Paris Theatre
Paris Theatre Mercury Staff

The Paris Theatre, the downtown nightclub located on the corner of Burnside and SW 3rd (previously a porn theater/sex club), announced today that they are shutting down effective immediately. From their Facebook page:

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Signs of trouble for the venue popped up on September 27 when they announced they were abruptly cancelling all shows for the weekend.
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The brick building, originally erected in 1890 as a burlesque hall, has been designated as an "Unreinforced Masonry Building" (or a URM) on the city's URM database. However, an employee of the Paris told the Mercury that the building's owner ordered the shut-down due to water damage issues, and that since the current resident's lease was up at the end of the year, they were calling it a day effective immediately.

While the Paris has gone through many incarnations—including a movie theater, music venue, and most famously, a porn house—since 2016 it's been a nightclub that featured a variety of acts including music, drag shows, performance art, and DJs. The Paris (the nightclub, as opposed to the actual building) was overseen by co-owners Chris Lenahan, Michael Sun, and Brad McCray, who in the past have been involved with various venues in Portland's entertainment district.

In May 2018, while the owner of downtown club Dirty Nightlife, Lenahan was the subject of a discrimination lawsuit after a Black man was denied entry to Dirty for wearing clothing that was "excessively matching"—security code for being in a gang. The case was later settled out of court.

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While the Paris hosted a wide variety of acts, some caused more controversy than others. In his deposition for the previously mentioned discrimination lawsuit, Lenahan spoke of a big fight that occurred at the Paris during an event: "We had a huge issue with Antifa," Lenahan testified. "We had an Antifa event, and we literally had to mace like 20 people. It was a mad brawl at Paris." While the Paris did not receive a TPM (Time, Place, Manner violation) from the Portland Police for the incident, the cops did have some advice for Lenahan. "First of all, you can't spray mace in a club full of people, or even outside," the police reportedly told Lenahan, according to his deposition. "You just can't spray mace."

The Mercury has contacted Lenahan for comment on the closure, and will update this story when more information is available.