Timeline for significant gay events that have happened in Puerto Vallarta

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1961
Filming of the Night of the Iguana by John Huston in Mismaloya. 

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor bought Casa Kimberly in PV after that (but note the “Casa Kimberly” you see now – it  is not the same original building as it was destroyed and rebuilt).

Life Magazine carried photos of Liz and Richard that helped put Puerto Vallarta on the map for U.S. visitors.

As Elizabeth Taylor was friends with many of the Hollywood “gay mafia” her love for the city intrigued many, who made visits to Vallarta. This inspired many from the California gay community (Rock Hudson, Montgomery Clift, etc.,) to visit.

1982

Los Balcones Opens – First Gay Bar in PV

In 1982, a young Lesbian named Vicky Macedo made history. She converted her family home, where she had been raised at Juarez 182, into the first openly gay bar in Puerto Vallarta. Some old timers told us that The Piano Bar (also known at some point as The Sand Bar) was the first gay bar, but didn’t promote itself as a gay bar.

1989

Paco Ruiz opened his namesake bar Club Paco Paco

1995

Los Balcones introduces Drag Queen nights, and this is thought to be the first public drag queen contests.

gay history timeline
gay history timeline

1997

Apaches Martini and Cocktail Bar opened in November

Wayne Franklin opens Tropicasa Realty, one of the first gay owned real estate firms in the area. 

1998

Bar Los Amigos Opened in October

Zona Romantica Guide for Club Paco Paco Newsletter was produced

Opening of Descanso del Sol Hotel with Rooftop Bar, popular after beach gay venue

Vallarta’s first gay circuit party, called Latin Fever, began in Puerto Vallarta in 1998. The five-day event was the first event to promote Puerto Vallarta  extensively in the gay community in North America, and was created by Gilles Belanger (Toronto) and Will Gorges (L.A.) 

1999 

Mark Rome opens the Palm Cabaret

Ampas Neighborhood Association (ANA) is formed. The gay beach and that area falls into the Ampas community, and has benefited greatly from ANA. 

2000

Gay Guide Vallarta Publishes Online Website

Diana DeCoste opens up Diana’s Tours, a lesbian owned boat tour company. 

2001

Bar Frida opened in its first location, at 361 Lazaro Cardenas

Blue Chairs Gay Hotel remodels and reopened  in May

2002

Paul Crist purchased what is now known as Hotel Mercurio

La Noche Nightclub and Bar opened in January

Casa Cupula, upscale gay boutique hotel, opens

BeefDip hosts its first small gathering – and will celebrate 20 years in 2024 (taking two years off due to COVID-19)

Garbo’s Piano Bar opens in March

2003

Gay Guide Vallarta Begins to Print Guidebook

Vallarta Enfrenta el SIDA (VES, or Vallarta Confronts AIDS) was founded by Paul Crist. 

gay history timeline

2004

Bar NY (NYPV) opened to much fanfare in March of 2004, and quietly closed in November of 2004. 

2005

Club Mañana opens where the Zenith Condo building is now (corner on Ignacio L. Vallarta)

2008

Vicky Macedo, founder of the first gay bar in Vallarta, dies. 

Divas Bar opens in November 2008

The Swedes Bar Opens

2009

Solidaridad Ed Thomas, AC (SETAC) opened its doors in August

Los Balcones, Vallarta’s first gay bar, closes

Anónimo Bar opened, owned by Dan Bacchus

2010

Puerto Vallarta joined the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association to begin promoting PV as a gay tourist destination

Vallarta Enfrenta el SIDA (VES, or Vallarta Confronts AIDS) closes due to funding issues

Los Equipales Bar opens in what is now the Kooky Karaoke Bar. 

Reinas opens for business

Ampas Neighborhood Association was reinvigorated due to concerns over development in the area. 

Timothy Real Estate Group was created by Carl Timothy.
Timothy had previously been a partner with Administradora de la Bahia/Timothy Fuller & Associates in 1999 along with Aubert C. Dykes, MD, T. Fuller Pentecost, Carl Timothy and John A. Evatz )

gay history timeline

2011

GAYPV Publishes First Issue

Club Mañana closes under mounting financial pressures

CC Slaughter’s Opened in December

Don Pickens and Sid Goodman begin TaxiSafe program, the first official collaboration between PV Police and LGBT community sponsored by Casa Cupula and ANA.  Results in dismissal and removal of PV police officers accused of abusing LBGT tourists.

2012

Nacho Daddy opened along with its upstairs theater

Spartacus Bath House opened in November

Puerto Vallarta Tourism Trust Launches International LGBTQ+ Tourism Campaign

Election of Mayor Arturo Davalos, first Mayor to officially work with the LGBTQ+ community.

Stereo bar closed in 2012. Edgar Sánchez was the owner.  

2013

First Pride Celebration is held in Puerto Vallarta

ACT2PV opened its theater, then known as Act II Entertainment

La Margarita bar opens

In March, 2013, ACT LGBT had its first meeting (please see our story on the history of Vallarta Pride to read more about ACT LGBT, A.C.).  

2014

January 2014, ACT LGBT officially became a civil association.

David Lansley, partner of Paco Ruiz and co-founder of Gay Guide Vallarta, dies

Puerto Vallarta Promotes Tourism at World Pride in Toronto

Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board Joins International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) and becomes first Mexican city to do so. 

Mantamar Beach Club opens; Sapphire Beach Club opens.

Drag Derby, a fundraising event for the Ampas Neighborhood Association, holds its first event during the Pride Celebration week. 

2015

Almar reopened after a  $25 million reimagining and renovation. It had been closed since 2012.

Blondies PV – South Side opened for business

2016

Paco Ruiz, “father of Gay Vallarta” dies

Jalisco became the fourth Mexican state to legalize same-sex marriage, following Chihuahua, Coahuila and Quintana Roo; the capital, Mexico City, also recognizes same-sex marriages.

Los Equipales Bar closes

Mr. Flamingo Bar Opens

2017

Incanto Theater Opened

Out & About PV Begins Online Publishing

2018

Out & About PV Publishes First Print Issue

La ChaChaLaca Chatterbox & Bar opened (formerly Street Car Bar) in October

The Top Sky Bar and Restaurant Opened in March

Mercurio Swim shop opens

gay history timeline
gay history timeline

2019

Mark Page, co-founder of Gay Guide Vallarta Magazine, dies

Industry Nightclub Opens

Los Otros Blondies Opens

2020

La Catrina Cantina opened in May, 2020

2021

Studs Bear/Leather Bar opens

The Corner Bar opens

One Six One opens

Elixir Mixology and Craft Cocktails opens

Blue/Reflections Bar opens

2022

Casa Cupula celebrates its 20th year anniversary by expanding and opening a new pool club area. 

Bar Frida 4.0 (and restaurant) settle into their new (and 4th location) at Venustiano Carranza and Naranjo

2023

The Tunnel Bar Opens

First training of PV police for LGBTQ+ sensitivity

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