Gay bar calling it a night

LIBBY WILSON
Last updated 05:00 15/03/2014

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Hamilton's only gay bar is closing its doors for the last time tonight with a "big send-off"'.

Shine Nightclub on Victoria St has been a feature of Hamilton's nightlife for about six years.

"There's a whole lot of different contributing factors but we have tried everything we can to keep it open and keep the business running successfully," said event manager and performer Shane Way, also known as Diva.

"It's just unfortunately come to this being the last resort in what we have to do," Way said.

The announcement prompted much discussion on the bar's Facebook page.

One person said they met and proposed to their partner at the club; another wrote that it featured in their "fondest memories" and was "the one place in Hamilton you could be yourself". Way said the bar had been a home away from home for many people and attracted a range of customers, including gay, straight, and bisexual nightclubbers who liked to go there to "feel free".

"It's just a place that people have always gone and felt free, and enjoyed themselves." Way said there were several reasons for Shine's closure but he was reluctant to elaborate.

They were hoping "someone out there" would come forward to keep providing a place for the local gay community.

Tonight past and present performers will help the club mark its last night with a For One Night Only show.

The "big send-off" was a celebration to mark the end of an era, Way said.

Shine fans have been invited to celebrate their memories of the club, including "the eyeliner, glitter and stilettos".

One of the more recent significant moments in the bar was a live screening of the passage of the marriage equality bill in Parliament in April last year.

Several proposals have taken place on site since, Way said.

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- Waikato Times

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