bar I went to was in Dallas. I didn't drink or smoke. I was real naive. I was like, "What is this scene ...?" But they played ABBA, and I was like: "Cool! I like Abba! OK!" It was real confusing. I was more into seeing shows. I went to clubs like Club Foot. There was kind of a crossover. Androgyny was being played with a lot at that time. "Oh he's the straightest guy there is, but he likes to look like Eno!" There were all these weird crossed signals, and then if you went to a gay bar, everybody looked totally like John Travolta. We liked going to the Hollywood because they played soul. We thought, "This is pretty cool." We'd go there on the way to the Ritz to have a couple of drinks before a show. My friend was so confused. He'd get frustrated. He would be like, "Oh, that guy is sooo cute, and I was like, "That's a girl." – Dan Plunkett, owner of End of an Ear Records

I hated the Hollywood. The thing about the Hollywood, that was a place where there was gonna be fights. It was in 1984. I did Deborah Hay's big group dance thing, and there was this one movement, and I'm on the dance floor, doing my dance. Whatever. We were doing some crazy dances; I hung out with dancers. And this girl kicked me in the head! 'Cause, granted, I had this move where my head was down, but I was like, "Did you just kick me in the head?" And she said, "Yup." And I said, "Well, why?" And she said, "'Cause you're dancing funny," in a really defiant way, and I remember going out into the parking lot and crying. Crying my eyes out. You know what? Many people will tell you about a gay bar where the end of the story is "I was in the parking lot crying!" I never went back to the Hollywood. – Gretchen Phillips

Crying is not the worst thing that ever happened in the Hollywood parking lot. A lesbian was shot to death here in March 1980. Unfortunately, the most comprehensive reference I can find to the incident consists of two sentences at Gay History Wiki:

Carol Oetting was killed by a single shot to the head as she was parking her car at “The Hollywood”, a lesbian bar in Austin, Texas. Police reported that they had discovered no suspect or motive.

Not surprisingly, the murder does NOT show up on any LGBT lists of hate crimes that I can find, even though it took place in the parking lot of a lesbian bar. Unfortunately, this kind of erasure is not uncommon when it comes to the murder of lesbians.

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