Til the Sun Comes Up — March 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Roseland Goes Out with a Big Black Bang

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All things must come to an end…yes, even the most fabulous ones. Such as the case of New York’s Roseland Ballroom. For the past 24 years, Manhattan’s largest ballroom has been the Black Party’s home and the scene of 42 events produced by the Saint-at-Large, the successor to New York’s most legendary gay club, the Saint. Roseland has hosted everyone from Madonna to Beyoncé. The final show at the Roseland will be none other than Lady Gaga in April. Very fitting, if I do say so myself.

So just what is the Black Party? Officially known as the Rites, it’s quite possibly the most audacious, annual gay, fetished-themed party ever. Born on September 20, 1980, the Rites started as a three night dance party and now has turned into a week-long extravaganza attracting more than 5,000 patrons.

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This year’s 35th annual Black Party’s theme was A Ruined Paradise: Un-Holi Rites, a naughty twist on the Hindu Holi Festival of Colors. The festivities were kicked off with the Electronic Installation & Photography Exhibition Opening Reception at The OUT NYC Hotel. The exhibit is a multimedia installation of posters for all 42 events produced by The Saint-at-Large at Roseland Ballroom from 1994 to 2014, as well as rare images from other events. The exhibit also featured photographs by the Black Party’s own photographer, Robert Zash.

Fret not, my fetish party goers. Although Roseland Ballroom is closing next month, the Black Party will continue in another venue not known yet. The tradition is reinventing itself. To stay up to date with the Black Party, visit www.saintatlarge.com.

Twisted Talk: Are you sad to see Roseland Ballroom close? What are some of your favorite memories there? Discuss below!

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