Gay bathhouses that once remained in the shadows to stay in business are now seeking attention to keep their doors open. Some are doing aggressive online advertising and community outreach. Others tout upscale amenities like plush towels and marble baths. A bathhouse in Ohio has even added hotel rooms and a nightclub. Gone are the days when bathhouses drew crowds just by offering a discreet place for gay men to meet, share saunas and, often, have sex.
The Gay Bathhouse Fire Of 1977
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Starting February , we will be closed on Tuesdays. Thank you for your understanding. Some of these changes include temporarily adjusting our hours to 9 AM to PM, implementing a reservation system for daily admission, and changing the requirements on what you are required to bring. Please note, at this time our saunas and therapy rooms remain closed. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. Access to open spa amenities are included.
Inside the Russian & Turkish Baths, the East Village's Best Worst-Kept Secret
It was advertised as reminiscent of "the glory of ancient Rome". The features of this bathhouse included a disco dance floor, a cabaret lounge, sauna rooms, a narrow "Olympia blue" swimming pool, bunk beds in public areas, and tiny rooms as one would find in any gay bathhouse. The facility had the capacity to serve nearly 1, men, 24 hours a day. One gay guide from the s described the Continental Baths as a place that "revolutionized the bath scene in New York City.
A list of house rules is posted up front near the reception desk, where an attendant sits behind a metal grate collecting the hourly fees required to rent a locker, a dressing room or one of the numerous cramped, wooden chambers that contain no more than iron-framed beds. The first rule is printed in boldfaced capital letters: ''No sex permitted. Twenty years ago, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, the gay bathhouse scene was nearly run out of town when state officials enacted a raft of laws banning many homosexual gathering places. The New St. Marks Baths in the East Village, for example, was shut in by the City Department of Health and was replaced nine years later by a video rental store.