Hollywood Heights – Studio City Nightlife

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(Editor’s note: Film Works is pleased to announce our first guest blogger, Mary Mallory.  Mary works for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is a frequent contributor to the Daily Mirror blog, which examines the history of Los Angeles.  Mary’s articles focus on the history of certain locations throughout greater Los Angeles that have strong ties to the entertainment industry.  The post below, reprinted with permission from the Daily Mirror, covers the history of two locations in Studio City with particular emphasis on the building at 11345 Ventura Blvd., which has been been home to several different nightclubs with different names and owners, some of them quite famous, going back to the 1940’s.)

Studio City seemed to blossom into an entertainment-related town after the opening of the Mack Sennett Studios in 1928.  Many of the businesses along Ventura Boulevard catered to performers or were owned by celebrities, especially restaurants and nightclubs.

Famed Chinese American cinematographer James Wong Howe (SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, PRISONER OF ZENDA) opened a Chinese eatery at 11386 Ventura Blvd. on Feb. 5, 1940, operated and managed by his wife, Sanora Babb.  As the Feb. 10, 1940, Los Angeles Times ad proclaimed, “Chinese food in the Chinese manner.”  Opening night featured such guests as Cary Grant, Randolph Scott, John Garfield, Claude Rains and director John Cromwell.

Performers enjoyed the food and the atmosphere, with such stars as Marlene Dietrich, Mickey Rooney, and William “Hopalong Cassidy” Boyd hosting parties at the site.  Actors such as Dick Powell, Van Heflin, Veronica Lake, Rosalind Russell, Tyrone Power, and Ann Sheridan often dined in the restaurant.  Daily Variety reported the closing of the restaurant on Sept. 21, 1951, which according to his nephew Don Lee, was because of Babb’s blacklisting and departure to Mexico for two years.

Catty corner across the street at 11345 Ventura Blvd., a building appears to have operated continuously as a nightclub from at least the 1940s to the present day.  During the 1940s, the business operated as Grace Hayes Lodge.  It became Larry Potter’s Supper Club in the 1950s and hosted actor Lee Marvin speaking to four Young Democrat Clubs on Dec. 11, 1959 for the Sane Nuclear Policy movement

By the early 1960s, D.J. Bob Eubanks bought the facility and ran it as a club called the Cinnamon Cinder.  It was here on Aug. 23, 1964, that the Beatles gave a secret press conference crashed by the club’s guests.  Within a couple of years it operated under the name Magic Mushroom.

American Bandstand host Dick Clark bought the building and opened a country western nightclub called the V.I.S. Club on March 26, 1969, with singer Merle Haggard performing as the opening act.  Actor Jack Nance managed the business.  Clark described to writer Robert Hilburn in the March 28, 1969, Los Angeles Times why he wanted to open a country music nightclub.  “Country music, along with soul music, is the biggest trend in the music business today.  I’ve always liked country music.  People don’t know I was a country  music disc jockey for a while before I ever became involved with rock ‘n’ roll.”

Unfortunately, the club lasted only a few years before being replaced by a rock nightclub called Point After, which featured hot pants and sweaty bodies.  By the 1980s it was called Sasch, and played rock ‘n’ roll and rock videos.  Its name became Platinum Live sometime after 2000, hosting private parties and small music acts, before closing last year.

15 Comments on “Hollywood Heights – Studio City Nightlife”

  1. I was a bartender and GM at Sasch in the 80s. We had some amazing music there in those days. Many rock stars and actors hung around. I’m no longer in California, but I still keep in touch with a few of the folks. Fun times.

  2. I was a bartender at Sasch during its hay day. The bands/performers that passed through there in those days were amazing. Jammed packed every Thursday-Sunday .. paid my way through L.Uni. And met my wife of 30+yrs there. It was a an amazing time all the way around 😎

  3. there were so many good places on ventura blvd wish i could remember the name of the place i saw a band called Mad Anthony at? They became Mr. Mister

  4. The Point After and Sasch’s hold fond memories. From dancing all night long to BOGO on the alcohol from 8-10pm. Will never forget those years.

  5. I love this. Was there today, walking past, and took a photo for the FB Page. I love Studio City history.
    Thank you!

  6. I used to go dancing there with a group of wild dancing friends in the early 80’s when it was called Sasch. We were the “sweaty bodies” dancing non-stop until closing, and begging for more.

  7. I was a guitar player with a band called “Don and the Deacons” at the Cinnamon Cinder in North Hollywood after The Pastel Six left. We were the house band that backed many artists Bob Eubanks brought in weekly. I’m not sure of the exact dates but circa 1965. It was an awesome place to play. Later, we opened up for The Rolling Stones first USA concert in Long Beach Ca for Mr Eubanks. When the CC gig finally ended, Don became the guitar player for Joe Cocker and Leon Russell and I went with The Hondells. Great memories there.

  8. I met my husband at The Point After on February 27, 1970, when my roommate at the time suggested going there, since I was new to the San Fernando Valley. I think we went back there, the last time 5 years after we met. This Thursday, 2/27/20, it will be 50 years since we met there. We ended the evening at Corky’s, another place (coffee shop) no longer around. We went back there a # of Feb.27, but as of 2 1/2 months ago, that ‘date’ at Corky’s was dashed. We get rid of so many of our precious memories in California! Wish I had a photo of The Point After!

  9. Hi. . I worked at the Point After from 1970-1972. . When I celebrated my 21st birthday. I was an underage coat check/purse check person(not serving drinks) and one of my jobs was to call the police when fights broke out. . Usually on a full moon! I finished school. . With a Ph.D. and became a psychologist in private practice! Fun times. . Great groups played there!

  10. In the late 1970s, the place at the time was called the Point After. My girlfriends and I loved going dancing there. So when it was time for me to look for a venue to have my wedding reception, I chose the Point After because at that time, their flyer said that they hosted events and there was no charge to rent the place because they made their money at the bar. That was on July 22, 1978 and I had the best time of my life at that venue. Will never forget that place.

  11. I worked at the cinnamon cinder in north Hollywood from 1963 through 1964 and was there when the Beatles had their press conference. I saw most of the acts such as Ike and Tina Turner among many others. Fun times !

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