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Parents: night - club

Varieties: discotheque - juke joint - music halls - cabaret

Peppermint Lounge, photo unidentified


A nightclub (often dance club or club, particularly in the UK) is an entertainment venue which does its primary business after dark.

Nightclubs are always associated with music and have a dance floor, however small: a drinking establishment without music is a saloon or bar, a pub or a tavern. Though a nightclub may have a floor show or other entertainment unsuitable for minors, the music, dancing and socializing of a night club are secondary in a "strip joint". Music may be live or mixed by a DJ, and can range from jazz or blues to electronic music styles such as drum and bass, house, trance or techno.

Gatherings in nightclubs which primarily involve music mixed by a DJ involve dancing and in most cases alcohol. Illegal use of recreational drugs such as ecstasy is commonplace in many modern clubs featuring electronic dance music. Clubs are oftened advertised by the handing out of flyers on the street, in record shops, and at other clubs and events, they are often highly decorative and eye-catching.

Nightclubs often feature lighting and other effects: flashing lights of many colors, moving light beams and smoke machines. One common item is a disco ball: a rotating football-sized ball at the ceiling, covered with many small flat mirrors, with a light beam directed on it; the reflections form a multitude of moving light spots on the floor and on the people. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightclub [Jul 2004]


In the U.S., the repeal of Prohibition in February 1933 sparked the revival of nightclubs, which had gone underground, as speakeasies. In New York City, three famous midtown nightclubs from the "Golden Age" were the Stork Club, El Morocco and the Copacabana, while uptown in Harlem the Cotton Club was king.

The first rock and roll generation did not favor nightclubs, but the club returned in the 1970s as the "disco", from the French discothèque (although by the early 2000s, the term "disco" had largely fallen out of favor). Two early discos in New York were 'Le Club' and 'Regine's'. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightclub [Jul

Stork Club () - Ralph Blumenthal

Stork Club: America's Most Famous Nightspot and the Lost World of Cafe Society () - Ralph Blumenthal [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

F. Scott Fitzgerald, Errol Flynn, Rita Hayworth, Ernest Hemingway, Helen Keller, Marilyn Monroe, John and Jacqueline Kennedy, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor--the list of regulars who patronized New York's exclusive Stork Club is a who's who of early- to mid-20th century society. But this lively, resonant account from Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Blumenthal (Once Through the Heart, etc.) of the club's rise and fall is more than an exercise in name-dropping. At its heart, it's the story of Sherman Billingsley, the Oklahoma bootlegger who opened the Stork during Prohibition and spent the next four decades keeping gangsters and unions at bay while coddling every rich, influential and famous person he could, plying them with gifts ranging from pure-bred puppies to perfume (called Cigogne, French for "stork"). Billingsley, who served time in Leavenworth for bootlegging, wound up in New York on the heels of one of his convict brothers. There he continued bootlegging (hiding behind his legit business as a drugstore owner) and made a name in real estate before opening the Stork. Media savvy and skilled at mar-keting, Billingsley had a knack for befriending the right people, among them gossip columnist Walter Winchell, who held court at the club for years. The Stork flourished during pre- and postwar years--an era captured vividly by Blumenthal (and well illustrated with a rich supply of period photos). The disillusionment that blanketed the U.S. after the Kennedy assassination, however, heralded the end of those heady times, which Blumenthal colorfully brings back to life in all their glamour. But the pleasant haze of nostalgia he creates (in telling details such as the 14-karat gold chain inside the club's door) doesn't obscure the ugly union-busting actions that helped bring the club down. 75 b&w photos. --via Amazon.com

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