4. Webster Was Nicknamed “The Devil’s Playhouse”

The parties during the 1900s got so wild that the hall got this nickname removing any kind of image of respectability original owner Goldstein had in mind. According to a Bowery Boys podcast, the parties were so lavish, full of dancing, and crazy behavior that the wealthier populations living uptown started to come down to enjoy themselves. It was the place where some of New York City’s first drag parties happened, and where many artists, small-time and famous would come and party. Apparently, Marcel Duchamp once swung in the hall’s chandelier. Even through all the debauchery, Webster Hall was never permanently closed but the police came plenty of times to temporarily close it after some particularly rowdy parties.

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