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A flamboyant farewell to Miss Kitty’s in Hollywood

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Special to The Times

Los Angeles nightlife lost a fetish fixture Friday as Miss Kitty’s Parlour closed forever after nine years of parties -- but not before throwing a final fete sure to leave a permanent lipstick stain on L.A. club history. With a line of cars at the valet stopping traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard as early as 9:30 p.m., the Dragonfly was bursting by midnight with cross-dressers in towering headresses, drag queens, goth gamines and would-be NYC club kids of every (legal) age, size, gender and sexual orientation.

A crew of drag nuns called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence chatted with tattooed rockabilly kids while tightly corseted bombshells held court on the dance floor. Muscled go-go boys and cosplay beauties rotated on platforms. “It’s like a scene straight out of ‘Party Monster,’ only wilder. ... Is that even possible?” commented longtime Miss Kitty’s patron Marin Penner.

“We started Miss Kitty’s as a sex-positive club, and it’s been a crazy nine years!” club creators Jame and Cristos Boulet said to the audience as they took the stage early in the night, dressed in black evening wear and eyeliner. The two, along with club hostess Jennifer Jackson -- who rules as Miss Kitty -- moved to L.A. from New York City in 2001. Interviewed in the club, Jame said, “We didn’t find anything that really interested us in the scene here, so we decided to throw a party ourselves.”

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The Brothers soon crossed paths with DJ Barbeau (Adrian Sosa), who added his signature dirty-electro soundtrack to the club, a genre just starting to make waves. The Boulets have claimed that Miss Kitty’s was the first club to play the electro music that soon took the dance world by storm, and naughty anthems like Peaches’ “Only Double A, But I’m Thinking Triple X,” and Miss Kittin and Thee Glitz’s “Frank Sinatra” came to represent the Miss Kitty’s vibe.

During its nearly decade-long run, the club developed a loyal cult following.

“I think it was an important time to be arriving in Los Angeles; the great parties that had schooled L.A. in a different way were just ending,” said Barbeau. “I think we showed people in Los Angeles that it’s OK to mix together gay, straight, bi, trans gender, drag, goth, rock, industrial, electro, rave, themes, leather, S&M;, sexuality, porn, art, performance and whatever else you could think of, throw it together and mix it up in a room full of people, and it’s safe, fun and we all fit in.”

Miss Kitty’s was certainly no place to be a wallflower. Each night, club-goers might be lured into taking part in a game of strip poker or blacklight Twister, try on a new look at the Wig Bar, or compete in scandalous onstage contests. “The bottom line was to encourage people to have fun and not take themselves too seriously,” explained the Boulets.

The club also hosted celebrity acts such as Dita Von Teese, Thrill Kill Kult, Mickey Avalon, Masuimi Max and “Shoes” Internet sensation Kelly. Friday’s party featured electro rock trio Dirty Sanchez, which was rumored to be the group’s final show.

Miss Kitty’s proved the adage “If you build it, they will come.” Friday’s massive turnout proved that Los Angeles is still ready to let its freak flags fly. Luckily, the Boulet Brothers and DJ Barbeau both have projects in the works.

“We are definitely retiring the Miss Kitty’s name, but we’ve got plans for the future,” says Jame. Meanwhile, L.A.’s club kids will keep the fishnets and platform boots on hand for the next chapter in clubland. Fairwell, Miss Kitty, it’s been a glorious, glitter-soaked decade.

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