SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – One of the last standing, dedicated LGBTQ entertainment venues in San Francisco is on the brink of permanent closure.
Oasis, a popular drag club located at 11th and Folsom Streets, is now putting on a live telethon in hopes of saving the venue.
“Sort of a gay cheers right? Where everybody does know your name and people become regulars. It was a magical spot,” D’Arcy Drollinger said.
Oasis owner D’Arcy Drollinger looking back on memories at their drag club in San Francisco before the pandemic.
Once filled with laughter, friends, and a whole lot of make-up, Oasis now sits empty since the last shutdown in December, and could permanently close in the coming weeks.
“We shut down with no buffer and then riding the last two months took us into a place which was a heavy deficit and for us it cost a lot to be closed but it costs more to be open. We lose a lot of money and I hate it because I want to do it for the community. I want to do it for the employees but there’s just no money,” Drollinger said.
In the past year, Drollinger remained optimistic, applying for business loans and pivoting this space into a drag food delivery and live-streaming service but says PPP loans quickly ran out.
Drollinger says even their life-savings couldn’t keep up with the mounting bills, not to mention the $20,000 monthly rent.
With news of a San Francisco music and entertainment venue fund and federal save our stages fund, Drollinger became hopeful but says details remain vague.
“There’s still no clear path to when we can apply and we can’t apply for PPP money and the Save Our Stages so in hopes to get the Save Our Stages we’re not allowed to apply for the second round of PPP money so they put us in a situation where we’re just in limbo but like rent isn’t in limbo, PGE isn’t in limbo,” Drollinger said.
As a final effort to save one of the last standing, LGBTQ entertainment venues in the city, Oasis will hold a telethon event on Saturday, March 6.
“12 hours. 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. and we’re going to give you a cross-section of all the things people know and love about Oasis. We’ve got local performers. Performers from all around the country will be zooming in, sending in testimonials and videos. We’ll have some live performances, only enough where we can keep it safe,” Drollinger said.
Drollinger hopes the event will help the nightclub stay open and says like Oasis, many other venues are also at a make-or-break moment.
“Breaking point to maintain the kind of culture we know and love and it’s not going to happen if we turn our backs on all our small independent venues,” Drollinger said.
You can tune into the March 6 event from home on your computer. Just head to sfoasis.com.