The Palms bar has operated as a lesbian bar since at least the early 1970s.
For most of those 45+ years, The Palms bar was one of the only public spaces lesbians could meet and socialize, and feel safe and celebratory in a society that was openly hostile to them.
The Palms bar documentary will explore what it was like for lesbians in Los Angeles back when a woman could be arrested for wearing just one article of men’s clothing, gay bars were routinely raided (because gays and lesbians were easy targets), and their names published in the local paper under the headings “perverts” and “sexual deviants” (which would lead to them being fired from their jobs).
Over the decades, the long-time patrons and employees of The Palms bar have formed a loose community. We’ll incorporate interview footage from past and current patrons and employees. We’ll hear stories of torrid passion, life-long love, best friendships, jealous violence, and tender care-giving in the patrons and employees own words.
Then there’s the building itself which dates back to 1930. It has housed a succession of unusual business like the tooth paste maker that would tint the gums of young starlets to make their teeth appear whiter. We’ll highlight the legitimate business that operated in the building, as well as the not-so-legal enterprises that operated in the basement!
But before there was a building there was just a piece of land. We’ll show how a plot of land evolves into a retail establishment then into a lesbian bar via the old railroad town of Sherman, Route 66, WWII, the movie industry, and rock and roll.
The Palms bar is history.
The Palms bar documentary intends to make sure it’s not forgotten.