With club closed, Magic City finds a way to virtually entertain

The legendary Magic City strip club on Forsyth Street.

Credit: Ryon Horne

Credit: Ryon Horne

The legendary Magic City strip club on Forsyth Street.

With strip clubs added to the list of businesses forced to close due to the coronavirus, one Atlanta staple is getting creative and finding a way to still cash in during the shutdown.

Magic City, which opened downtown in 1985, wrote in a social media post last week that it was closing its doors "until further notice." But the club said this weekend that it will continue to entertain paying customers through its own virtual platform.

Magic City was one of several popular Atlanta strip clubs forced to close over the past week in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The Blue Flame, The Cheetah, the Clermont Lounge and Pink Pony all announced they were shutting their doors, but none have suggested through social media that they were considering virtual entertainment options.

Would-be clubgoers can visit magiccitylive.com and pay $20 a month to register and have access to live and pre-recorded video, Daryl Mapp, the director of branding for Magic City, said Sunday. The site is still under construction, but the club plans to have it up and running this week.

Magic City is well known in the hip-hip world as a top venue of its type in Atlanta. It attracts a mix of locals and visitors, as well as artists looking to try out their latest hits.

All of the dancers will be on the platform, Mapp said, and subscribers will be able to tip and sometimes chat directly with them. An Instagram post advertised  "interactive lap dances" and interactive sets — "everything you'd be able to find at Magic City, without being there," Mapp said.

The venture allows the club’s dancers and staff to still make money while the club is closed. It will also give people who aren’t able to visit Atlanta a chance to have the Magic City experience, Mapp said.

"We don't want to leave our people out, without any options," he said. For those who still want some food from Magic City, the club said on Instagram that the kitchen is staying open with adjusted hours — but there will be no dining in.

In this 2019 photo, Daryl Mapp, director of branding for Magic City, takes a seat on the famous stage of the gentleman's club located in downtown Atlanta. (RYON HORNE / RHORNE@AJC.COM)

Credit: Ryon Horne/AJC

icon to expand image

Credit: Ryon Horne/AJC

Little Darlings, a strip club in Las Vegas, began offering drive-through shows for people who do not want to enter the building during the pandemic, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

For a brief time, Magic City was taking virtual payments in exchange for access to club entertainment over Instagram. But the app approached Magic City and questioned their use of Instagram for direct monetary gain, Mapp said, so the club fully transitioned to its own website.

Mass entertainment through online platforms like Instagram has caught on since the conoravirus forced millions into isolation at their homes. Saturday night, DJ D-Nice led a party over Instagram Live, with 100,000 people tuning in, including Stacey Abrams, Michelle Obama, Missy Elliott, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Stevie Wonder and other big names. #ClubQuarantine quickly became a top trend on Twitter.

Artists like John Legend and Coldplay's Chris Martin have held virtual live concerts online. And last week, Beyoncé fans held a mass rewatch of her Coachella concert documentary "Homecoming," following along together over Twitter.

Staff reporter Ben Brasch contributed to this report.