Photograph -- "Maytag and Bubba D. Luscious" May 1995
Photograph -- Dream Girls cast at Armory bar, 1980s
Photograph -- Armory staff and performers, 1984
During the 1970s, one of Atlanta’s favorite bars was the Armory. The bar’s camp drag troupe, the Armorettes held regular drag shows to raise money for People With AIDS (PWAs), many of whom were their friends or people they knew. Established in 1979 and still performing, the Armorettes have raised over 2.3 million dollars.
"When AIDS broke out in Atlanta, several kids got it. They couldn’t go home for Christmas. I started Christmas for PWAs (People with AIDS) through AID Atlanta. Me and the entertainers in Atlanta, we held benefits in every club in the city. There was a lot of clubs. We would take jars into a club, and let the management know that we were there to collect for Christmas for PWAs. We would walk through and collect the money and go to the office, give it to the management. They would untape it, count the money and give me a receipt. And then the first of December, we’d have a big huge benefit at Backstreet. And all the club owners and managers would come in and they’d bring a check for the amount that we had raised in their club. And we’d raise $10,000, $20,000, $25,000. That money was turned over to AID Atlanta that night. Within two weeks, it was broken down into checks to each PWA in Atlanta, GA. We did that for years until there got to be so many that we couldn’t do it anymore. We wouldn’t raise enough money for them to get anything decent." Mr. Charlie Brown, March 26, 2019