“Jewel’s Catch One,” screening on Friday, May 19 as part of the QDOC Film Festival


In 1973, just as disco culture was emerging in Los Angeles, entrepreneur Jewel Thais-Williams opened her nightclub, Jewel’s Catch One. Within a short time, the club became one of LA’s hottest nightspots, with all the glitz of the era. It also emerged as a safe haven for the black LGBTQ community. In its heyday, Catch One attracted lines around the block and such celebrities as Madonna and Etta James. But it was, at its core, “ a place for everybody.”

Thais-Williams did more than just run a bar. In addition to Catch One, she created the Village Health Collective, a natural health clinic across the street, and the nightclub itself became a literal home for many dispossessed people, as well as a community center of sorts, hosting 12-step meetings and LGBTQ groups. This rousing documentary celebrates the fun of the disco era, and ultimately develops into an inspiring portrait of a woman who makes everyone around her more concerned with helping others.

Featuring interviews with clubgoers Sharon Stone, Sandra Bernhard and Bonnie Pointer, among others, director C. Fitz draws a portrait of a determined entrepreneur who overcame the challenges of being black, female, poor and lesbian to create a lasting legacy in the community.

For more information, please visit: http://www.queerdocfest.org/film/jewels-catch-one/

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