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New UK documentary aims to tell the history of London’s iconic lesbian bar

Into the Cellar is the first film to tell the story of London’s iconic lesbian venue, the Gateways Club.

It features interviews with artist Maggi Hambling CBE, author Maureen Duffy, activist and founder of UK LGBT History month Sue Sanders and LGBT poet laureate Trudy Howson.

Already in production, director Lucie Warrington plans to complete the project through crowdfunding sources and ensure a vital part of LGBTQI+ social heritage is documented forever.

Into the Cellar – the story of the Gateways Club – teaser trailer

This is “Into the Cellar – the story of the Gateways Club – teaser trailer” by Into the Cellar on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people…

As Lucie says, “The story of the Gateways Club is such an important at part of LGBTQ+ British history and part of our social and cultural history to be documented for future generations”.

When the Gateways Club opened in 1931, gay men were illegal and gay women were hidden.

By 1967, the law had changed for men but lesbians, never illegal, remained hidden, in places like the Gateways Club in fashionable King’s Road, Chelsea. It was the longest-surviving such club in the world, eventually closing its doors in 1985.

Related: A Lesbian Version of Queer Eye Could Soon Become a Reality

Best- selling author Maureen Duffy immortalised The Gateways Club in her critically acclaimed novel, The Microcosm in 1967.

It also featured a year later in Robert Aldrich’s controversial yet iconic film The Killing of Sister George (1968).

Recently it featured in an episode of popular period drama Call The Midwife. Surprisingly a documentary has never been made about this legendary place. Until now…

The Gateways Club’s famous green door, on the corner of King’s Road and Bramerton Street, Chelsea

The film is intended as a celebration of the Gateways, which was a rare safe-haven for women to meet and be themselves.

It introduces characters and stories of the Gateways, and explore the obstacles and conflicts which were present during the time it was open, such as the public attitude to lesbians.

Related: Ten Questions Every Queer Girl Is Sick of Being Asked

Lucie has already secured 13 interviews, with women who visited and loved the club including Maureen Duffy, Maggi Hambling, Sue Saunders and Trudy Howson, capturing stories from the early ’60s to the mid ’80s.

Into The Cellar is endorsed to date by Diva Magazine and Queer Britain museum.

The Kickstarter campaign is intended to complete the production and ensure that the film is available for audiences to enjoy towards the end of 2020.

Full details of the Kickstarter campaign can be found here.

Written by QWEERIST editor

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