The Queen

Showed at Images 10/25/2019–10/31/2019

Starring: Flawless Sabrina, Andy Warhol, Crystal LaBeija

Special Deal! Come see The Queen in drag and get in for $5 + free popcorn!

Our presentation of The Queen is sponsored in part by the Williams College Davis Center. Williams College students admission is free for this film, with student ID.

More than 40 years before RuPaul's Drag Race, this ground-breaking documentary about the 1967 Miss All-American Camp Beauty Pageant introduced audiences to the world of competitive drag. The film takes us backstage to kiki with the contestants as they rehearse, throw shade, and transform into their drag personas in the lead-up to the big event.

Organized by LGBTQ icon and activist Flawless Sabrina, the competition boasted a star-studded panel of judges including Andy Warhol, Larry Rivers, and Terry Southern.. But perhaps most memorable is an epic diatribe calling out the pageant's bias delivered by Crystal LaBeija, who would go on to form the influential House of LaBeija, heavily featured in Paris Is Burning (1990). A vibrant piece of queer history, The Queen can now be seen in full resplendence thanks to a new restoration from the original camera negative.

  • Director: Frank Simon
  • Runtime: 1 hour 8 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“Before Paris Is Burning there was The Queen, Frank Simon’s frank and funny observation of drag life in 1960s New York, which follows the events of the 1967 Miss All-American Camp Beauty Pageant.”

– Los Angeles Times