In the beginning...
Flicks was the brain child of
Larry Gillis back in 1982. When music videos were becoming mainstream, Larry
wanted to create the first gay video bar in San Diego. When Flicks opened in
February 1983 it was half the size it is now and only had two large screens
which showed music videos, movie clips, comedy skits, and tv shows. Flicks was
an instant hit with the gay community when it opened. The bar would be packed
each night and quickly became a cruisy bar for gay men to meet other gay men.
Every night featured something different and drink specials were always offered.
Many gay men would come and pack the bar each week for shows like Dynasty, The
Colby's, and Designing Women. Since then, Flicks has earned a reputation for
being a major staple in the gay community. In 1992, Larry expanded the bar
(doubling its size) and offered a side bar and a pool table.
Larry was heavily involved with the gay community during the height of the AIDS
crisis, offering many contributions to different AIDS organizations.
Unfortunately, it was AIDS that Larry fell victim to in 1993, leaving his Flicks
legacy to continue in new hands. Since, Flicks has undergone some change in
ownership and was purchased by longtime bartender Nigel Mayer and Joseph Letzkus
. Both Joe and Nigel continued Flicks' involvement within the gay community. Joe
was a member with the Imperial Court de San Diego. Then, Nigel was involved with
Special Delivery - putting on trips to Magic Mountain and the Price is Right. In
1996, Nigel became a co-founder of Ordinary Miracles, which raised over $250,000
for multiple charitable organizations.
Flicks underwent some major remodeling back in 1999 to help it compete with
newly emerging video bars within the community. Through the times, Flicks has
maintained a loyal clientele, while welcoming new patrons with Flicks' extremely
outgoing, professional, and attractive staff. Flicks prides itself on having
something to offer everybody in the gay and lesbian community each night of the
week. Flicks was the first gay bar to offer a lesbian night on Tuesdays back in
2001, challenging a taboo that it was not possible. Many nights became popular
with the community like the Dating Game on Monday nights with local personality
and community leader Nicole. Then there is Wednesdays, which began with $1 well
drinks and South Park and which attract some of Hillcrest's hottest crowds.
Flicks' goal is to ensure that everybody feels welcome and has an enjoyable
time. Flicks main pride is having the largest selection of music videos and the
best comedy skits in town. Flicks also offer pool, video games, NTN Trivia
Challenge and a clean decorative smoking patio - which has the best cruising on
As of November 1st, 2006, Nigel Mayer bought out longtime owner Joe Letzkus, who
is set on retiring. Nigel said that he'd make improvements here and there but no
major changes. This will mark the first time since Flicks creator Larry Gillis
opened the bar that Flicks is back with one full owner.
A few years back, Flicks introduced poker nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays,
which were wildly popular and packed the bar consistently, especially
on Thursdays. Karaoke has also recently become a twice-a-week event in the bar,
on Sundays and Mondays, drawing an energetic and loyal crowd.
While the daily events may change over the years in reaction to the economy and
the needs of the community, one thing never changes at Flicks: we are a bar
designed for everyone, playing some of the greatest music videos in town, and
will always maintain a friendly and welcoming staff.
In September of 2012, Nigel sold
Flicks and moved to Las Vegas to begin a new life with his partner Nich. The new
owners of Flicks, Jeff Jackson and his partner Paul, have owned and operated a
neighborhood sports bar in the Mission Gorge area called JT's. They have brought
fresh new ideas to Flicks, including a wide array of themed drink specials and a
fantastic new Thursday night event called Club Flicker, where a DJ sits on stage
and hot go-go boys dance on boxes.