Orlando’s Parliament House To Close After 45 Years

From the Parliament House’s Facebook page:

For over 45 years, The Parliament House has called Orange Blossom Trail our home. We have to announce that our home at its current location will be closing Monday, November 2, 2020. We put up a good fight over the last 11 months to secure financing and renovate our existing property.

Unfortunately, that fight ended today with no deal. Our “Last Dance” at 410 N. Orange Blossom Trail will be this Sunday, November 1, 2020.

We have so many memories on “The Trail.” We will never forget New Year’s Eve when Miss P arrived in the courtyard dangling from a helicopter. Our community showed up in thousands to celebrate marriage equality in the United States.

We gathered to mourn the loss of our friends at Pulse Nightclub. We came out for countless concerts, pageants, plays, musicals and events. We celebrated Miss Vickie’s 70th Birthday with one of the biggest shows in our history.

We hosted the Footlight Players reunion shows to commemorate the immeasurable talent that has graced our stage. The list is never ending. Through it all, we’ve remained the Parliament House. It has never been about the building. It’s about the people.

The owners say they are seeking a new location. As longtime readers of this here website thingy may recall, the Parliament House was my first gay bar and back when Orlando was a much smaller city, it was for decades the uncontested epicenter of gay life in central Florida. When my mother finally asked me if I was gay, her second question was whether I went to the Parliament House. I could probably write a book just about my hundreds of nights there.

PHOTOS: Built in the 1960s as part of a small regional hotel chain of the same name, what later became the show bar was first a restaurant called Baron Of Beef. Later the Parliament House billed itself as “the world’s largest all-gay resort.” As far I can tell, it really was.