The Mae West Club sign
The Mae West Club sign is a unique survivor from a late kamp and early gay liberation era in Melbourne and Australia. It is the oldest surviving kamp venue sign from one of Melbourne’s first dedicated kamp owned and operated venues. The Mae West Club, or Mae West Coffee Lounge, was a small evening coffee lounge cum drag venue, located at 12 Oban Street, South Yarra, next to the Hawksburn Train Station. Established in c.1969 by Robert Cameron (Giselle), it ran until the early c.1972, operating weeknights except Mondays, and weekends, offering coffee and basic food. The venue was a long and narrow single-fronted shop, with booths and a small stage for drag shows that were held principally on Sunday nights. The venue provided a rare after-hours kamp space after the pubs and bars had closed at 10pm.