Monday, April 17, 2017
Heaven and Hell in Soho
At a flea market today this real photographic postcard leapt out at me. A Coffee Lounge in Soho, in Old Compton Street no less, called Heaven and Hell. A simple conceit, the upstairs was heaven and the downstairs hell, with the appropriate decor and a naked male devil complete with forked tail in the downstairs. I couldn't but wonder if I had stumbled on a photo of an early gay hang out. Sadly for that thesis at least, it turns out that it was a fairly mixed clientele. The place was open from the mid 1950s to the mid 1970s and I don't need to bore you here because one of the founders Eric Lindsay has written a very interesting account of the place on his own blog.
I have scanned the postcard fairly large so if you download it to your own computer you should be able to view it in some detail.