LAST CALL at MAUD’S            Time:  10:00 AM

Director:  Paris Poirier
American, 1993, 77 Minutes Running Time

Maud’s was a down-to-earth watering hole in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district that opened in April 1966.  As the Counter Culture matured, Maud’s came to enjoy an international reputation as the meeting place for lesbians and their friends.  The film delves into the longest lasting lesbian bar at the time, as it bids farewell to those who have known it through the years. 

The last drink was served in September 1989.  That significant moment in San Francisco’s extensive bar culture is used to explore various facets of lesbian history from World War II through the 1990s.  As we make the rounds at Maud’s goodbye party, we’re taken on a journey into the past, as people remember the personal paths leading them here for this special last call.  Their voices and an array of visuals (including rare photos, home movies, and historical archives) take us on a tour of the American lesbian experience unlike any other on film.

The main voices include Maud’s owner, Rikki Striecher, who recounts her introduction to women’s bars during their World War II heyday.  Her candid stories and vintage photos of this secret world reveal a long-hidden side of lesbian culture.  Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, founders of the Daughters of Bilitis (the world’s first international lesbian organization), describe how a climate of fear permeated the1950s and early 1960s.  They bring us back to a pre-Stonewall reality when gay bar raids were a frequent pastime of police across the country.  San Francisco police commissioner, Gwen Craig, brings us up to date as she talks about gay bars and discrimination in the 1970s and 1980s.

Maud’s popular bartenders say they saw it all – passionate affairs, undercover detectives, emotional arguments and drunken brawls.  They also tell us they’ve seen shifts within the lesbian community toward public visibility and healthy sobriety.  Teacher and activist Sally Gearhart treats us to her fascinating account of San Francisco’s volatile radical feminist movement.  Writer Judy Grahn explains the links between the early bar scene and the evolution of today’s queer culture.  Author JoAnn Loulan shares her provocative insights on sexuality and gender as a variety of customers remember the past, ponder the present, and predict the future for themselves and their community.