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Cooper's Do-Nuts

547 S. Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
1950 1969

"Way back in 1958, at Cooper's Donuts on Main Street, a favorite after-hours hangout in Los Angeles' downtown, two cops ostensibly checking I.D., a routine harassment, arbitrarily picked up two hustlers, two queens, and a young man just cruising and led them out. As the cops packed the back of the squad car, one of the men objected, shouting that the car was illegally crowded. While the two cops switched around to force him in, the others scattered out of the car. From the donut shop, everyone poured out. The police faced a barrage of coffee cups, spoons, trash. They fled into their car, called backups, and soon the street was bustling with disobedience. Gay people danced about the cars." - John Rechy

The date of the riot has since been corrected to May 1959. The riot was said to have cause Main St. to be closed for a day.

Main St. and the surrounding area was home to several clubs and bars popular with gays - the Biltmore, Brass Rail, Cellar (521 S. Main), Crown Jewel (754 S. Olive), Harold's 555 Club (555 S. Main), Jolie's, Maxwell's, Numbers, 326 (326 S. Spring), Waldorf, and Burbank (548 S. Main). There were also numerous small eateries, one of which was Cooper's Do-Nuts, a 24 hour coffee and donut spot popular with a clientele comprised in part of multiracial trans people and hustlers. The network of gay hangouts came to be known as "The Run."