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Old Posted Dec 14, 2014, 1:34 AM
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wburg wburg is offline
Hindrance to Development
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,378
The address for "Prosperity Corner" is across the street and halfway down the block from the building in your Google Street View, a building better known as the Bel-Vue Apartments but originally the American Cash Apartments, with the American Cash Store (a grocery store) underneath. Behind them on L Street was the La Rosa restaurant, owned by the same family that later owned Americo's on 20th and Capitol. La Rosa later became the second location of Sam's Hof Brau, expanding into a building on the alley that had originally been a storage building for the American Cash Store. Across the street from La Rosa/Sam's, of course, was (and is) Frank Fat's.

Some clubs just don't last a long time. The clubs on Capitol were demolished by redevelopment, others closed down as business moved elsewhere or the owners got into legal trouble. I found various articles about suspension of liquor licenses for serving minors, gambling paraphernalia or reported presence of "B-girls" (young women who would convince lonely men to buy them drinks [seriously overpriced, and typically iced tea or soda--the girls got a percentage of each drink sold]).

I found ads for the "Ron-D-Voo" in late 1940s copies of the Bee, and another club at the same address called the "Silver Dollar" that also featured drag shows in the late 1940s, so it seems like they did have a pretty good run at 1422 K Street. Maybe it was the lack of female impersonators that spelled the end of the Ron-D-Voo--the last ads I found for them mentioned UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT and ALL GIRL REVUE (as opposed to "boy dressed as girl revue") and shortly thereafter, classified ads offering the Ron-D-Voo's furnishings and bar equipment for sale! But the drag shows continued--in the late 1950s and early 1960s, redevelopment and law enforcement pushed a lot of the "vice" into West Sacramento, including prostitution, gay bars and strip clubs. Sacramento police would just shuttle prostitutes over the Tower Bridge and drop them off on West Capitol. Christine Jorgensen, one of the first publicly-known male-to-female transsexuals, stopped at a West Sacramento bar called the Roadhouse (also a burlesque joint) for a live show in the late 1950s. The Roadhouse was also a burlesque and strip club.

And it wasn't just West Sacramento--here's an ad for a drag show at the Driftwood, a club at 33rd and C Street in East Sacramento. They were a hot spot for surf music (Sacramento had a ton of surf music bands) and it later became a strip club. The building burned down sometime in the early 1970s, but you can still see the big metal palm tree at 33rd and C Street today.

Hm. Just realized that Lee Leonard is mentioned in this Road House ad and also in a Ron-D-Voo ad, so I imagine it's the same person, suggesting some level of continuity between the two venues. Not much different than today--one venue closes, another opens.
"Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings."--Jane Jacobs
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