Secretroom has hosted in several venues in the Atlanta area, generally focusing on one or two at a time. In the mid 1990s, it found a home at 688 on Spring St., and later at The Chamber, Atlanta's premier goth nightclub at the time. After the close of the Chamber in mid-2000, Secretroom moved to The Masquerade on North Avenue for several years, hosting "SIN" nights every Friday or Saturday, further developing its trademark stage shows and cage dancers, notably the Sexual Surrealists. When Underground Atlanta opened The Future in mid-2004, an immense cyberpunk-themed club venue, Secretroom turned its attention there, holding events every Saturday night until the unexpected close of Future in December 2005. "The Scene", as it was sometimes called, drifted aimlessly for a brief period, returning to the Masquerade but without much direction, until the Chamber re-opened as The Jungle, located in the same warehouse on Cheshire Bridge Road in Atlanta's midtown. Through 2007, Secretroom's "DV8" events were held nearly every Friday night at The Jungle, and "Underworld" nights most Saturdays at The Masquerade. Secretroom now promotes "Electrohurtz" the second Friday of the month at The Mark.
Secretroom holds fast to a "club" atmosphere, with house DJs including Jennocide and Caz10, though other DJs from across the country are brought in for special occasions. The music tends towards futurepop, ebm, synthpop, industrial and darkwave genres.
While a large part of the focus is on the music, dancing, and social aspects that accompany any club, there are several things that set Secretroom apart from the typical nightclub.
First, Secretroom events are known for their stage shows, usually held once or twice during the night. These shows are fetish and BDSM themed performance art pieces which feature heavily stylized play acting, music, and actors/dancers in short presentations meant to appeal to the target demographic. These shows may feature flogging, whipping, visual storytelling, suspension shows, live piercings, fire play, rope or other types of bondage, and are usually tied to some theme or storyline.
Additionally, Secretroom is very integrated with artists in "the scene", such as erotic and fetish photographers, leather or chainmail artisans, and fashion designers and models. Art galleries are often set up somewhere in the venues, often heavily promoted, and various vendors are permitted to set up shop in designated areas, plying wares and education of interest to goths and other subcultures. Body painters, boot blackers, and others are not uncommon to be on hand on any night, offering their services and handiwork.
The goth, fetish, and leather community being fairly tight-knit, Secretroom is also known for its insularity. While few are ever turned away at the door of public events, "tourists" -- those looking for a normal "clubhopper" atmosphere and not part of the gothic community -- are well-tolerated but treated with some bemusement by the regulars.
Secretroom is often "themed" in various ways, announced through a multitude of channels including myspace and livejournal postings, flyers, and general word-of-mouth. These themes suggest a manner of costume or dress for the evening, and cover a wide range of possibilities, such as "Heroes & Villains", "Angels & Demons","Frightmare Before Christmas", "Droogs", plus various movie-themed events from The Matrix to Mad Max. Costume is never mandatory but highly encouraged, and lends a unique atmosphere to the experience.
Secretroom has a number of in-house stage dancers, both female and male, who perform on stage and mingle with the crowd to facilitate socialization. These dancers have become part of Secretroom's trademark and help set the "vibe" of an event, as well as being visual eye candy. They are often also participants in the occasional flogging, whipping, or bondage demonstrations and performances both on stage and in the unofficial scenes that often take place over the course of a night.
Special nights are held in coordination with events of import to the goth and fetish community, such as the Skintwo Pre-Party before the Rubberball in London, or annual "Kinky Prom" productions. Secretroom is also the official afterparty venue of many concerts held in Atlanta, such as KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, VNV Nation, and many others. Many musical acts of note have performed live at secretroom events, including Anders Manga and The Crüxshadows.
Although Secretroom bills itself as "Recess For Adults", and events are highly sexual or erotic in nature, it is important to note that Secretroom is not a swing club. Nudity is not allowed; even stage performers and dancers must comply with Atlanta's local statutes. Independent photography is also discouraged, as official photographers and videographers are brought in and sanctioned through the management.
The "meat market" atmosphere typical of many nightclubs is notably subdued at Secretroom, despite the nature of the events. This may be due in part to a large number of regular attendees already being aware of each other, with few "casual" passerby, along with the focus on the performances and artwork in addition to the usual dancing and drinking.
Attire is an eclectic mix of leather, vinyl, fetish gear, and formal, along with various costumes, hairpieces, and whatever theme may be occurring on a given night. As with many goth clubs, it is not at all unusual to see some people in form-fitting or revealing leather and PVC clothing, and others in suits or other formal clothing, with still others in collars, chains, or other accroutements of the BDSM lifestyle.