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Liquor, Lust, and the Law: The Story of Vancouver's Legendary Penthouse Nightclub Paperback – Oct 15 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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  • Liquor, Lust, and the Law: The Story of Vancouver's Legendary Penthouse Nightclub
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press; 1st edition (Oct. 15 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551524880
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551524887
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 21.3 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


There's an old line from pantomime: 'Infamy! Infamy! They've got it all ... Infamy.' Everyone from the Liquor Control Board to the Police, morally tight-assed politicians, pimps, and the occasional small-time hood had it in for the Penthouse. But it survived and continues to survive because it did something simple well: it served up sin stylishly. This book tells the dramatic and sometimes tragic story of a remarkable family, their storied venue, and a multi-generational campaign to keep the 'fun' in Vancouver.
—John Belshaw, co-author of Vancouver Noir
(John Belshaw 2012-11-04)

Chapman brings out all the glory and dirt of this fabled oasis of sin, covering visits in the 1950s and '60s by such giants as Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole, as well as later run-ins with the vice squad and, most notorious, the murder on the premises of the Penthouse's patriarch, Joe Phillipone, in 1983.
Georgia Straight (Georgia Straight 2012-11-29)

The book pulls no punches in exploring the sometimes seamy side of city history, painting a picture of vice squads, con men and meddling politicians. Featuring period photographs and newly unearthed police documents plus many previously untold stories. ( 2012-12-03)

Chapman does an excellent job demonstrating the inextricable relationship between the notorious establishment and the family that poured their heart and soul into it.
Scout Magazine (Scout Magazine 2012-12-03)

Aaron Chapman is a wonderful storyteller and he recounts the tales of celebrity high-jinks and police raids with glee. Yet what struck me most was Chapman's touching portrayal of the Filippone family. A third-generation Italian-Canadian family that has battled, worked, loved and persevered together. This is a remarkable case study on the Italian community in Vancouver and a delightful read.
—Will Woods, Founder, Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours (Will Woods 2012-12-19)

Aaron Chapman's lively history is written in razzle-dazzle journalistic prose.
Quill and Quire (Quill and Quire 2013-01-14)

Up to now, local venue histories have not been in great supply. Should they become a trend among British Columbia historians, Aaron Chapman's Liquor, Lust and the Law may be seen as a pioneering effort ... Chapman depicts, almost tenderly, the phoenix-like rebirth of the Penthouse.
BC Studies (BC Studies 2013-01-17)

The Penthouse deserves a central role in the dark side of the city's history because of the attempt to shut it down in 1975. Chapman tells the story well in this nostalgia-inducing book, well illustrated with photos from the club's "lost" collection.
—Daniel Francis, author-historian (Daniel Francis 2013-07-09)

About the Author

Aaron Chapman is a writer, historian, and musician with a special interest in Vancouver's entertainment history. He is the author of Liquor, Lust, and the Law, a history of the Penthouse Nightclub, and Live at the Commodore, a history of the Commodore Ballroom that won the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award (BC Book Prizes) in 2015. He lives in Vancouver.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i have lived in vancouver most of life so i found it interesting to read liquor lust and the law and see the history of vancouver and the penthouse
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent history of the times, very well documented. Dozens of original photos of the many celebrities who visited Vancouver over the past decades.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not sure yet as I haven't had a chance to read it. So I can only say okay for now
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9f475b58) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa08db264) out of 5 stars Naughty History of the Penthouse! June 23 2013
By Dusty Burrows - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is the story of the Penthouse Nightclub in Vancouver, B.C. by Aaron Chapman. I appeared there in about 1980 and had no idea of the colorful history of the nightclub. The Penthouse has been in business since 1947 and is still in business and still run by the Filippone family. The book is well researched with lots of great photos and newspaper clippings. A VERY interesting read! The Filippone family broke down a lot of barriers in Vancouver sharing their hospitality with some of the greatest entertainers in the world including Sammy Davis Jr., the Mills Brothers, Frank Sinatra and more. They fought the legal system (winning sometimes and losing sometimes) to stay in business but they always supported their community and each other. A colorful story of the law and the Filippone family.
Magically yours,
Dusty Summers
HASH(0x9f62c24c) out of 5 stars Terrific inside scoop on this piece of Vancouver history Aug. 13 2013
By Michael Parker - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having grown up in Vancouver, I'd been hearing about this book for some time from my friends and finally had a chance to read it on my kindle this summer. This part of Vancouver's past has a little bit of Vegas, a little bit of mafia and is very interesting throughout. I was surprised at first at how factually it is written, but came to appreciate that is was more historical or journalistic than anything mean to embellish what is already a pretty unreal story. Fun and easy read.
HASH(0x9f016a5c) out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed July 14 2015
By Michael A. Weiser - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was interesting. Purchased it because I was by the club when I visited Vancouver this spring. It was a bit sparse when it came to much history. Also little expansion about celebs who had visited there.