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Is This the End of Richmond Goth?

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So Gothic is history again. Black trench coats may soon become retro. And wearing fake fangs and yellow-tinted contact lenses, at least in Richmond, is becoming as rare as it was when Danger and some friends started their dance night eight years ago.

That first Halloween at the 1708 Social Club in Shockoe Bottom (now After Six) drew a mixed crowd. Most dressed strangely for the occasion, some in costume for the holiday and some in their everyday wear. Yet they couldn't come together on the dark, foreboding dance music, even on All Hallows Eve. "Some people were very confused about the genre," Danger recalls.

Others loved it. After surviving many moves and venue closings, Revelations' popularity peaked during its late-'90s run at Twisters on Grace Street. But between the closing of Twisters in the spring of 2001 and the address' reopening the following year as Nine Twenty Nine, Revelations lost some steam — and much of its attendance.

Danger knew it was over when turnout dwindled to between 10 and 20 patrons a week during the past few months. What's perplexing, he says, is that his Tuesday night version in Norfolk is still going strong.

Then again, The Abyss, a Norfolk club and Gothic haven, recently closed, notes Dayna Cleveland-Cobb, 30, owner of The Asylum, a Gothic and bondage clothing store located across the street from Nine Twenty Nine. She's also noticed "a lot fewer people in the Richmond area involved in the Gothic scene," which has affected her business "a little bit." Her current plans for the store include "broadening into other markets."

Danger plans to re-style the dance night as Plastique for the following Thursday. But that means even if you just figured out what Gothic was all about, now you'll have to get started on the new fashion, electroclash. What's a good death without rebirth, anyway? — Wayne

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