Goodbye, Kitty's East. I never knew ye. Ever.

Categories: Breeality Bites

Kittys1.jpg
Instagram user saibot34
When I was in high school, I had a friend whose dad called all porn shops "the fuck book store." Mostly, though, he was referring to the joint next to the Bluebird Theatre, because he was very suspicious that we went to that venue so often -- although for seventeen-year-old, third-wave rude boys and girls like us, it was where the bigger ska shows took place in 1997. Shows that we were old enough to get into, anyway.

We never even attempted to go into that fuck book store (or Adult Book Store, as I think it was called before it became part of the Pleasures chain). We just stood outside and smoked cigarettes, waiting for the show next door to start. Even so, when word spread over the weekend that an even more legendary fuck book store on East Colfax, Kitty's East, had closed, I was a little sad. Partly because I had never set foot in the sordid institution, but also because another piece of the sacred sketchy strip of Denver was going away.

See also:
- The 2UP leases Kitty's East space
- Goodbye, Smiley's Laundromat -- your ghosts are hung out to dry
- Meow Nix: A moment of silence for Kitty's South. Now, could this defunct adult emporium ever be porn again as a music hall?

I've never been a woman who much enjoys contemporary pornography. I'm only a amateur collector of pre-1980s issues of Playboy, but that's because I like looking at the bordering-on-campy photo shoots, real breasts and enviable hairstyles of the naked women of yore. Of course, I also read it for the articles.

When looking at the wide scope of modern porn, though, I have no interest. I find hair-free vaginas and bulbous boobs that look too uncomfortable to be real to be a turn-off. And when it comes to adult films and strip-club scenarios, I find my empathy-meter going through the roof; I'm unable to understand how I should be gratified when all I'm thinking about is how much I want to befriend the woman on-screen or dancing right in front of me. (This isn't to say porn stars and women who strip for a living need friends; that's just my knee-jerk reaction to seeing women in perceived non-consensual situations.)

Discussing Kitty's closure over a dinner of homemade Japanese curry this past weekend, a friend lamented on losing her pre-2UP ritual: Before heading into the bar arcade that last year opened next door, she would revel in taking friends into the fuck book store to catch a glimpse of what she called "the fetus." Described as hardly your run-of-the-mill suction cup wall pussy, this was a gelatinous mound of fleshy-rubber with multiple holes and a semblance of a face.

Suddenly, I was even more bummed that I had never been inside Kitty's hallowed retail space.

Word is that 2UP will be expanding into the old Kitty's space, and through the shaky lines of social networking communication, I have gathered that some feel this is the kind of gentrification Colfax should welcome. Sure, an arcade bar is kitschy, but it's hardly sketchy. Long gone are the days when a seedy business on Colfax would only be replaced by another equally seedy business.

Colfax wasn't always so desirably undesirable -- but it has continuously been a place of movement. The busy thoroughfare has worn many looks over the decades, and for Denver residents who enjoy its questionable charm, the avenue looks best to each of us in different ways. I prefer my Colfax cheap and cheerful -- however you want to interpret cheerful.

I guess Kitty's East will go down as another spot along my favorite street that I never was fortunate enough to visit. Much like the Golden Nugget Disco -- which, before it became "A Thinking Place" known as Sancho's Broken Arrow, was simply "A Drinking Place" -- Kitty's will forever remain a mystery to me.





Location Info

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The 1up Colfax

717 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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26 comments
pnwilliams613
pnwilliams613

Good afternoon Bree,

While you may have never gone in, I grew up in the Kitty's stores, literally.  In the 70's and early 80's my parents ran all the stores in Denver.  I can tell you that in that time Denver's "sex and party" scene was far crazier than anything that ever happened in Studio 54.  I still have pictures of my mom, dad, and step dad working there and of a rather humorous day when a decency league decided to picket the store and didn't know the mayor was inside.  If you are interested in source material regarding the stores, the people, or the scene feel free to contact me.

patrick 

whiskey.dick
whiskey.dick

Dear Westword, 

You know what sucks? When you have someone write an article about something she knows nothing about, and compounds her ignorance by sourcing some social media speculation. Have your writers not heard of diaries to muse about how they never done something? 

xoxoxo,

Dustin Stoner
Dustin Stoner

An extension of Sancho's Broken Arrow!!!!!!!

Kendra Wiig
Kendra Wiig

A cat shelter. Then they can keep the sign.

Candie Bernard
Candie Bernard

Oh no, a grubby porn shop where people smoked crack cocaine in the back is shutting down? The humanity!

Scott Whitney
Scott Whitney

Oh come now... I bought a lot of good porn and toys there.... and FYI there aren't any hustlers there... get your information straight

Tracy Ann Spencer
Tracy Ann Spencer

Well what would one expect for drugs sales and male prostitution going on....I'm happy to see it go....time to upgrade Capitol Hill....!!!!

Ian Arnold
Ian Arnold

Kitty's, Jerry's, and Smiley's? What the hell is happening to Colfax... :(

martin48484
martin48484

Brings back memories of Sid King's Crazy Horse Bar and, oh yes, the Cathedral.  You could fornicate and get forgiven all in one block.

Charly Fasano
Charly Fasano

I like how everyone is "I used to love that place, even though I never been inside." Sure.

Mary Teerlinck
Mary Teerlinck

It closed because it was a crack den, stop romanticizing it.

Louis Lieb
Louis Lieb

East Colfax is becoming too gentrified for its own good.

Randall Frazier
Randall Frazier

I never knew ye either, but i heard the floor was sticky.

JimTom
JimTom topcommenter

Should be proclaimed a local Historical Site.

urtheinspiration
urtheinspiration

@Mahria Ra Cappello Gross! I just wouldn't feel right buying bananas and cucumbers from a former porn shop.

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