Saturday, May 17, 2014

Croc-A-Dyke Dundee

 A new film has been released on DVD charting the life of the legendary woman about town Dawn O'Donnell who died in 2007.
O'Donnell became an international skating star in her 20s before returning to Sydney to open one of the cities first gay bars in 1968, the Trolley Bar off Broadway. It was one of many that were to follow mainly in the Darlinghurst area and Oxford Street- Jools, Capricios, Ruby Reds and Patches along with steam baths, sex shops and pubs. Blessed with a canny business ability and extraordinary good luck: many of her night spots were inexplicably burnt down as the public tired of them while O'Donnell had sensibly taken out generous insurance policies.                                                                     
She partnered in some venues with the late 'Mr Sin' Abe Saffron (above right) and the French nightclub owner Roger Claude Teyssedre who passed away from AIDS. Teyssedre's lover who was suspected of smothering Roger Claude and who inherited his fortune was mysteriously murdered 2 years after Teyssedre's death. O'Donnell's Imperial Hotel was the setting for scenes in the film Priscilla Queen of The Desert. The DVD is available at the Tool Shed at 81 Oxford St. Darlinghurst.