Goodbye, Kitty's East. I never knew ye. Ever.
When I was in high school, I had a friend whose dad called all porn shops "the fuck book store." Mostly, though, he was referring to the joint next to the Bluebird Theatre, because he was very suspicious that we went to that venue so often -- although for seventeen-year-old, third-wave rude boys and girls like us, it was where the bigger ska shows took place in 1997. Shows that we were old enough to get into, anyway.
We never even attempted to go into that fuck book store (or Adult Book Store, as I think it was called before it became part of the Pleasures chain). We just stood outside and smoked cigarettes, waiting for the show next door to start. Even so, when word spread over the weekend that an even more legendary fuck book store on East Colfax, Kitty's East, had closed, I was a little sad. Partly because I had never set foot in the sordid institution, but also because another piece of the sacred sketchy strip of Denver was going away.
I've never been a woman who much enjoys contemporary pornography. I'm only a amateur collector of pre-1980s issues of Playboy, but that's because I like looking at the bordering-on-campy photo shoots, real breasts and enviable hairstyles of the naked women of yore. Of course, I also read it for the articles.
When looking at the wide scope of modern porn, though, I have no interest. I find hair-free vaginas and bulbous boobs that look too uncomfortable to be real to be a turn-off. And when it comes to adult films and strip-club scenarios, I find my empathy-meter going through the roof; I'm unable to understand how I should be gratified when all I'm thinking about is how much I want to befriend the woman on-screen or dancing right in front of me. (This isn't to say porn stars and women who strip for a living need friends; that's just my knee-jerk reaction to seeing women in perceived non-consensual situations.)
Discussing Kitty's closure over a dinner of homemade Japanese curry this past weekend, a friend lamented on losing her pre-2UP ritual: Before heading into the bar arcade that last year opened next door, she would revel in taking friends into the fuck book store to catch a glimpse of what she called "the fetus." Described as hardly your run-of-the-mill suction cup wall pussy, this was a gelatinous mound of fleshy-rubber with multiple holes and a semblance of a face.
Suddenly, I was even more bummed that I had never been inside Kitty's hallowed retail space.
Word is that 2UP will be expanding into the old Kitty's space, and through the shaky lines of social networking communication, I have gathered that some feel this is the kind of gentrification Colfax should welcome. Sure, an arcade bar is kitschy, but it's hardly sketchy. Long gone are the days when a seedy business on Colfax would only be replaced by another equally seedy business.
Colfax wasn't always so desirably undesirable -- but it has continuously been a place of movement. The busy thoroughfare has worn many looks over the decades, and for Denver residents who enjoy its questionable charm, the avenue looks best to each of us in different ways. I prefer my Colfax cheap and cheerful -- however you want to interpret cheerful.
I guess Kitty's East will go down as another spot along my favorite street that I never was fortunate enough to visit. Much like the Golden Nugget Disco -- which, before it became "A Thinking Place" known as Sancho's Broken Arrow, was simply "A Drinking Place" -- Kitty's will forever remain a mystery to me.
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