There are three large venues in Moscow that are well-known in the LGBT community: nightclubs “Central Station”, “Three Monkeys” and the Voda Spa sauna. The media consider businessman Ilya Abaturov to be their co-owner. Six months ago, a law “On the Prohibition of LGBT Propaganda” was adopted in Russia, but it seems that it has not yet affected the work of thematic clubs.
In the public domain there are unambiguous photos from these establishments.
What does the law say about banning LGBT propaganda?
The law punishes the promotion and justification of non-traditional sexual relations in the media, the Internet, literature and cinema. There are heavy fines.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs or Rospotrebnadzor should search for LGBT propaganda offline, and Roskomnadzor on the Web. They may involve subject matter experts for evaluation. The reason for checking the thematic club may be the statement of citizens and public associations.
State Duma deputy Nina Ostanina was sure that after the adoption of the law, thematic clubs would be closed.
“By their very existence, such establishments are nothing more than propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations,” she said.
Businessman Ilya Abaturov reacted to her statement, standing up for LGBT-friendly clubs.
– Ostanina – a dying segment, will not last long with such a worldview. Clubs are not designed to cater to gays, lesbians or transgenders. We don’t have a definition of gay clubs. I don’t understand how to close them. Can’t determine what it is. There come people of different orientations. They let everyone in, they don’t discriminate against anyone,” Abaturov said.
However, priority in the “Central Station”, “Three Monkeys” and Voda Spa is given to male guests.
Why are women humiliated at the entrance and not allowed in?! I called the club beforehand, and the manager did not warn me that the entrance would be so harshly denied only because of our gender, the failed visitor to the Central Station is indignant.
“They are misgender, openly transphobic in their social networks, make vile jokes towards women from the stage,” similar comments are left about “Three Monkeys”.
After the adoption of the law, thematic clubs in Moscow began to be cautious, tightened control, afraid to let strangers in.
– The guard asks: “Do you know what this club is?” I answer: “Gay club”. The guard says: “We don’t have this, we have the usual one.” Not recommended for single beginners! — complains one of those who did not pass the face control.
How gay clubs appeared in Moscow
In the LGBT community, 54-year-old Ilya Abaturov is a legendary person. This can be seen at least by the reverence with which the thematic communities congratulate him on his birthday. At the beginning of the 2000s, the press called Abaturov a petrel of the “club blue revolution” and “practically a monopolist in the field of gay leisure in the capital.” They wrote that he hosted famous fashion designers Gianfranco Ferre and Jean-Paul Gaultier, musician Jean-Michel Jarre and film director Francois Ozon as guests of honor.
Abaturov’s career began with work on international cruises. Having made his first capital, he opened the Premiere restaurant in the Moscow House of Actors. The place has become popular among gay Muscovites.
— And then we decided to make a gay club. In 1995 they opened “Three Monkeys”, and a couple of years later – “Central Station,” Abaturov was proud. gay-operated – and gays go there. We must remember our “patriotism.” With us, a gay will always be right in an argument with a straight man, because our club is the only place where gays can be right.
Initially, the “Central Station” was located in an annex to the recreation center on Dubrovka, where the infamous musical “Nord-Ost” was being played. When the terrorists took the hostages, the club did not work, but it was not empty either. In his basement, a film crew of 15 people was making a certain low-budget film. The press then wondered why there was no information about the fate of these people. Abaturov himself said in an interview that the special forces stormed the hall with the hostages from the side of his club and blew up the common wall for this. And he refuted the rumors that the terrorists allegedly stored ammunition in the “Central Station”.
How Abaturov does business and what he owns
Formally, Ilya Abaturov has nothing to do with the clubs he founded since 2015. The old legal entities were liquidated, and new ones were established without his participation. Abaturov still has an individual entrepreneur in the field of commercial consulting and a catering company.
Now “Three Monkeys”, “Central Station” and Voda Spa are managed through the companies “Tulip”, “Narcissus” and “Lotos”. Their total income last year exceeded 340 million rubles. It is not strangers to Abaturov who rule the business according to papers. For example, his dacha neighbor is 38-year-old Danila Filippov.
At one time, Abaturov acquired 60 acres of land in the village of Zelenogradsky near Moscow and built something similar to a “palace of pleasures” there. Two large solid houses, in one of them the mentioned Filippov is registered. There are lush flower beds in the courtyard and a pompous fountain decorated with a lion, in which Abaturov’s pets are splashing: three shepherd dogs and several cats. There is a sauna, a barbecue house, gazebos and the main attraction – an outdoor pool with sun loungers.
“Friends are getting younger,” his followers on social networks joke about Abaturov’s entourage.
If Ilya Abaturov is not at work and not in the Zelenograd estate, he travels. By registration, in a panel house on the outskirts of Moscow, he hardly lives.