The Pink Pussy Cat
The Pink Pussy Cat. 7969 Santa Monica Blvd.
In 1961, "The Pink Pussycat College of Striptease" opened its doors at 7969 Santa Monica. It was playfully referred to as "The Navel Academy". Among the courses of higher learning offered were:
“The History and Theory of the Striptease”
“The Psychology of Inhibitions”
“Applied Sensual Communication”
"Elementary Bumps and Grinds"
"Controlling the Structural Components of the Anatomy"
“Dynamic Mammary, Navel and Pelvic Rotation and Oscillation”
"Fundamentals of Taking It Off"
"Methodology of Teasing, Tantalizing and Titillating"
The Dean of the College of Striptease was Sally Marr - Lenny Bruce's mother! And it was a favorite watering hole of the Rat Pack, and for good reason. Mrs. Schiller shrewdly gave her dancers stage names like Fran Sinatra, Samya Davis Jr., Deena Martin and Peeler Lawford, and the originals soon showed up to inspect their namesakes.
TIME also covered the story in November '61.
The Pink Pussycat - burlesque house that was located in Hollywood was one of the most successful, celebrated and profusely feathered nightclubs of its era. Located near the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, the club was a popular destination of tourists and locals alike, known for its glittering stage shows and equally glittering celebrity clientele.
It was a favorite watering hole of the Rat Pack, and for good reason. Mrs. Schiller shrewdly gave her dancers stage names like Fran Sinatra, Samya Davis Jr., Deena Martin and Peeler Lawford, and the originals soon showed up to inspect their namesakes.
The club was also internationally famous for its attached institution of higher learning, the Pink Pussycat College of Strip Tease, familiarly called the Navel Academy of the West.
With the decline of burlesque theaters in the postwar years, a wave of more respectable if scarcely less naked establishments rushed in to take their place. Perhaps the best known of these was the Pink Pussycat, which literally embodied the transition between the seamy bump and grind of the burlesque house and the upscale gentlemen’s club of today. (you can read the entire article on the comment below post by Mark :)In the late ’70s it turned into a discotheque renamed Peanuts. And today it's known as Club Voyeur housed in the same building.
Hi there. Just stumbled on your blog post after reading this New York Times obituary of the woman who ran the Pink Pussycat club. Thought you might be interested in it.ReplyDelete
thank you Mark!ReplyDelete
Thanks Mark. I also found this fantastic article written for TIME MAGAZINE, dated 1961. Enjoy!ReplyDelete
My cousin Lori Lauren worked at the Pink Pussycat in the late sixties early seventies I hitchhike from Cape Cod to Hollywood and spent a lot of time at the Pink Pussycat I remember Alice Ice to go in the back room where all the girls were changing it's like a second home I met Oscar Cartier there we started VIP shows together and we used to send strippers on the circuit through the Far EastDelete
I worked at 7969 when it was Peanuts (Lesbian Bar) from 1982 until 1997. I remember one night finding a whole box of "Pink Pussycat" matches behind the bar in the back room. Alice Schiller was still there in 1982-83 and would bring the drag queens and performers sodas. She was a class act. Harry was there alot too until his nephew Josh took over managing the place. Lots of good times in that place. The 1980's were still fun. That whole area is so phony and pretentious now and the people who live around there are even worse. I love your blog the rare photos are a treat.ReplyDelete
I worked for Alice and Harry right after they gave up on the burley-q and tried being a Levi's disco bar and failed. I was DJing there, and also covered the door when Mitch Shaysky was spinning. The place was a huge failure, not even getting any business out of the French market (now closed). Why would they? She had the guy who designed 386 N, (former Paradise Ballroom), which was ANOTHER failure, but Sanchez turned it into Probe later on. She found a willing constituency in the girls, who only had Butch and Earl's The Palms, and that was a small juke joint at the time. Alice was sort of goofy for work for; she'd blame ANYTHING that went wrong around there on the gay boys, including thefts, which were actually done by a longtime employee, a black guy, who hated the gays coming in. I knew Josh, and my partner and I used to run around with him and this ex-hooker off of Sunset, who later wound up working at the Rusty Nail...PREGNANT, the result of a sex party at the badtender's place one night. Oh gawd, those were the days.Delete
Your photos are like going back in time.
I wish I could really go back in time ...
To 1960's Los Angeles.
George Vreeland Hill
I remember my dad taking me out for a men's night on the town on my 21st birthday. Drinks at the Luau, dinner at Mr. Chow's, and the rest of the evening at the Pink Pussycat...ringside seats, of course!ReplyDelete
Very informative post, I live in UK and feel we miss out a lot as all the major bookish events occur in the US. Even the events that do occur over here would be impossible for me to attend so I have to make do with making individual, personal connections.ReplyDelete
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My friend's mom worked there many years agoReplyDelete
it was my mom, dynamiteDelete
it was my mom, dynamiteDelete
My best friend took me there on my 21st birthday in 1967...Still remember the pink feathers in my hair...What a great time I had..ReplyDelete
Valeted, Greeter, and Doorman - 67-68 @ Pink...parties @PJ's ... after-hour spots along the the strip - Body Shop, Whiskey...also, on La Cienaga - original Lawry's...hidden "Rat Pack" Joints, and places long gone. Nice trip back (y) thanksReplyDelete
Hi I'm Lori Lauren she work there in the sixties around the same time you did at the time the MC I think was Jack if you remember Oscar Cartier or is real name Oscar Lopez him and I started VIP shows and we used to send strippers to the Far East on a circuit you remember Danny Maxwell Marty Ingels Rhett Butler Dale lord of the guys that used to hang around thereDelete
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