Whenever I think of the legendary nightclubs of the 30s, 40s and 50s, I imagine huge dance floors filled by people who actually know how to cha-cha, foxtrot, and waltz. So I was surprised when I came across this photo of the dance floor at Ciro’s on the Sunset Strip and saw that it was tiny! Perhaps this shot was taken later in its 1940 to 1957 run when the space was more of a stage for dynamos like Kay Thompson and Martin & Lewis.
Susan said: “The dance floor had various set up arrangement — as shown here, there’s an extra riser in front of the stage that normally was not there. There also was a pull out under the stage that gave the stage about 1/3 more room if needed. After the Bunny Hop got so popular with Ray Anthony being there a lot in the early-mid 50s, they gave more room to the dance floor and I don’t recall tables being set atop the dance floor like is seen here. That said, Ray used to lead a ‘conga line’ of Bunny Hoppers weaving around the tables – lack of space never seemed to be an issue. They had extended dance floor they could put out as well if needed. Also too, Ciro’s was not known to be ‘the place’ you went to if you wanted to dance your feet off all night. It was about the supper club, the drinks and the later evening shows there. If you wanted to dance the night away, you went to The Palladium, Florentine Gardens, Beverly Hills Hotel (if you were over 40), and a number of other places. In the 50s, there were quite a few ‘hidden away’ swing clubs around Hollywood and the West Side – and boy, you sure could dance away the night at one of those! This photo is older, and taken before the room was done over in all the heavy drapery that gave way to the garden room motif re-do in the later 40s.“