Secrets of the Penthouse

Dec 19 2017, 3:11 pm

In its 65 years the Penthouse has survived blue-nosed liquor laws, police raids, murders, fires and the lure of the condo developer. It has been a favourite watering hole of celebrity glitterati like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. The only place in Vancouver’s history where a judge, a crime boss and a dancing girl could rub shoulders without an eyebrow being raised. Remarkably, the Penthouse is still in business today. Still owned and managed by the Filippone family, just like in 1947.

Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours are staging nine behind-the-scenes guided tours inside the Penthouse. Secrets of the Penthouse is an evening of history, burlesque and hearty Italian food. Current owner Danny Filippone will lead you on an adventure through the Penthouse’s incredible history as you delve into the secret bars, dressing rooms and hidden spaces that still survive inside the Penthouse today. More information about the event can be found here.

Alongside Danny will be local writer, historian and journalist Aaron Chapman, author of Liquor, Lust and the Law – the hot-off-the-press book that charts the astonishing history of the Penthouse. Aaron will be sharing some of his own favourite stories from the Penthouse’s illustrious history, including his recount of the 1976 court case that put six members of the Filippone family on the stand. A case that shocked and thrilled a wide-eyed Vancouver with its tales of sin and intrigue. Liquor, Lust and the Law shot straight into the top 10 B.C. Bestsellers List in its first week on sale and has stayed there ever since.

What does the evening include?

  • An unprecedented guided tour inside the Penthouse by Danny Filippone and Aaron Chapman. Guests will visit dressing rooms, backstage areas and secret bars. Some of these spaces have never been open to the public before.
  • Personal talk by Danny Filippone through the Penthouse private photo collection.
  • Italian buffet served by Chef Manny, includes spaghetti and meatballs based on Mama Filipponi’s original recipe from the old country.
  • Live burlesque show by Cabaret Torlage.
  • Chance to buy a signed copy of Liquor, Lust & the Law for $18. Save 30 per cent on the store price and it’s signed by Danny and Aaron. Guests can pre-order online or buy at the event.
  • Live exotic entertainment show from 9 p.m. (cover for the show included in the ticket price).

When is it? How much does it cost? How do guests sign-up?

This is an intimate and personal event where guests will explore the Penthouse and hear first-hand from Danny Filippone and Aaron Chapman. Only 80 tickets per event, split over two tour times (6.15 p.m. and 7.15 p.m.). This event is strictly 19-years and over.

Tickets: Tickets can be bought here.

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2013 and then the first Thursday of every month thereafter throughout 2013.

Time: Doors open at 5:45 p.m. and tours at 6:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.
Exotic dancers at 9:00 p.m.

Location: The Penthouse, 1019 Seymour St. Vancouver

Cost: $38 + HST (adult ticket) or $56 + HST (adult ticket + pre-ordered copy of Liquor, Lust & the Law)

Image by R R Horne

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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