The legendary Playboy Club is a chain of nightclubs that was originally owned and operated by the Playboy Enterprises. These Clubs were fundamentally Bars with entertainment that featured ‘Playboy Bunnies’ and great performances by some big names in the entertainment industry. The first Playboy Club was opened by Hugh Hefner On February 29th, 1960 inspired by the Chicago chain of Gaslight Clubs which featured girls dressed in velvet one piece "bunny" type costumes, and had live entertainment. That’s how they got the logo of the “Bunny” for their club.
The Playboy club soon became a status symbol. The membership to the prestigious club cost $25, per person and with these earnings the Playboy Club earned $25 million for every 1,000,000 members. Their clubs spanned the globe in the 1960’s and ‘70’s from Chicago and New York to Manila, London, Tokyo and the Bahamas. There were a total of 22 Clubs in operation, employing more than 25,000 Bunnies and had more than a million “Keyholders” or Members. They opened casinos that were more profitable than their magazine. But, like every rise has a fall, this empire too started to decline due to the rise in feminism and a fading nightclub scene which helped to close the last US Playboy Club in Lansing, Michigan, in 1988.
Bonnie Jo Halpin was the very first “door Bunny” on that fateful opening day of the Playboy Club in 1960 in Chicago. She was described as a beautiful, petite brunette with a bubbly personality, a young woman who had grown up at a Catholic Orphanage with her two brothers and sisters. She also appeared on the cover of the Playboy magazine in the October 1962 issue. Bonnie Jo Halpin died at the age of 65 in her West Hollywood apartment in March 31st. She had served as the perfect model for the club’s bunnies, which became the icons of the sexual revolution.
In October 6th 2006, a new Playboy Club was opened in Las Vegas at the top of The Palms new Fantasy Tower. This was to be a modern interpretation of the iconic Playboy Club of the earlier days. They introduced a complete integration of lounging and gaming, custom design elements from the bunny buttons on the sofas to the collage wallpaper featuring every centerfold from the last 25 years, which reflected the image of the Playboy logo and captured the Playboy Lifestyle.
An ode for Self and my 40s Friends (nee Teens!)
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