Saturday, July 30, 2016

Silver Slipper

Ever since my early 20's I have been fascinated by the fact that our forefathers caused just as much trouble as we did, maybe more. It's neither good or bad, we just didn't invent the "wild life" as is often thought to be the case when you are young. 

I watched a documentary a few years ago about exotic dancers from the 50's and 60's. It fascinated me that everyone involved looked like ordinary senior citizens now. No one would ever know without talking to them a good bit. I don't recall the title and Google was no help. It did however remind me how intrigued I was by an abandoned Albuquerque strip called the Silver Slipper as a kid. There was of course the mystic that it once housed "naked ladies" but there was something else too. Perhaps just the whole counter-culture aspect.

At any rate I decided to search for a photo of the place thinking finding one would be trivial. Oddly it wasn't. I've done a fair amount of asking around and have found damn near nothing. The "Remember When In Albuquerque" Facebook group is about the only success I had so far (thanks all). One of the regular contributors had a car show photo from the Caravan East.You can just barely make out the remnants of the giant slipper shaped sign and the shingled roof.

 The same FB group provided an anecdotal timeline as well.

The building opened as Bob's Drive-in. It was later converted into a dinner theater called The Golden Slipper opening in the summer of 1971. It featured nightly musical entertainment and a melodrama production on the weekends. It went under after about two years and closed and was reopened as The Silver Slipper- which was the strip club I recalled as a kid. The Silver Slipper closed around 1974.

I believe I recall my Dad saying he got dragged into the place by some coworkers once but I could be wrong. I'm struggling to remember if the building eventually partially burned or was just demo'd.

I did find this super creepy mural that someone claimed was inside the club. Obviously I have no way to confirm it (save maybe my Dad).

The only historical reference I was able to find is from a drag performer "Ray Bourbon's" biography "Don't Call Me Madam."  I was completely unaware they featured anything but female dancers prior to this artifact. 

Ultimately, it's all amazingly little for the Internet age. This all started with 10 seconds of curiosity. These damn thing can spiral out of control for obsessive people like myself. If you or anyone you know can provide more information or photos I'd love to hear from you.

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