A new edition of the colourful history of Vancouver's Penthouse Nightclub, which celebrates its seventieth anniversary in 2017.
The after-hours watering hole for the famous and infamous, the Penthouse was opened in 1947 by brothers Joe, Ross, Mickey, and Jimmy Filippone and soon became the place to see and be seen in Vancouver in the 1950s and '60s. Acts like Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole, and Duke Ellington regularly performed on the Penthouse stage, and audiences often included visiting stars such as Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, Gary Cooper, and many others.
In the 1970s, the Penthouse became infamous for its exotic dancers. Its colourful, lurid history now encompassed vice squads, politicians, judges, and con men, culminating in the murder of Joe Philliponi, known as the "Godfather of Seymour Street," in 1983. However, through decades of evolving social mores and changing cultural styles in a city constantly trying to reinvent itself, the Penthouse somehow survived, a testament to its history and the fortitude of the Filippone family that still owns it.
This second edition includes a new chapter on how the original book revived interest in the club and its storied past, and what the future holds in store. There are also newly unearthed historical photographs, and even some traditional Italian recipes from the Filippone matriarch.
Rife with nostalgia and just a hint of scandal, Liquor, Lust, and the Law reveals a glamorous and slightly naughty view of historic Vancouver after dark.
Aaron Chapman is a writer, historian, and musician with a special interest in Vancouver's entertainment history. He is the author of The Last Gang in Town, the story of Vancouver's Clark Park Gang; Liquor, Lust, and the Law, the story of Vancouver's Penthouse Nightclub, now available in a second edition; and Live at the Commodore, a history of the Commodore Ballroom that won the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award (BC Book Prizes) in 2015. He lives in Vancouver.
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