OSKO'S nightclub located at 333 South La Cienega.


Osko's: The holy grail of the disco clubs in Los Angeles.


This futuristic 60s design looked like very reminiscent of the LAX Theme building or the Ticket office at POP looked almost like a space ship had landed at the Intersection of La Cienega and San Vicente. 

This was the club used in the movie "Thank God It's Friday". That place was so much fun. The dancing, the beautiful people, the energy!!!! I remember dancing here during it's final days in the late 90s when it became a rock club. And now, like everything else, it's a discount high- end Loehman's department store. Cheap.... we need the high life again!

OSKO'S on La Cienega.The OKSO'S building was many incarnations before. First starting with The Gas Light in 1963


And then The Millionaires Club in 1965. This time they added drapes to the claw. enormous chandelier that was visible from the street, that would brightly announce the Millionaires Club.


Then 1520 AD in the mid 1960s - back to its original white




A few years later during the psychedelic era, this building got a wild make over for CLIMAX II in 1969. The murals blended right into the landscape and only lasted one year and took 7 months to get it back to it's original color. I can't imagine how many gallons of paint that must have taken.



This building also sat just south of The Captains Table - now Loehmann's department store.



An article on the artists that painted the murals.







An Osko's napkin - ebay score!







What a shame they tore down that Mid Century Masterpiece and put up a god awful ugly building in it's place.



Does any one know of any other incarnations of this building or have any knowledge of what each club was like? Would love to hear your stories. I am forever fascinated with it.




Alison Martino is a writer, television producer and personality, and L.A. pop culture historian. She founded the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles in 2010. In addition to CityThink and VLA, Martino muses on L.A’s. past and present on Twitter and Instagram and on her website, alisonmartino.com

Alison is also currently a columnist for Los Angeles Magazine.

Comments

  1. Your blog makes me long for a time machine. Seriously. I don't get why Hollywood/LA seems to be so dead set against it's own history. I'm drooling over these pictures. I want to go there and I can't anymore than I can go to The Brown Derby. (And I REALLY want to.)

    Best I can do is go to La Cave here in Costa Mesa. According to the whiners on Yelp it's "stuck in the '70s." But I think the place is awesome because of that.

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  2. Alison, it has been great discovering this blog and your Facebook page - just wish I'd done so sooner! I wrote a book last year, 'Bedpans & Bobby Socks', about my mother's eventful road trip across the States with four friends and fellow British nurses in the late 1950s which included a spell living in Los Angeles just off the Strip. They could see the back of Dino's from their window and watch the waiters having a cigarette during their breaks, so it was good to be able to see the front view from your pictures. Though the girls were working all hours, they still managed to rub shoulders with various Hollywood stars during their time there! Got a box full of memorabilia from LA and all over - must try to sort it out sometime.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Barbara, I'd love to hear about your box full of memorabilia from LA
      I'd love it if you would share some pictures of some of the items.

      larry at wichstand dot com is an email address for a drive in 1000's of us use to hang out also I have a wichstand site on facebook

      Thanks for sharing

      Larry
      larry@wichstand.com

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    2. Oh yes,OSKO'S, my first time there was June 1974, my high school after prom. Then a few years later maybe 1977.By then it was the place to be. To show off your car ,your rags, your woman and your dance skills.
      Thanks so much for this and other trips to memory lane.

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    3. im also interested in this. Are there any pics or videos of the club when it was active? i have the movie, thank god its friday on vhs , and i still watch it. Was the dj booth really a bowl with 2 hands holding ot up? im a huge huge fan of this....please email me at carterwill63@yahoo.com
      id love to reminise about this....

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  3. The only thing I can add is that my friend Val Landsburg was in "Thank God It's Friday" and one of the best times I ever had was watching the movie with her while she did a running commentary about the behind the scenes of it all!!!

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  4. Just found your wonderful blog. By the way, nice Facebook tributes to the Beverly Hills Hotel! :-)

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  5. Used to go to Osko's in the late 80s. Had some great times there... Thanks for these pics, good stuff.

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    1. Used to work in the Beverly Center parking lot and passed by Osko's every night on my way home in the 80's. Never went in though.

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    2. My sister and I used to drive to Osko's in the mid 80's from the bay area about once a month. It was sheer MAGIC. Wish I could upload pics here... :o)

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    3. Early 80s was there all the time!!!! Every weekend we would all meet up there and party, worked at Osko's as a cocktail waitress for a brief time too. I am still friends with a few of the people that I knew form there.
      What happened to Osko the owner? Is he still around? I have MANY STORIES!
      We would party at Oskos than after hours we would go to the Odyssey and dance til morning.
      ameriswed@cox.net

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    4. Oskos also used to have a comedy club downstairs that was popular. Went there 1979-1982 I am thinking.
      Ameriswed@cox.net

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    5. I went to that club in the mid-70's to the early 80's, first when it was called the Climax II and then renamed Oskos. The Comedy Club downstairs was called The Cave. Many now well-known comedians practiced their comedy material there late at night, such notables like Pablo aka Paul Rodriguez, and a slew of others from the nearby Comedy Store and Improv. It was the place to be back then for dancing, dating,networking, and comedy. Loved that club. I was a weekly regular with my girlfriends. Lots of history!
      Celeste Mitchell

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  6. Love this blog..... great memories <3

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  7. I just finished watching "Thank God It's Friday" and it made me reminisce about when I used to go there in the 80's. They used to have a night for young teenagers right before all of that area became the Beverly Center. Then I ended up working at the Broadway in the Beverly Center when I was in high school.

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  8. ~Smile...Thanks For Helping Me Relive..My Many Fun Weekend At "Osko's"...In 1979-1980..Much Younger Then and So Many Good Times..I Was Actually Looking For Info On The "Comedy Cave",Located In The Basement Level...So So Many Good Acts Got Their Early Start There...Thanks Again,For Making Me Feel Young Again...Freespirit Vargas....

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    Replies
    1. I agree a lot of memories! Good Times! I do not know how I even found this post but I am happy I did.
      ameriswed@cox.net

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    2. I used to go here weekly for about 5 years and it was always our starting place. Like others above, we'd close this place down then head over to Odyssey for after hours. After that it was down to Beverly Hills Cafe where everyone went to eat after a long fun night. Great times!! Osko is still in L.A. and owns gas stations among other things.

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  9. Dennis ColavecchioMay 7, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    no one has mentioned Cabaret and the something lounge Cabaret came after 1520 AD was very hot for a while remember they had 2 dance floors main round one with the balcony that looked down on it then the smaller square one under the balcony where everyone used to line dance yes and there was the cave you took the elevator down to was small area small bar very dark. then the lounge room where many started in old LA , then they closed it for a while so the studio could do it over as the Zoo for TGIF was in the movie also dancing by Donna who was sooo nice we talked for awhile RIP and outside in parking lot and I think that ended Cabaret during the time people went to Cabret Studio did one of Its first renovations invited everyone to a free night to be in a scene with the Village People for the movie Can't Stop The Music I hooked up with Randy something the original cowboy and a friend hooked up with Glen Hughes leather man oh! being in W HLWYD in the very beginning was soo awsome

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  10. I went there when it became Cabaret with a Cerwin Vega bi-amped sound system with 2 QRK turntables. The DJ booth was in the center on the floor. This was 1975. I remember spinning there. Howard Metz and Louis LaCoste were also resident DJ's. We would play the Earthquake soundtrack at the end of the night for the rumbling effect. We also played a song from soundtrack from Lion In Winter to show off the sound system. Billboard came in and took pictures of me spinning. There were 3 dance floors, one was used for the Hustle or as it was called in other cities "THE L.A. Hustle". I h
    ad many, many good times there (The first time in my life I did a shot of Tequila). The place was all red with the caves pool room downstairs. After mismanagement the place was closed and reopened as UP, which didn't take off.

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    1. Hi Marc,
      Not sure I remember you or if you were also one of the DJs but your facts are pretty close (except the turntables, they were similar but not QRKs) lol.
      Thanks for the memories!
      Regards,
      Howard

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    2. Hi Marc,
      Not sure I remember you or if you were also one of the DJs but your facts are pretty close (except the turntables, they were similar but not QRKs) lol.
      Thanks for the memories!
      Regards,
      Howard

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  11. los angles was no better than any other city most people were lamers and refused to learn to dance , the HUSTLE .

    the best many could was march in a line like a dead zombie !!

    them dirty rock head hippies wanted pot and sitting down not couples dancing.

    saturday night live and them t.v. rock concerts were for the say at home set, you understand that.yes ?

    oscos was one of the very best clubs in l.a. indeed .

    i will take osco`s over dillons west wood any time ..there is no comparison to the room , layout and vib....throw out the la hot club as well . osco`s was the grand place ..

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  12. I moved to Hollywood in 1972 and remember the Medieval Times type place but never went inside. Had forgotten that 333 La Cienega was a glorious Modern structure smack in the middle of Hollywood. this archive breaks my heart but I am so grateful it exists.

    After 1520 AD it became the disco Osko's then I swear it became a grocery store. Am I right? Didn't they keep some of those gorgeous white columns as part of the store's entrance? I can swear I used to shop at a mini mall which featured a portion of the original architecture?

    Does anyone else remember that mall or know where to find pictures of the intersection from 1984 to 1992?

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  13. I remember it well in the summer of 1975. It was called Cabaret and it was the place to go that summer. It took a lot of business away from Studio One for the short time it was Cabaret. The bright spot for me is that I met my partner/husband there on August 12, 1975 and we have been together ever since. Celebrating 38 years together next month! He was doing the Hustle and was the only person who looked like he was having a good time (everyone else was very serious about getting the moves right). What great times were had there that summer!

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    1. Cabaret opened at that location in April, '75. Howard Metz and Mitch Shatsky were DJs. This was after 1540 AD and before Osko's. Cabaret's run was short, but they gave Scott Forbes' Studio One a run for their money during that time. I believe Cabaret was closed by '77 and Osko's opened in '78.

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    2. Hi,
      The other DJ was Lou LaCoste.. the club did super until Ron Larsen sold to.a group of guys the we're never in the club business. They fired a number of people including both managers and ran the club down and out of business in onl 2 months. Was a real pity as this place was amazing. Can't think of another gay club ever quite like it in LA since.
      Howard Metz

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    3. Hi,
      The other DJ was Lou LaCoste.. the club did super until Ron Larsen sold to.a group of guys the we're never in the club business. They fired a number of people including both managers and ran the club down and out of business in onl 2 months. Was a real pity as this place was amazing. Can't think of another gay club ever quite like it in LA since.
      Howard Metz

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    4. I remember going to Cabaret and seeing Charles Pierce performing on stage! Sometime in the 70's. Does anyone remember when it WAS Cabaret? I know (from reading the blog) that it wasn't called Cabaret for very long.

      Delete
  14. I seem to be coming in very late to this site, but maybe someone can answer my questions regarding when it was the Climax.
    I went to this awesome club back in 1971 at the legal age of 21, I now assume shortly before it changed names and "paint" again. I tried researching this club years ago to no avail, but stumbled upon this site last night. I was honestly beginning to think that I dreamt of this club of so long ago and that it was all in my head! As soon as I saw here the shape of this structure and it's corner block position, I knew that I finally found the Climax.
    My question is: I remember there being another downstairs room or two and that all the rooms (3??) were decorated in their own theme. Did I dream that or...?

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    Replies
    1. One more question: I remember one of the themed rooms being a small theater. Am I right or...?

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    2. Hahaha ! I had the same thing happen to me. I was at this club when it was the Climax and could find very little information on it. I was beginning to think I imagined the crazy rooms/lighting. I was thrilled to see the photos and retrospective of this part of La Cienega. Yes, there were rooms downstairs, decorated in their own theme. It was a decadent triumph of the time !

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. I knew the club well as the Climax. It lasted a little over two years. If you are still out there respond and we can share old memories. - Christine

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    5. I have the same type of hazy memory of the Climax. Many rooms, flowing curtains and sex going on, shiny fringe leading to the dance area, a movie theater. Lots of drugs in there too. I was stoned and that could account for much of the haziness. But I know I had never in my life experienced a place like that!

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    6. Another who has a hazy memory of this place as Climax II. The murals outside were incredible. Just started looking for the name of the club...very happy to find this blog and all the comments! Only there once, sometime around early 1970s, was too timid to be in that scene. Prob a popular place to trip on acid, so many visuals. "The Masque of the Red Death" with Vincent Price was playing in the theater the night I went. There was a fantastic (all-nite?) burger stand nearby, poss down La Cienega -- Great American Burger, maybe??? Anyone remember? Thanks for the memory refresher and the history of that building!

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    7. Never was a better after hours club than the Climax! So huge with different stories and rooms. Loved to go following an earlier evening at Gazzarris.
      Blacklights for dancing so lots of white clothing. Piped in soul music but I'll never forget "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" by Isaac Hayes. Free buffet, ice cream cones, sodas. Enter another room and watch old movies in black and white. Walk down some narrow steps to get downstairs where there would be separate open cave rooms with pillows everywhere and couples getting it on. Lots of beautiful black men and gorgeous white females. The good young days...

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  15. There was a very wide range of entertainment that played the club through the years.
    In the early Seventies black supper club acts like The Checkmates LTD used to perform there. In 1976 I remember going there when Rodney Bingenheimer used to do KROQ nights, and then in 1987 there were goth & glam clubs White Trash A Go Go, Zombie Zoo and English Acid.

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  16. I went to the Climax in 1969/1970. You had to be a member or enter as a guest. My girlfriend was a charter member and I count get in on her card. It was FANTASTIC!! There were many rooms. A dining room, an upstairs dance room with live bands, a downstairs "cave" dance floor with a skull for a wall, an upstairs room from there which had nothing but large pillows and man alcoves for "making out", a theater room that showed old b/w movies that had booths all around and large pillows on the floor. The place didn't get going until after 2:00 pm. Then it was packed. There was no alcohol served after 2pm. There was free food. First dinner and much later breakfast. There was a pool table. The place was extremely dark and your eyes had to adjust. You id not know when it became daylight outside until you went outside to go home. We went every weekend. We would get there around midnight and leave around 5:00 am

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  17. WOW THE last time i was there was in 1985 or 86 for the GUNS N ROSES record release party there..Went there to see Joseph Brooks in the DJ booth..That was a lot of fun and the last time i was ever there..The building was amazing and the drinks great too..I think Ricky Rachtman was the promoter that night...Maybe was the Cathouse i think there...Anyways that was good times..Was 20 years old and the world was My oyster. Anyways i remember alot of those hair dudes hangin around but whatever cause i was still rockin and rollin with the other side of the coin in those days...Loads of fun...Peace and keep on rockin..

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  18. In the eighties there was a separate club in the basement. The walls were molded out of concrete in a cavern motif, with stalactites hanging from the ceiling. Everything was white with sparkles, so it all glittered in the light of the disco ball and black light. In 1986 there was a one-night-a-week glam rock club in there called the White Trash A-Go-Go run by a woman named Janis De Soto. Leigh Reynolds was the Maitre 'de with DJ Henry. Bernadette Seacrest was the celebrity cocktail waitress and I worked the door with my partner Spike.

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  19. the last part of the history is when ROLLER disco came and ruined dancing and club life for the few party people.
    yes i say very out loud roller disco was the spike in the heart that buried disco in concret then dumped it under water.
    dead beat los angeles the no fun town,
    go to the strip and pay extra high for one hour of entertainment,

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  20. I have a great many pictures from The Cave, the space Wiz Garber mentioned. Johnny's In the Basement, followed by White Trash. Great weird fun, and good music. DJ Henry, live bands like Jane's Addiction, The Babies, Deathride 69, The Pandoras. I guess Wiz must have doored there after I did - I wasn't a maitre'd, that's for sure. I just took the money and kept the squares out.

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  21. Hello. I watched the movie, "Thank God it's Friday" (1978), and I want to know if there are any memorial of the former nightclub. Also, does anyone knows what will become of the site, since I read online that Loehmann's is closed?

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  22. I remember this club as The Climax too. I went to Crenshaw HS's after prom there in 1971 when it was The Climax. I remember the round couches and pillows downstairs, very cool. Then in the late 70s I loved going there mid week for disco dancing at Oskos. This was the place to be!! And they always played Donna Summer's "Last Dance" at the end of the night. Nice memories.

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  23. I remember this as the Cabaret Club. I've read all the comments and they do jog my dusty memory of the place. I went there in 1976. I thought it was like the Haunted Mansion of clubs in the basement. There were gargoyles on the walls, everything painted black, a lounge area and a big dance floor (like The Cave described earlier). It was very cool at the time; really no place else like it that I experienced. My guess is that I went on Rodney Bingenheimer KROQ night. This was the summer of the Ramones first release so I remember dancing to "Beat on the Brat" a few times, mixed in with the Sex Pistols. This was early in the punk scene in L.A.; one of the first places I know that featured the music and local punk bands. X-Ray Specs was playing that night, though they might not be considered punk.

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  24. It is nice to read all of these comments about the club cabaret that we all danced the night away in our youth. Didn't we have some great times in that place? The Bitterend west ,and the Afterdark were fun but their was something special at Cabaret. I was one of the first bartenders to work for Ron Larsen and Tish at the Cabaret and enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks for bringing great memories back. Ron Larsen got into a bit of trouble and had to sell the clubs

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  25. I think this is the place I saw acts like Joan Jett and Van Halen in the late 70's. Small stage, intimate seating and an amazing venue. I remember it was a round building on La Cienega, South of Hollywood.

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  26. In 1986 I turned the rundown disco into the CATHOUSE. The concept was a rock and roll dance club. I declined having live bands because that wasn't my plan but then several of the Cathouse locals asked to have a record release party. That band was a local LA band by the name of Guns n Roses

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  27. I loved the CATHOUSE! The first time we went there, Riki let us right in because he loved our New York biker bitch style. Good times, killer music! So sad my CATHOUSE tee shirt got stolen.

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  28. In the late 70s/early 80s I saw Iron Butterfly in The Cave. They blew the walls off the club. I have a vague memory of it being called Cabaret, but my time frame would indicate it was OSKOS by then.

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  29. In the late 70s/early 80s I saw Iron Butterfly in The Cave. They blew the walls off the club. I have a vague memory of it being called Cabaret, but my time frame would indicate it was OSKOS by then.

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  30. I had worked for Larsen in Boston at Cabaret After Dark and heard that After Dark in LA burnt down while I was working in Boston. Then the Cabaret After Dark in Boston closed and burnt down. Then I went to Atlanta with them to help open a new club. It got sketchy, I left. I had heard they found a building but then it burnt down. I moved to LA and worked at Cabaret shortly after arriving in August of 75. I ran the follow spot for a few of the shows. I remember Rusty Warren, Jackie Vernon, Craig Russel. Aretha Franklin came to see a show once. To my amazement the club did not burn down this time. I ended up getting a job at the Odyssey as patio security for about six months. I left and got a job at the Backlot. A few years later Odyssey burnt down. I wonder what happened to Larson, Dan Daniels, Tish etc?

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  31. I worked at Osko's as a cocktail waitress. It was so much fun but Osko was a douche bag!

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    1. hi...were you really a waitress at oskos? id love to learn more about the club.....im fascinated

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  32. My Aunt took me to that building when it was 1520 AD restaurant for my 21st birthday. I still have the "gold" medallion they gave me. Afterwards we went to the Whiskey A Go Go. I should mention, my Aunt was only two years older than I was. :)

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