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Finocchio's Club ephemera

 Collection — Box: BW-10, Folder: 4
Identifier: MS-1006

Content Description

This collection contains ephemera and memorabilia from Finocchio’s Club, a drag club that operated in San Francisco, CA from 1936-1999. Contents include a Finocchio’s branded matchbox cover; seven postcards of various casts of performers from approximately the 1970s through 1990s; two brochure menus for Fabulous Finocchio’s from approximately the 1960s with a drink menu on the back and a picture of the cast inside; a trifold souvenir booklet circa 1960s showing cast members Lestra LaMonte, LaVerne Cummings, Les-Lee, Juan Jose, Ray DeYoung, Lucian Phelps, Elton Paris, Bobby Johnson, and Kara Montez; a booklet circa 1945 with pictures and biographical sketches of cast members Walter Hart, Nicki Gollucci, Frank Doran, Niles Marsh, Johnny Magnum, Del LeRoy, Freddie Renault, Bobbie Janson, Milton La Maire, Gene Lamarr, Harvey Lee, Jerry Vaughn, and costume designer Li-Kar; and a souvenir photo of unidentified audience members dated November 16, 1963.


  • Creation: 1945 - 1999


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical / Historical

Finocchio’s, which dubbed itself “America's most unusual nightclub,” was a San Francisco nightclub known for its female impersonator performers. The nightclub was located at 506 Broadway and operated from 1936-1999. Its first owner was Joseph Finocchio, an Italian immigrant who began his career working in his father’s speakeasy during Prohibition. Finocchio ran an earlier version of the club as a speakeasy on Stockton Street with a vaudeville-style show, including performances from comedians, singers, ventriloquists, as well as a female impersonator. Eve Finocchio, wife of Joe Finocchio, continued to operate the business after her husband’s death in 1985.


1. Hamlin, Jesse. “What a Drag: Finocchio’s to Close / Cross-Dressers Have Entertained at club for 63 years.” SFGATE, November 4, 1999.

2. Miguel, Ken, and Zach Fuentes. “Remembering SF’s Finocchio’s: LGBTQ+ Legacy of ‘America’s Most Unusual Nightclub.’” ABC7 San Francisco, October 25, 2022.


0.167 Items (1 folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Max Rambod in November 2023.

Related Materials

See MS-1005, Corbett Reynolds Rudely Elegant and Red Party photo album and ephemera, for materials associated with a similar club.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in February 2024 by Jenelle Clark.

Guide to the Finocchio's Club ephemera
Jenelle Clark
February 2024
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA