Saturday, October 18, 2008

What went before? 833 S. Spring Street

This building (at 833 S. Spring) started life in 1924 as the City Club, a location for associations and (occasionally) churches to meet and hold events. Within 10 years it became known as the 833 Club, one of the city's most exclusive (and illegal) gambling establishments. In July 1933 a raid by the vice squad nabbed seventeen (including two women) and yielded $4000 worth of gambling equipment. It then became the 'swanky' 41 Club in 1935. In its early days, under the management of George Distel (who also played a part in the 833 Club), the 41 Club saw raids by police for 'after hours' liquor sales, was 'made famous overnight by the wonderful food' of Adolph Ackerman and was open for members and guests only. Distel brought in longtime restaurant men Tommy Jacobs (Vernon Country Club, The Ship, Club Airport Gardens and more) and Paul Maggora (Agua Caliente) in late 1935. Under Tommy Jacobs rule, 41 Club became 'Los Angeles's most friendly night club' with 'special consideration for out-of-town guests.' After a stint as union headquarters for the nearby fashion district, 833 S. Spring entered its longest run as Roseland, a club featuring taxi dancers. The sign reading 'Dancing' still survives as does the designation 'City Club' visible above the arch doorway.