Lisson Gallery to Open at Former Gay Men’s Club THE ZONE LA

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Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

THE ZONE LA, a sex club that catered to gay and bisexual men in Los Angeles, near La Brea Avenue by the West Hollywood Gateway, closed permanently during the pandemic without any notice, news, or fanfare. The space located at 1037 N Sycamore Avenue went up for lease on loop.net in September 2021, and was taken off the market some time in February, 2022. Artnews.com reports that Lisson art gallery is opening at the former popular sex space for men in Southern California.

THE ZONE LA was the largest men’s club in the Greater Los Angeles Area with two huge floors of mazes, private booths, BJ bullpens, stalls, a TV lounge, and patio. The place was clothing optional and offered lockers, a coat/wallet check, and free condoms and lube were always provided.

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“I opened The Zone on July 19, 1991,” original owner Peter Deep posted in our Instagram account @weho_times. “LAPD came to the opening and threw me in jail overnight. No charges filed, it’s just I had the audacity to open a gay club in LA (as opposed to WeHo which is not part of City of LA). I owned it until an unscrupulous business partner sleazed it away from me while I was operating Club Mañana in Puerto Vallarta. It’s no surprise it closed. I visited it a few years ago and he had reinvested not one dime in the place. They were still playing VHS tapes (!) that I made in 2000 on televisions that barely worked. It’s a shame. At one time The Zone was a beautiful thing. I was very proud of opening it. I personally designed every detail until I moved to México in 2005.”

“We are temporarily closed in order to keep our staff and customers safe during this crisis,” reads a post on Yelp, posted on April 12, 2020. “We will re-open when all of us are allowed to move freely again. Please stay safe!”

However, since it closure during the pandemic, the website, thezonela.com was taken down, along with its Facebook page. The parking lot was being used by a local business, and the last post on their Twitter account dates back to 2017. Yelp also lists the business as permanently closed.

We can confirm that the former gay space is currently being gutted to make way for the new Lisson gallery, which boast over 8,000 square feet of space across two floors and will include an outdoor space. Art News reports that the new location’s renovation will include gallery spaces, viewing rooms, and offices by New York–based architecture firm Ashe Leandro.

With the upcoming opening the new private luxury fitness club Heimat in the area at the corner of La Brea Avenue and Romaine Avenue, at 1000 N. La Brea Avenue, along with a new art gallery called The Hole (yes, The Hole) at 844 North La Brea, the former seedy neighborhood of THE ZONE LA is on its way to total gentrification.

THE ZONE LA joins a list of LGBT spaces and adult entertainment business that shuttered during the pandemic. Two Roman Holiday Spa “Health Clubs” were lost to COVID-19. The gay men’s bathhouse locations, one at 12814 Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, and the other at 14435 Victory Blvd, in Van Nuys, survived the AIDS epidemic in the 80s and 90s, only to then shutter during the pandemic in 2020.

What do you remember most about THE ZONE LA?

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at editor@wehotimes.com
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OSCAR HAUREGUI
OSCAR HAUREGUI
15 days ago

Are they moving somewhere a to a new location ?

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago

Wow disappointing- I always had a blast there when I visited LA. Lots of action like no other. I was going to go this weekend but looked online only to be disappointed it’s gone.

Mr. Lord
1 month ago

I went to The Zone…more than several times and the guys were overly cautious to the point that most of the guys there were sitting next to one another, but alone. The odd thing was that these young twink-types would sometimes come up and stare into my sunglasses…SO I would say the same thing that would make anyone run away, “SO case, how does your garden grow?” THEY would let me alone. Oh, there was this one time a bunch of men who, I think worked together and were, I’m pretty sure they were straight. But, there was one guy… Read more »

Eric M
Eric M
1 month ago

The Zone turning into an upscale Art gallery is a true to form cautionary tale of gentrification. What are they going to do with the encampments in the alley? This is sad news. Why isn’t mainstream media picking up on this? Very sad.

R WeHo
R WeHo
1 month ago

What do I remember? Some fun times, but I was also grossed out by the fact that they didn’t have showers. One of the first lines of defense against some STI’s is simply washing, with soap. The place would have been better as a bathhouse. I did appreciate its design.

Matt F
Matt F
1 month ago
Reply to  R WeHo

WHAT are you talking about??

Can Washing Prevent STDs? (webmd.com)

Here’s the short answer. “No”

R WeHo
R WeHo
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt F

A sex worker once told me that. Nevertheless, I think it is pretty gross to not wash up after anal sex and go on to the next person. Some people are into that, but I don’t think most are. I’m definitely not.

Last edited 1 month ago by R WeHo
Mike
Mike
1 month ago

Never made it there The Zone. But I remember the 8709. It was on Third Street next to Cedars-Sinai. We called it the Palace of Fine Arts. Oh, the memories.
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