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Fall 2017

Liquor, Lust, and the Law
The Story of Vancouver's Legendary Penthouse Nightclub (New and Revised)
By (author): Aaron Chapman
Aaron Chapman


Arsenal Pulp Press - Vancouver



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Oct 15, 2017
$26.95 CAD


11in x 8.5 x 0.38 in | 1.29 lb

Page Count:

176 pages


black and white photographs throughout
FSC certified – mixed sources 103214
Arsenal Pulp Press
HISTORY / Social History

A new edition of the colourful history of Vancouver's Penthouse Nightclub, which celebrates its seventieth anniversary in 2017.

The after-hours watering hole for the famous and infamous, the Penthouse was opened in 1947 by brothers Joe, Ross, Mickey, and Jimmy Filippone and soon became the place to see and be seen in Vancouver in the 1950s and '60s. Acts like Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole, and Duke Ellington regularly performed on the Penthouse stage, and audiences often included visiting stars such as Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, Gary Cooper, and many others.

In the 1970s, the Penthouse became infamous for its exotic dancers. Its colourful, lurid history now encompassed vice squads, politicians, judges, and con men, culminating in the murder of Joe Philliponi, known as the "Godfather of Seymour Street," in 1983. However, through decades of evolving social mores and changing cultural styles in a city constantly trying to reinvent itself, the Penthouse somehow survived, a testament to its history and the fortitude of the Filippone family that still owns it.

This second edition includes a new chapter on how the original book revived interest in the club and its storied past, and what the future holds in store. There are also newly unearthed historical photographs, and even some traditional Italian recipes from the Filippone matriarch.

Rife with nostalgia and just a hint of scandal, Liquor, Lust, and the Law reveals a glamorous and slightly naughty view of historic Vancouver after dark.

Aaron Chapman is a writer, historian, and musician with a special interest in Vancouver's entertainment history. He is the author of Vancouver after Dark: The Wild History of a City's Nightlife, winner of the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award (BC Book Prizes) in 2020; The Last Gang in Town, the story of Vancouver's Clark Park Gang; Liquor, Lust, and the Law, the story of Vancouver's Penthouse Nightclub, now available in a second edition; Vancouver Vice: Crime and Spectacle in the City's West End; and Live at the Commodore, a history of the Commodore Ballroom that won the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award (BC Book Prizes) in 2015 (a new edition appears in 2023). In 2020 he was elected as a member of the Royal Historical Society. He lives in Vancouver.

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