THE SAHARA 65TH STREET AND 3RD AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY OPEN 1976-1979 (65TH STREET AND 3RD AVENUE, PICTURED) “The decades leading up to the mid-seventies were harrowing times for lesbians and their stories are deeply moving. They feared the condemnation of their parents, peers and co-workers. Despite the progress that has been made, this apprehension still torments people, especially those in the more conservative areas of the country. Clubs offered one of the few safe havens for women to congregate, but they were generally seedy bars operated by the Mafia. Sahara was the first bar in New York City owned and operated by women, for women. It opened in 1976 in an elegant Upper East Side duplex. Decorated with Italian furniture, it had a long, polished mahogany bar and a stage downstairs. The entire upstairs was a dance floor with a DJ booth. The owners hung contemporary artwork created by women – at a time when the art world was controlled by a handful of white men. On Thursdays they opened the club for political fundraisers and cabaret. Both men and women were invited in on these nights. Celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, Patti Smith, Pat Benatar, Warren Beatty, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and Elaine Noble, the first openly gay state Representative, appeared or performed there. We are reaching out to these bold celebrity feminists, straight and gay, who crossed the threshold of Sahara to be a part of this film. It was a seminal and revolutionary time. After overcoming an initial gay-straight confrontation, there was great camaraderie in the women's movement. The country was three states shy of passing the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. Women were eager to help each other gain stature in business, politics and social causes.” (Sahara Film Description by Blowback Productions)

THE SAHARA 65TH STREET AND 3RD AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY OPEN 1976-1979 (65TH STREET AND 3RD AVENUE, PICTURED) “The decades leading up to the mid-seventies were harrowing times for lesbians and their stories are deeply moving. They feared the condemnation of their parents, peers and co-workers. Despite the progress that has been made, this apprehension still torments people, especially those in the more conservative areas of the country. Clubs offered one of the few safe havens for women to congregate, but they were generally seedy bars operated by the Mafia. Sahara was the first bar in New York City owned and operated by women, for women. It opened in 1976 in an elegant Upper East Side duplex. Decorated with Italian furniture, it had a long, polished mahogany bar and a stage downstairs. The entire upstairs was a dance floor with a DJ booth. The owners hung contemporary artwork created by women – at a time when the art world was controlled by a handful of white men. On Thursdays they opened the club for political fundraisers and cabaret. Both men and women were invited in on these nights. Celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, Patti Smith, Pat Benatar, Warren Beatty, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and Elaine Noble, the first openly gay state Representative, appeared or performed there. We are reaching out to these bold celebrity feminists, straight and gay, who crossed the threshold of Sahara to be a part of this film. It was a seminal and revolutionary time. After overcoming an initial gay-straight confrontation, there was great camaraderie in the women's movement. The country was three states shy of passing the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. Women were eager to help each other gain stature in business, politics and social causes.” (Sahara Film Description by Blowback Productions)