Credit: Chris Gulker; Herald Examiner Collection, 1988
Also known as "Men's Action Center"
"MAC’s was a private club for gay men that sat inside a 16,000 square foot warehouse complex. Special events were held there, and patrons had access to complete bath facilities. The features included an indoor/outdoor lounge, food, and beverage canteen, a TV room, a college-style locker room, a steam room, public and private showers, private rooms, community areas, a movie theater, specialty rooms, and a jacuzzi. As for the special events, MAC’s had a large party/ dance space with an adjoining lounge, private restrooms, storage rooms, and a multi-purpose loading dock area. Members were able to enjoy the dances thrown as well as these special events.
MAC’s in Silverlake tried to improve the lives of queer people by offering self-defense classes. This was because violent crime, especially against gay men, was increasing rapidly — the L.A.P.D. recorded 130 sexuality-related homicides in 1980 alone, and MAC's wanted gay men to feel a stronger sense of confidence, security, and safety. By taking these classes, gay men would learn vital safety skills such as assessing dangerous situations quickly, developing proficiency in simple holds, locks, and punches, using evasive moves and counters and situational techniques for unique situations, such as more than one attacker. The instructor for this course was an experienced martial arts master with national recognition and over 20 years of experience, who was also sensitive to the needs of gay men. He would not teach programmed violence, resistance with force, or the use of aggression." - ONE Archives
"The private rooms at Mac’s Bathhouse in Silver Lake are a hot ticket on Saturday nights. Well-dressed men with gym bags start arriving at the labyrinth-like club before sunset, and by early evening a “No Vacancy” sign dangles beneath a stern AIDS warning posted on the cashier’s window, signaling that the 50 personal cubicles are taken.
Those who come later are forced to accept semi-private accommodations. As they trade their street clothes for towels and settle into bunk beds, steam rooms and each other’s arms, a gay pornographic movie plays silently on a television and an empty Jacuzzi burbles near the rounded walkway known as the tunnel of love." - L.A. Times
Once considered the "Cadillac of bathhouses," Mac's was ordered to close in 1988 in a new enforcement of stringent regulations restricting sexual activity at gay bathhouses.
Chris Gulker; Herald Examiner Collection, 1988