|Los Angeles (1950s)|
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
First saw mention of the Paradise Club in Martin Turnbull's list of old Hollywood Places. Unfortunately, he doesn't say much:
Paradise Club – lesbian venue (60/89)
Turnbull says learned about the Paradise Club from the book Gay LA by Stuart Timmons and Lillian Faderman (2006). This source reports that the Paradise Club arose in the 1950s--along with several other lesbian bars--and that it was a place "where butch-and femme couples less fashionable that those at the Gypsy Room could dance." (We'll put the Gypsy Room on the list of places we'll get to at another time).
In Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, Faderman includes the Paradise Club in a list that includes three other LA lesbian bars from the 50s. She observes that "the customers were young women who were supermarket clerks, waitresses, factory workers, beauty operators, prostitutes. They were almost invariably elaborately made up, dressed in high heels and skirts or capris, or totally without makeup, in pegged, fly-front pants, black penny loafers, and a ducktail haircut. A couple would consist of one of each. Dress was the indicator of whom one may or may not flirt."
Depressing aside. If you google "Paradise Club" and "Los Angeles" together without any other terms, you get...a "gentlemen's club."