A Very Cool Thrift Store Find! San Francisco History!

Very Cool Thrift Store Find!

San Francisco History!
The Condor and Big Al’s on Broadway
Original photograph signed by Bob Kreisel and rescued for $2

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Original photograph signed by Bob Kreisel

The Condor   Where It All Began
The birthplace of the world’s first topless & bottomless entertainment
Topless – June 19, 1964   Bottomless – September 3, 1969
Starring Ms. Carol Doda   San Francisco, California

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

The Condor Club and Big Al’s are located at the corner of Broadway and Columbus Avenue in the North Beach district of San Francisco. The Condor Club opened in 1964. The large marquee sign featured a cartoon image of Carol Doda with red flashing lights on her breasts. Carol Doda’s 44DD breasts were dubbed “the New Twin Peaks of San Francisco” and were insured for $1.5 million with Lloyd’s of London.

NOTE: The other famous clubs on the block are Roaring 20’s and the Hungry 1 Club.

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Carol Doda (August 29, 1937 – November 9, 2015) was the first known topless entertainer and a cultural icon of the 1960’s. She made history on June 19, 1964, when she bared her breasts and performed in a topless “monokini”. The club went “bottomless” on September 3, 1969, and remained full nude until 1972 when it became illegal to serve alcohol in full nude clubs.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Carol Doda danced at the Condor Club until 1985 and died in 2015. Her only arrest happened in 1965, when police raided the club on April 22. She was arrested along with Pete Mattioli and Gino del Prete, the owners of the club on indecency charges. They were all found not guilty. She retired as a stripper in the 1980s but continued performing, and she also owned Carol Doda’s Champagne and Lace Lingerie Boutique in San Francisco until her death from kidney failure in 2015.

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Broadway and Columbus in North Beach, San Francisco (at night)

The original Condor Club closed in 2000. For a time it was a sports bar (and still is), and then a restaurant and a performance venue. The current Condor Club reopened in 2007 as “San Francisco’s Original Gentlemen’s Club” with a new neon sign.

“You know what’s funny about The Condor? 1) It’s not really a strip club until 6 pm, and 2) it has two entrances: one for the strip club, and one for a pretty unremarkable sports bar with big-picture windows facing Columbus St, a decent-enough draft beer selection, and live music. The two are separated by a small door frame with a velvet curtain drawn, so if you’re new and you make your way in through the Columbus entrance, you might not even put two and two together that you’re in a strip club. And, since we’re in the middle of North Beach, it’s exactly the kind of place a hapless tourist could wander into.” – Lauren Sloss in 2014

Big Al’s (the adult book store) closed in 2009. It is now a sandwich shop and cigar store. They kept the name and the neon sign.

Both clubs are San Francisco landmarks and an important part of the history of the city. The strip clubs of North Beach have been seen in many films and TV shows, featured on postcards and in travel and tourist brochures for over fifty years.

Bob Kreisel

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This bio was on the back of the photograph

The Condor Club560 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133 415-968-8678 http://www.condorsf.com

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This is not a paid promotion! Just here to show the Condor Club is still in business!

 

 



 

 

 

 

9039 Sunset Blvd on the Strip

9039 Sunset Blvd on the Strip – A Brief Photographic History:

If those walls could talk! This address was the home of Cafe LaMaze in the 30’s (with a lounge called the Key Club), Sherry’s in the 40’s (where Mickey Cohen was shot), the Plymouth House in the 50’s, Gazzarri’s in the 60’s-80’s, Billboard Live and the Key Club in the 90s until last December 2013 when it became 1 Oak Nightclub.

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9039 Sunset Blvd – Cafe LaMaze 1930’s

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9039 Sunset Blvd – Sherry’s 1940’s (Mickey Cohen was shot here!)

9039 Sunset Blvd

9039 Sunset Blvd – The Plymouth House 1958

9039 Sunset - Gazzarri's Supper Club 1960's

9039 Sunset – Gazzarri’s Supper Club 1960’s

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9039 Sunset Blvd – Gazzari’s 1970’s

9039 Sunset Blvd

9039 Sunset Blvd – Gazzarri’s 1980’s  Bill Gazzarri “See Ya Pal”

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9039 Sunset Blvd – Billboard Live and then the KeyClub 1990’s- 2013 RIP

I used to promote club nights as Joshua 13 with Stephen Aquarius and Luis Q NightKing Productions at the KeyClub! “Cloud 9” on Wednesday and Friday nights, “The Indepen-Dance 1998”, “Midsummers Night Dream 1998”, “Saturday Nights in the Plush Room” and “The Resolution!” on New Years Eve 1998-1999.

MidSummers Night Dream Party at the KeyClub 1998

MidSummers Night Dream Party at the KeyClub 1998

Saturday Nights in the Plush Room at the KeyClub

Saturday Nights in the Plush Room at the KeyClub

"The Resolution" New Years Eve 1998-1999! at the KeyClub

“The Resolution” New Years Eve 1998-1999! at the KeyClub

 Now it’s the new 1 Oak Nightclub. (but for how long?)

9039 Sunset Blvd - 1 Oak Nightclub 2014

9039 Sunset Blvd – 1 Oak Nightclub 2014

UPDATE: Not too long after this Blog was posted, rap mogul/convicted felon Suge Knight was shot “six times” at a pre-VMA party at 1Oak nightclub. Lucky mo-fo will survive the shooting. Weird parallel to the Mickey Cohen shooting in the 40’s!

“And it’s all just a little bit of History repeating!”

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200th Post! Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood CA on 20-AUG-13

At the Hollywood Bowl! (yes, my 200th blog post)

Hollywood Bowl 20-AUG-13 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl 20-AUG-13 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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17-JUN-13: Staples Center at L.A Live – Downtown Los Angeles

Staples Center at L.A Live – Downtown Los Angeles

Staples Center at L.A Live - Downtown Los Angeles

Staples Center at L.A Live  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

And here are a few more random pics from Staples Center and L.A. Live:

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center - Chick Hearn Plaza

Staples Center – Chick Hearn Plaza (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center - view from above (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center – view from above (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Plaza - L.A. Live

The Plaza – L.A. Live  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

In the Lobby of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

In the Lobby of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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20-MAY-13: Box Seats at the Hollywood Bowl – Hollywood, CA

Box Seats at the Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl - Hollywood, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – Hollywood, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pollstar magazine’s Best Major Outdoor Venue (eight years in a row!), the Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural outdoor amphitheater in the United States.

The Bowl is the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.   Throughout the summer the LA Phil presents the best in jazz, classical, Broadway, and world music.

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Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl is near various hotels that can provide overnight accommodations for those who are traveling.

On some mornings, rehearsals at the Bowl are open to the public!

The Hollywood Bowl Museum is open every night before concerts and daytime all year round.  Admission is always free!   2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, CA 90078

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Hollywood Bowl

NOTE: Updated Sunday, April 10, 2016 added pics and updated links & featured image