The Lusty Lady's Last Dance

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By Sara Bloomberg

The Lusty Lady, the first unionized and worker-owned strip club in the country, closed its booth doors Monday night with one last night of dancing, preceded by a pink-umbrella funeral procession through North Beach.

The club was founded in 1976, and its workers unionized in 1997 after a contentious battle with management. The dispute was chronicled in a 2000 documentary called "Live Nude Girls Unite." In 2003, employees bought the club to prevent it from closing. Ten years later, the landlord is evicting them after a rent dispute. Nevertheless, both workers and patrons enjoyed themselves during the final hurrah. In fact, so many people showed up to pay their final respects that the venue filled to capacity within minutes of opening. A few patrons were caught unaware of the impending closure of their favorite erotic hangout. They'll have to find a new late-night show now.