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Latin Quarter (nightclub): Wikis


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Coordinates: 40°45′18″N 73°58′24″W / 40.755092°N 73.973206°W / 40.755092; -73.973206 Latin Quarter (also known as LQ) is a nightclub in New York City.

The Club which originally opened in 1942 featured big name acts. In recent years it has been a focus of hip hop.

Its history is similar to that of its competitor The Copacabana.


Times Square location

Lou Walters, father of Barbara Walters opened the club in 1942 at 1580 Broadway at 47th Street (40°45′35″N 73°59′05″W / 40.759724°N 73.984653°W / 40.759724; -73.984653) in a landmark three-story wedge shaped building that marked the north end of Times Square and was famed for the signs on the building's south side where Broadway and Seventh Avenue cross. Its most famous sign was the neon Coca-Cola sign.

Prior to Walters, the building was home to the Palais Royale with the Moulin Rouge in the basement in the 1920s. Norman Bel Geddes had designed the interior.[1][2] Following this it was occupied by the Cotton Club after it left Harlem from 1936 to 1940 [3]

Walters opened branches of the nightclub in other cities and was to sell the Boston club to Michael Redstone, father of Sumner Redstone[4]

During Walters tenure the Club featured big name acts like Frank Sinatra, Sophie Tucker, Mae West, Diahann Carroll, Milton Berle, The Andrews Sisters, Frankie Laine, and Ted Lewis along with chorus girls and concluded with a can can dance.

Walters left the business in the 1950s. Earl Wilson described the club under its new management in 1964 as "more expensive" than the Copacabana - "but then the show's a bit bigger, nakeder and longer." [5]

In 1969, during a strike by the chorus girls, the club was padlocked for not paying rent.

Cine Lido

From 1969 to 1978 the upstairs room was a 575 seat Cine Lido that initially started showing upscale soft pornography opening with Camille 2000. On July 25, 1973, Cine Lido along with 10 other New York "art houses" were raided and a copy of the The Newcomers was confiscated. Cine Lido closed in May 1978 and it was replaced by the 22 Steps disco[6] (named for the number of steps to the theatre).[7]

Broadway theatre

In 1979 it opened as a Broadway theater called 22 Steps with performances of Coquelico[8], My Old Friends[9], The Madwoman of Central Park West[10], and Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth.

From 1980 to 1984 it was renamed the Princess Theater with performances of Censored Scenes from King Kong[11], Fearless Frank[12], The Beautiful Mariposa[13], Sort of an Adventure[14], Louie and the Elephant[15], This Was Burlesque[16], Pump Boys and Dinettes, and The Babe.

From 1984 to 1985 it was re-named Latin Quarter with performances of André DeShield's Harlem Nocturne[17] and Mayor.

Nightclub again

After 1985 it opened again as a nightclub of the same name and focused on hip hop music. In 1987 three patrons were shot as they left the club[18].

The club was renamed the Penguin Club and became infamous for stabbings and fights.

The building was eventually torn down in 1989 and replaced by a 22-story Ramada Renaissance Hotel. 48th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue is now named "Lou Walters Way."

Upper West Side

The club opened again at 2551 Broadway at 96th Street (40°47′41″N 73°58′20″W / 40.794643°N 73.972208°W / 40.794643; -73.972208).

East Side

LQ in January 2009

Producer Ralph Mercado (who had founded RMM Records & Video) opened the club at 511 Lexington at 48th Street in the Radisson Lexington Hotel on the East Side on Sept. 15, 2003. Although still known as the Latin Quarter, signage at the club referred to it as "LQ." In December 2004, a fight at the club during a Ja Rule holiday party, spilled onto the street where one man was fatally shot and another wounded in a dispute that reportedly involved associates of The Inc. Records[19][20]

On November 29, 2008, former New York Giants & Pittsburgh Steelers football player Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in the right leg while he was standing in an elevator vestibule, between the VIP room and the coat check. Burress plead guilty to charges and received a 2 year prison sentence.[21]


External links

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