The police have tried to shut it down. A fire almost burned it down. And harder economic times have certainly brought the pressure down. But like a prize fighter who refuses to stay down, The Penthouse nightclub has rolled with the punches and survived to tell the tale of what really happens after dark in Vancouver, over the last 65 years.
That tale is called “Liquor, Lust and The Law” (Arsenal Pulp Press), and it is quickly becoming one of Vancouver’s best selling, secret telling, publications. From its heyday as a glamorous celebrity “rat pack” hangout,where regular big names like Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine and Louis Armstrong hung out, to its present day status complete with somewhat seedier subplots, The Penthouse has nonetheless stood as a symbol of a bygone era where families did business together in the community amidst an atmosphere of tradition and respect.
Last week, at a special invite only launch party, several of the who’s-who of Vancouver came out to celebrate with Penthouse owner Danny Filippone and his family at this historic occasion. The book’s author, Aaron Chapman, was also on hand to greet guests and sign copies for all the familiar faces in the crowd.
Live music from Goby Catt kept the place hopping as did a steady stream of drinks and canapes. An emotional Danny Filippone was in his element as he spoke to the crowd from the stage about his father and uncles and the memories of days gone by. Never one to let melancholy ruin a good time, the always affable host glad-handed his way around the room welcoming each guest into the family fold. Still, the biggest sparkling star in the crowd this night was easily Danny’s wife Jacqueline who, dressed from head to toe in authentic pink Vegas showgirl style sequins and feathers, rocked the room with all the glitz and glam of a young hollywood starlet. Shake those feathers girl!
Photos from Penthouse Vancouver Book Launch of Liquor Lust and The Law