There’s a new club in town opening this week, one that boasts a bit of Old Hollywood history and Golden Age style. Dirty Laundry is a new underground speakeasy, reportedly occupying a space that previously housed Rudolph Valentino’s “personal speakeasy.” As one blogger put it, “During prohibition, Valentino and his favorite starlets would escape to this lair and let their inhibitions run wild.”
The 1500 square foot club opens in what is now the Hudson Building on Hollywood Boulevard (formerly the Hillview Apartment Building). The entrance to the club, in true speakeasy style, is around the side at 1725 North Hudson Avenue, off the Boulevard. Built in 1917 and heavily damaged by earthquakes in the early 90′s, the long-abandoned building underwent extensive renovation a few years back before re-opening.
The building has seen its fair share of silent screen-worthy drama. Back in the day—so says one tale—silent screen comedienne Mabel Normand caught her husband, director Mack Sennet, in a compromising situation with actress Mae Busch, whereupon Busch allegedly knocked Mabel out with a vase during the ensuing scuffle. Is it true? Maybe only Kenneth Anger knows for sure…And allegedly Elizabeth Short (better known as the infamous Black Dahlia) lived for a spell at the Hillview Apartments.
Jonnie and Mark Houston (the brothers behind a string of chic clubs like La Descarga) have created an elegant place offering a nod to bygone days. Off the central bar is a secret room, perfect from private parties.
If you’re out and about in Hollywood feel free to dress up and check it out!