9. The site of Fillmore East became a gay club
After Fillmore East closed, in came Villag East with performances of “Virgin: A New Rock Opera Concert by the Mission.” After the short-lived rock opera, there were numerous performances at the venue in 1972. In 1974, it briefly reopened as the NFE (New Fillmore East) Theatre, but Graham forced the theater to change its name to the Village East. From 1980 to 1988, the renovated venue was home to the Saint, a gay club that was heavily impacted by the AIDS crisis.
By the end of the second year, the Saint’s membership began to succumb to AIDS. The club subsequently lowered its prices and stayed open almost all year round, implementing policies such as safe sex for performers. The circular dance floor measures 5,000 square feet, and it was topped by a planetarium dome. Figures such as RuPaul performed at the Saint early in their careers. Ultimately, though, the club had to close, and the space remained rather dormant until an Apple Bank for Savings moved in.