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The Palace is saying its final goodbyes to South Beach. Now’s your chance to twirl

"Missy Meyakie Lapaige" , whose real name is Cornelius Boothe, does her act for the crowd during the drag show at Sunday brunch at the Palace Bar, the only gay bar on Ocean Drive, in Miami Beach on Sunday, June 10, 2012.
"Missy Meyakie Lapaige" , whose real name is Cornelius Boothe, does her act for the crowd during the drag show at Sunday brunch at the Palace Bar, the only gay bar on Ocean Drive, in Miami Beach on Sunday, June 10, 2012. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

There’s only one place on Ocean Drive where you can find the perfect drag show.

For almost 30 years, Palace Bar reigned as the pioneer of the drag brunch trend and home to some of the fiercest drag queens. But after July Fourth, its landmark location on the corner of Ocean and 12th Street will officially close.

Popular? On Saturday, Palace owner Thomas Donall posted a quick Facebook video of drag star Elishaly D’witshes carrying on with tourists on Ocean Drive. As of Wednesday, the 39-second video has had more than three million views.

Donall says he negotiated for months with Infinity Real Estate, which bought the building that houses Palace, but they couldn’t reach an agreement to keep the first-floor bar and restaurant.

“The new rent is so high that we’d never survive,” Donall said.

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For Dale Stine, a member of the Miami Beach city LGBTQ Advisory Committee, the Palace was like an old friend he could always count on. Everyone knew that the Palace was the place to meet, he said.

“But now because of greed, it’s not reliable anymore,” Stine said. “It’s sad for me, but it’s even sadder for the community. It signifies the changing of an era. To see it thrive and be this robust bastion of fun then have to leave, it’s sad. Where are all the queens going to go when they leave the Beach?”

To say goodbye to the old building, the fiercest of all drag queens will return to the Palace for one last traffic-stopping show called a “Large And In Charge T-Dance Starring Latrice Royale.”

Before Royale became a national superstar on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” she was the bar’s reigning queen. It was a video of her performing “You Make Me Feel Good” at the bar that got her noticed by RuPaul, she said.

latrice royale
Tiffany Fantasia, Latrice Royale and Champagne Bordeaux, entertainers at The Palace on Ocean Drive, attend the Miami Beach Planning and Zoning board meeting on Tuesday. STEVE ROTHAUS

Thursday night, she’ll be back on the beach to say goodbye the best way she can.

“I wish I was coming back under better circumstances. It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “It’s become a South Beach icon. All over the world, they know the Palace.”

Royale admitted she’s worried that a new location — still not settled on — won’t be the same.

“There’s no other place that offers a show like that,” she said.

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IF YOU GO

What: Large and In Charge T-Dance starring Latrice Royale

When: 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday

Where: Palace Bar 1200 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach

Cost: Free admission

What: The Last Dance Block Party

When: 4 to 11 p.m.

Where: Palace Bar 1200 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach

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