The Pyramid Club

A collection of documents from Brian Butterick’s archives of the iconic NYC club Located on 101 Avenue A between 6th and 7th Streets.

A note: This is an evolutionary work in progress. The golden age of the Pyramid Club spanned for a decade. There is a great deal of material to be added to these pages. In the meantime– enjoy and remember!

Brian Butterick. First time in drag. Pyramid Club basement.
Brian Butterick’s first time in drag. Pyramid Club basement.

Certainly we had no idea how this would all begin on that cold day in early December, 1981. We were a young confused group, like many, searching for something. Anything that would shed some light on the murky future that stretched before us. We were mostly white, privileged, male, gay, and a great many of us were from some distant place. Even those of us that were from somewhere in the City… well, it might as well have been Montana.

We were joined by others women, Lesbians, people of all gender identities, many religions, races, ages, countries, sexual proclivities.
We were part of a Great Migration. And for one reason or another The Pyramid Cocktail Lounge on Avenue A became our Ellis Island.

I like to think that the Pyramid was our “Everything For Everybody.”

Certainly, we embraced drag, a crude parody, de-constructive…Ripped fishnets with hairy legs, panty hose beneath Wall Street suits. Women in top hats and tuxedos. Blurring the lines of gender. And in doing so, came to realize, more with instinct than intent, that you had to own your own gender, your own sexual preference or role. And this was the last great revolution of the Twentieth Century. The beginning of what we now call

All of this was played out against the horrifying backdrop of the AIDS Crisis. Yet it was a time of great joy and revelry.

Around this time, I wrote this line in my jounal: “Flow’r furious before the frost!” That is exactly what we were doing then.

The Pyramid was our clubhouse. Our tribal circle. Our gang lair. Our home.

Excerpted from an essay by Brian Butterick (edited for context and grammar)
Pyramid Club Membership Card
Opening Night

According to an interview from In Touch For Men magazine #91 with Pyramid co-founders Bobby Bradley and Alan Mace, “On the Range” was the opening performance for the Pyramid Bar and featured John Kelly.

This small sampling of flyers provides some insight of the diverse and creative energies that occurred between the walls of the Pyramid Club– itself a fun-house mirror of the Lower East Side during the 1980’s.

Pyramid Club Guest Passes (Brian Butterick Archives)

Pyramid Club Photographs from the collection of Brian Butterick.

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