The Adventurers Club - “Come in a stranger, leave a little stranger.”
Used to be at Pleasure Island, closed in 2008. I don’t how many of you were able to experience this amazing club before it closed with the rest of Pleasure Island, but it randomly passed through my mind today and I realized how much I miss it. For those of you who may not know what this was:
The premise of this club was that the Adventurers Club was holding an open house in 1937 to try and recruit new members - the guests in the club. It was very much like a dinner show where there are characters who walk around, hold shows, sing, interact with the guests/patrons, etc. There were many characters and multiple rooms that the guests could wander around in.
- The Zebra Mezzanine: This is where you would first enter the Adventurers Club. Her you would find pictures and documents from the various characters of the Club. This was a circular walk way on the second floor that looked down onto the Main Salon. This balcony area is also where you would find the club creed.
- The Main Salon: As the name suggests, this was the main, central room of the club where guests would gather, mill about looking at artifacts on display, order drinks, interact with various characters, and wait for announcements for activities happening throughout the club. The Main Salon had doors that led to the other three rooms of the club. The New Member Induction Ceremony was also held in this room, on a small stage designed for the characters. This room was known for it’s iconic statue of Zeus with a fishing rod - “God with Rod”.
- The Mask Room: Again, as the name suggests, this room is known for it’s walls of interesting masks that have been collected from all over the world.There are two large Bacchanalian-inspired animatronic masks at the front of the room, Arnie and Claude.
- The Treasure Room: A room that displays the Club’s most prized artifacts from around the world.
- The Library: The largest room of the Club, the Library was where you could find most of the shows, especially those of a musical nature. It included another bar and was the home of Fingers Zambezi - a haunted organ that was the source of much of the Library’s music.
The Main Salon, with the Zebra Mezzanine above and “God with Rod” in the center [source].
Arnie & Claude in the Mask Room [source].
Taken straight from wikipedia.
- Hathaway Browne - Aviator, and the club’s resident innuendo-making ladies’ man.
- Otis T. Wren - Club Treasurer and ichthyologist.
- Fletcher Hodges - Absent-minded Club Curator, he is said to have “mounted every object in the club.”
- Pamelia Perkins - Club President.
- Samantha Sterling - Explorer and cabaret singer.
- Emil Bleehall - Contender for the Balderdash Cup. Hails from Sandusky, Ohio. The character used to be portrayed as a plaid sport coat-wearing country bumpkin, but is now depicted as a “Junior Adventurer” in a costume that is a pastiche of a Boy Scout uniform. During the final performances, both characters appeared in the show (as Emil Sr. and Emil Jr.).
- Graves - Club Butler.
- The Maid - There were many maids who work in the Adventurers Club and participate in its activities. The only character that changes identity depending on which actor is playing her. Past and present maids include “Anelle”, “Yvette”, “Sugar Snap”, “Beullah Belle”, “Ginger Vitus”, “Sunny Knight”, “Kiki McGee”, “Gabby Normal”, “Tish Myash”, “Dusty Cabinets”, “Tallulah Buttertart”, “LaRue “, “Molly McClean”and more.
- Madame Zarkov - A mysterious gypsy who makes rare appearances at the Club. This character usually replaces that of Samantha Sterling for an evening. Both Samantha Sterling and Madame Zarkov appeared in the final performances at the club.
Some of the shows included were the Welcome Party, the New Member Induction Ceremony (where you would learn and recite the Club Creed, the Club Song, and the Club Salute), the Radio Broadcast, the RadioThon (where the club needs to raise $2,000 and on the last night, it fails to raise the $2,000 needed to keep the club going), the Balderdash Cup Competition, Samantha’s Cabaret, the Maid’s Sing-A-Long, the Rhythm Ritual (a show in the Main Salon that came before the Hoopla), and the Hoopla (the evening conclusion that would consist of various musical numbers).
The RadioThon [source].
The Club Creed.
We climb the highest mountains,
just to get a better view.
We plumb the deepest oceans,
cause we’re daring through and through.
We cross the scorching deserts,
martini in our hands.
We ski the polar ice caps,
in tuxedo looking grand.
We are reckless, brave, and loyal,
and valiant to the end.
If you come in here a stranger,
you will exit as a friend.
~Merriweather Adam Pleasure
Club Founder 1927
Fun Fact: When a regular performer left the cast, a custom-designed artifact with obscure references to that person was placed on display to memorialize them; many of these were kept in a locked cabinet in the Treasure Room.
[Photo credit for main photo.]