#5 – Parliament House – Yelp (1960’s motor lodge and one of the oldest gay resorts and entertainment complexes in the U.S.)
If you’ve ever driven down Orange Blossom Trail, you know the iconic neon sign. But you may not realize the Parliament House was once part of a chain of motor inns with locations in other cities including Cocoa Beach, FL and Birmingham, AL.
When the Orlando site opened in the 1960’s, the area was a destination for tourists seeking a warm escape from winter weather and visiting Florida east or west coast beaches.
A 1962 New York Times article about Orlando’s growing appeal as a resort town noted the opening of the new 120 room Parliament House. The Times reported that Central Florida visitors were enjoying rockets and “other paraphernalia of the Space Age” at the Martin Marietta plant tour and the city’s “new showplace,” Colonial Plaza, the largest shopping destination in the Southeast.
Since 1975, Parliament House has operated as a gay resort and entertainment complex. And has stood the test of time. The gay community it serves changed drastically since the seventies and the surrounding area no longer attracts tourists.
Seemingly unstoppable, P’House continues to endure offering disco dancing, drag shows, theater events, and stiff drinks as it has for nearly 40 years.
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