Nightclub / Nightclubs / Night Club
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Night Club in Kharkov, Ukraine.
Services include: slot machines, jackpot, entertainment
events, and prostitutes.
Laser lights illuminate the dance floor at a Gatecrasher dance music
event in Sheffield, England.
A nightclub (or "night club" or "club") is a drinking,
dancing, and entertainment venue which does its primary business after
dark. A nightclub is usually distinguished from bars, pubs or taverns,
by the inclusion of a dance floor and a DJ booth, where a DJ plays
recorded dance and pop music.
Some nightclubs have other forms of entertainment, such
as comedians, "go-go" dancers, a floor show or strippers (see strip
club). The music in nightclubs is either live bands or, more commonly a
mix of songs played by a DJ through a powerful PA system. Most clubs or
club nights cater to certain music genres, such as house music, garage,
Hip-Hop, or salsa.
Types of Nightclubs
Nightclub patrons dancing at a foam party, in which the dance floor is
covered with non-toxic foam suds.
Major cities in Europe and North
America often have a variety of nightclubs, and some small towns and
cities also have nightclubs.
Nightclubs often feature lighting and other effects, to enhance the
dancing experience. Lighting and effects include flashing colored
lights, moving light beams, laser light shows, strobe lights,
mirror-covered disco balls, or foam, and smoke machines.
Nightclub hours vary widely; in areas with liquor regulations in place,
nightclubs may stay open until 1 AM or even 4 AM. In some cities,
illegal "after hours" clubs stay open and serve alcohol after the legal
closing time. In non-regulated areas, nightclubs stay open legally all
night and into early daylight hours.
Entertainment is the main attraction at some types of nightclubs. One
type of club is a concert club, which specializes in hosting
performances of live music. In contrast to regular night clubs, concert
clubs are usually only open when a performance is scheduled. "Under 18"
clubs are nightclubs which hold liquor-free dances for teens from 14 to
18 years of age.
Dancers move to the beat of a DJ's dance music at a nightclubNightclubs
can be built in former warehouses and cinemas, underground buildings,
and custom-built buildings, and generally have thick insulated walls and
few or no windows, so that the neighboring buildings will not be
disturbed by the powerful beat of the dance music and the flashing
strobe lights. This style of construction also keeps light and noise
from the street from entering the club.
This allows the nightclub to turn the dance floor into an alternate,
illusory realm of timelessness. Even if an all-night rave at a nightclub
lasts until 6 AM, when it is light outside, to the clubgoers, it is
still dark inside the club, and the partying and dancing continue.
In most cases entering a night club requires a flat fee called a cover
charge. Early arrivers and women often have cover waived (in the United
Kingdom, this latter option is illegal under the Sex Discrimination Act
1975). Friends of the doorman or the club owner may gain free entrance.
Sometimes, especially at larger clubs, one only gets a pay card at the
entrance, on which all money spent in the discotheque (often including
the entrance fee) is marked. Sometimes entrance fee and wardrobe costs
are paid by cash and only the drinks in the club are paid using a pay
History of Nightclubs
Clubgoers dancing at a foam partyDuring US Prohibition, nightclubs went
underground as illegal speakeasy bars. With the repeal of Prohibition in
February 1933 nightclubs were revived, such as New York's Stork Club, El
Morocco and the Copacabana. In Harlem, the Cotton Club was a popular
venue for white audiences. Before 1953 and even some years thereafter,
most bars and nightclubs used a jukebox or mostly live bands. In Paris,
at a club named Whisky à Gogo, Régine laid down a dance-floor, suspended
coloured lights and replaced the juke-box with two turntables which she
operated herself so there would be no breaks between the music. The
Whisky à Gogo set into place the standard elements of the modern
discothèque-style nightclub. In the early 1960s, Mark Birley opened a
members-only discotheque nightclub, Annabel's, in Berkeley Square,
London. However, the first rock and roll generation preferred rough and
tumble bars and taverns to elegant nightclubs, and the nightclub did not
attain mainstream popularity until the 1970s disco era.
1970s: Disco Nightclub
By the late 1970s many major US cities had thriving disco club scenes
which were centered around discothèques, nightclubs, and private loft
parties where DJs would play disco hits through powerful PA systems for
the dancers. The DJs played "... a smooth mix of long single records to
keep people “dancing all night long”" Some of the most prestigious
clubs had elaborate lighting systems that throbbed to the beat of the
music. The largest UK cities like Birmingham, Liverpool, London and
several key European places like Paris, Berlin, Ibiza, Rimini also
played a significant role in the evolution of clubbing, DJ culture and
Some cities had disco dance instructors or dance schools which taught
people how to do popular disco dances such as "touch dancing", the
"hustle" and the "cha cha". There were also disco fashions that
discotheque-goers wore for nights out at their local disco, such as
sheer, flowing Halston dresses for women and shiny polyester Qiana
shirts for men. Disco clubs and "...hedonistic loft parties" had a club
culture which had many African American, gay  and hispanic people.
In addition to the dance and fashion aspects of the disco club scene,
there was also a thriving drug subculture, particularly for recreational
drugs that would enhance the experience of dancing to the loud music and
the flashing lights, such as cocaine (nicknamed "blow"), amyl nitrite
"poppers" , and the "...other quintessential 1970s club drug
Quaalude, which suspended motor coordination and turned one’s arms and
legs to Jell-O". The "massive quantities of drugs ingested in
discothèques by newly liberated gay men produced the next cultural
phenomenon of the disco era: rampant promiscuity and public sex. While
the dance floor was the central arena of seduction, actual sex usually
took place in the nether regions of the disco: bathroom stalls, exit
stairwells, and so on. In other cases the disco became a kind of “main
course” in a hedonist’s menu for a night out."
Famous 1970s discothèques included "...cocaine-filled celeb hangouts
such as Manhattan's Studio 54 ", which was operated by Steve Rubell and
Ian Schrager. Studio 54 was notorious for the hedonism that went on
within; the balconies were known for sexual encounters, and drug use was
rampant. Its dance floor was decorated with an image of the "Man in the
Moon" that included an animated cocaine spoon. Other famous discotheques
included The Loft, the Paradise Garage, and Aux Puces, one of the first
gay disco bars. By the early 1980s, the term "disco" had largely fallen
out of favor in North America.
1980s Nightclub London & Europe
During the 1980s, during the New Romantic movement, London had a vibrant
nightclub scene, which included clubs like The Blitz, the Camden Palace
and Club for Heroes. Both music and fashion embraced the aesthetics of
the movement. Bands included Depeche Mode, Human League, Duran Duran,
Blondie, Eurythmics and Ultravox. Reggae-influenced bands included Boy
George and Culture Club, and electronic vibe bands included Visage. At
London nightclubs, young men would often wear make-up and young women
would wear mens' suits.
The largest UK cities like Liverpool, Manchester (The Haçienda) and
several key European places like Paris (Les Bains Douches), Berlin,
Ibiza (Pacha), Rimini etc also played a significant role in the
evolution of clubbing, DJ culture and nightlife
1990s and 2000s Nightclub
In Europe and North America, nightclubs play disco-influenced dance
music such as house music, techno, and other dance music styles such as
electro or trance. Most nightclubs in the U.S. major cities such as New
York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Boston, Houston, Philadelphia,
Orlando, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, and
San Francisco play hip-hop, house and trance music. These clubs are
generally the largest and most frequented of all of the different types
In most other languages, nightclubs are referred to as "discos" or
"discothèques" (French: discothèque; Italian and Spanish: discoteca;
German: Disko or Diskothek). In Japanese ディスコ, disuko refers to an
older, smaller, less fashionable venue; while クラブ, kurabu refers to a
more recent, larger, more popular venue. The term night is used to refer
to an evening focusing on a specific genre, such as "retro music night"
or a "singles night."
After the fall of communism in the Czech Republic and Romania,
"nightclub" or "night club" became a common euphemism for a brothel.
Therefore this word is not used in its original meaning.
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