The Monastery, Seattle Blast from the last (1977-1984)

Seattle nightlife in Seattle, WA is nothing like New York, Miami, Las Vegas or even some California spots…but, don’t let the splendors of Downtown Seattle fool you, shit goes down if you know where to go. Seattle nightlife was built off the double edge sword of one man. That man be George Freeman, a person who was known for starting clubs in the disco era over in New York city around the 1970’s. Freeman’s background can be googled so go ahead and have at it. Monastery by definition is; A building housed by Monks living among religious vows. Regardless, this place shown above was club-active from 1977-1984 with troubled youth, homeless, drug dealers, drug addicts, LGBT before you know what that acronym was and various party people that needed a place to dance the night away. In an era right around the time places like Skoochies (In which the owner was later busted for selling illegal weapons for the government AND never convicted) and during a time Seattle still had much growing pains. The Monastery was founded by Freeman as he searched the city for his next nightclub venture and landed on this old condemned church off Boren Ave in Seattle which now looks look like a parking lot to rent cars next to high rise buildings. This was a place that housed runaways and welcomed people from all walks of life sprinkled inside with MDMA which is a drug that has spanned decades changing names to appeal to the masses as a pure form with each new name it’s given. Never the less, this night club was the spot for after hours and back then the legal drinking age in places like NYC was 18yrs old and 19yrs old in places like Canada. That being said, Freeman played the grey area with a non alcoholic after hours club that shook free of law enforcement for about 8yrs. However in my opinion regardless of how we feel about the history of this church, we need to take note that Freeman was ahead of his time in the Seattle club scene. It’s reported that his grand opening he had a helicopter land across the street with a World famous DJ of all DJ’s known as Walter Gibbons. Gibbons stepped out of the chopper wearing a monk suit as he approached the club that had a line spanning around the block to get in. Freeman arrives after with large crowds cheering him in like he was a God of parties arriving to fuck shit up. The inside had light up DJ booths, disco lights and historical architecture of interior church walls. The party jumped into hours of the morning as kids high as kites burned the dance floor to classic 70’s 80’s hits whilst they had sex in various parts of the building. Later the city built cases against the venue and had little luck taking down the powerhouse known as freeman. In my opinion it could have been because some of the police raids that were achieved revealed city workers, politicians, federal agents and various officials partying inside that would have hurt the name of Seattle over the name of the venue. The city of Seattle made a semi-invented a city ordinance called “TDO” which was Teen Dance Ordinance restricting youth from attending these venues and giving power to the law to storm through places like this anytime they wanted. Eventually they took down the legendary club and shut it down for good in 1984. Because I’m a West Seattle OG I keep my eyes open in the present time of 2019 and noticed a bright purple stream of lights next to I-5 right before the 520 bridge interchange. This modern home that can be seen from I-5 to this day is none other than George Freeman’s residence that has little to no debt on it and looks likes a fucking cool place to live. So in the end, that foo ain’t broke, not in jail and has no issues so what does that say? Well, the police are corrupt, criminals run on a balance of a tight rope with the law. One foot in one foot out and the law mirrors that. Just some Seattle history for the late 40’s mid 50’s residents of Seattle to remind us to open our eyes and ears but probably shut our mouths at times. If you call yourself a Seattle head and remember clubs during this time, which to be clear, I personally was on my second year of dumping in my diapers around this time, but drop a comment. Tell me about a club you remember and why it was special to Seattle and your life. From movies like 1974 McQ detailing police corruption onto documentaries like 1984 Streetwise, there is more than meets the eye in Seattle, WA. Your thoughts are appreciated.

Published by Skoo-B

Check out my feedback on live music, events, venues and movie reviews that have me feeling like the Siskel and Ebert of fun shit. The soundtrack to my life and which events/shows & movies to look for. Also check out my website: westseattleking.com for more pictures and events of how we do it in West Seattle, WA.

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2 Comments

  1. Drug addicts. Not drug attics…lol….
    How about Celebrities or the club That was next to it…I think it was called the Underground?..old age makes me forget

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