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Fran’s Place and The Light House

The Light House Cafe, which opened in 1937 at 776 Washington St. on Lynn harbor, was the oldest LGBTQ+ bar in Massachusetts. It was closed by a suspicious fire in 1975. The Collins family, who owned it, opened Fran's Place at the same location in 1976. Fran's Place held significance as a gathering space for the LGBTQ+ community in the North Shore area of Massachusetts. Like many LGBTQ+ bars, it served not only as a place for socializing but also as a sanctuary where individuals could find acceptance and support. It had great dance music, frequent drag shows, and a Hispanic night on Sundays. The bar had a strong community spirit and frequently held fundraising benefits for local charities. Its closure in 2016 marked the end of an era for the local LGBTQ+ community, and its legacy is remembered by those who frequented it as an important part of their history and identity.

Watch Interview Moments

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We got into Fran's in High School.

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I've heard two things about Fran.

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Tony decorated for Christmas in July.

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We started Latino Nights in 1996.

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Origins of the Light House

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Fran's was my hiding space.

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I got into the bar scene at 18.

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What Fran's was like.

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Fran's was working class.

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I changed Fran's to a nightclub.

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Fran's was mixed with some people of color.

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I was the Saturday night DJ at Fran's.

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Learning about life at Fran's with friends.

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My first time at Fran's.

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It was community, people to support each other.

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I featured drag at the bar.

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Gay or straight, it's the place to dance.

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Fran's was a fun place.

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Fran's would have burned to the ground.

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We never made it to Fran's.

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We went into Fran's dressed as nuns and the bar went crazy.

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They were military folks who were gay.

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I know a place.

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Frans was between two biker bars.

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Fran was welcoming to everyone.

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First time in the Light House was 1959.

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Franny and the Collins therapy sessions.

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Fran's had great Saturday dance nights.

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The detective agency sent me to Fran's.

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Fran's became my home.

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I started at Fran's as a bartender.

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Everybody got along in the bar.

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Women's bowling leagues came to the Light House.

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Fran's mostly was lesbians and drag queens.

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At Fran's, I could be myself.

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We bought the burned building in 1975.

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I hired Hell's Angels to work the door.

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The Light House was a getaway for women.

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The night of 100 stars was a fundraiser.

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The lesbians were the best.

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I wouldn't evacuate Fran's during the great fire.

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My apartment building used to be Fran's.

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Fran's was always a lot of fun.

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They were both basically women's bars.

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Two sides of the bar.

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Events

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