The Penthouse Nightclub on Seymour Street is Vancouver’s most notorious venue.
Opened in 1947 by the Filippone family, the Penthouse flouted liquor laws for more than two decades.
Though Prohibition in B.C. ended in 1921, arcane liquor laws kept a tight rein on public drinking, right up until 1968 – the same year the Penthouse finally got its liquor license.
Until then, patrons hid their drinks during vice-squad raids by the Vancouver Police Department.
With open attitudes and a fun atmosphere, the club soon attracted a dedicated following, with more than a few notable patrons. It was a favourite watering hole of celebrity glitterati like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
Secrets of the Penthouse takes audiences behind the scenes to the private rooms and closed-off spaces where entertainment history was made.
Club owner Danny Filippone regales guests with tales of vice squad busts, mobsters, bootlegging, Rat Pack parties, fire and murder.
Filippone is joined by special guests Aaron Chapman and Grant MacDonald. Chapman, a Vancouver historian and author, literally wrote the book on Penthouse history. MacDonald, a retired cop from the VPD, used to raid the club in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
This holiday season, Forbidden Vancouver is running a special Christmas edition of its classic Penthouse tour.
The event includes an Italian buffet dinner, featuring spaghetti and meatballs cooked to Mama Filippone’s family recipe. Audiences can enjoy their meal along with a live performance by Cabaret Torlage. For the December 10 event, the troupe will be doing their special Christmas-themed cabaret – “The Santa Show.”
Two tickets to Secrets of the Penthouse: Christmas Edition, including:
- Guided tour by Danny Filippone, Aaron Chapman and Grant MacDonald
- Chance to see private spaces and rooms inside the club, closed to the public for decades
- Live entertainment by Cabaret Torlage
- Italian buffet dinner served-up with Mama Filippone’s original spaghetti and meatballs recipe from the old country
- Opportunity to buy a signed copy of Liquor, Lust & the Law, written by Aaran Chapman and nominated for the 2013 BC Book Prize – you can buy your copy at the event for $20 including GST, saving 25 per cent off the retail price
- Free entry into the club
*Prize valued at $98
Forbidden Vancouver is giving away a prize package of two Secrets of the Penthouse tickets to one lucky individual! Tickets include a guided tour, live entertainment by Cabaret Torlage, Italian buffet dinner and free entry to the club. To enter, you must do at least one of the following:
1. Retweet the following on Twitter: (1 entry)
- Win 2 tickets to Secrets of the Penthouse tour with @Forbidden_Tour via @VancityBuzz http://ow.ly/ENYdI RT to enter!
2. Leave a comment below telling us why you want to go to the Secrets of the Penthouse event. (1 entry)
Contest ends on November 27 at 11:59 p.m. One winner will be selected at random.
- Date: December 10, 2014
- Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m., Tours at 6 and 7:15 p.m.
- Location: The Penthouse Nightclub, 1019 Seymour Street
- Cost: $49 – Purchase your tickets here
*Must be 19 or older. Prize winner may not receive cash redemption equal to the value of the prize in lieu of the prize.