These photographs remind us that the Hollywood nightlife in the 20th century was a haven for libertines. The Ivar Theatre, opened in 1951, was a strip club, but it felt more like a mausoleum for lost souls. It was a somber place where patrons took their seats with the gravity of theatregoers at a tragedy, while on stage girls undressed, often entirely. The club’s notoriety inspired the singer-songwriter Tom Waits to allude to it in one of his songs: “It's cold out there. Colder than a ticket taker's smile at the Ivar Theatre on Saturday night.”
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