Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Heritage: Lusty Lady to Clothe

The marquee of the Lusty Lady on First Avenue in Seattle, Washington was partially hidden during construction on 14-March-2006 that marked part of its decline. The picture was taken near an entrance to the Seattle Art Museum.

TORONTO, ONTARIO - One of the interesting aspects of visiting downtown Seattle, Washington in recent years has been the Lusty Lady. Located across the street from the Seattle Art Museum and adjacent to the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel, it has long appeared way out of place. Yet, its marquee was regarded affectionately by locals for its suggestive puns. A certain well-known local talk show host has claimed he knows people that would go to the Seattle Art Museum just as an excuse to check out the marquee.

Amongst the creative sayings to appear over the years were "We takeoff more than Boeing," "All Clothing 100 Percent Off," and "Out with the old, in with the nude." The marquee even inspired a blog site to "review" its messages. (The popularity of the puns in Seattle was to me yet more evidence that Seattle is really a Canadian city that just happens to be located south of the border.) The marquee phrases could originate with any staff member or even passers-by who stopped to make a suggestion--if it was used, they would receive a Lusty Lady t-shirt.

Yet, that fun is to come to an end. As reportedly widely but most skillfully by Erik Lacitis of the Seattle Times, the Lusty Lady will close in about two months. Apparently many more people enjoy the marquee than partake in the peep shows, especially since the closure of the once-adjacent headquarters of Washington Mutual. (I didn't know if the Lusty Lady was a strip club or even just a plain bar with an adult sense of humor; I was quite surprised to read it could earn enough money at that location as a twelve-booth peep show.) Income is reported to be down 60% since it peaked in 1998. The Lusty Lady is yet another victim of the financial crisis in the United States, and to a lesser extent the Internet.

Seattle's Museum of History and Industry claims it would "likely accept" the marquee if it were donated. The owners of the Lusty Lady, who share profits with the performers, have not yet stated their intention. Even if the marquee does survive at a museum, First Avenue in Seattle will never be quite the same. A lot of people will be watching for the last pun.

1 comment:

scott davidson said...

An Argyle wall! A canvas print such as this one of the Isle of Skye, painted by an American painter of the late 19th century, William Trost Richards, may take you right back to the wilds of the home country and go well with your Scottish wall. It can be ordered from WahooArt.com.