Nightclubs, jazz clubs and cocktail bars started to flourish in Plymouth from the early 20’s. The hedonistic lifestyle portrayed in books and films such as ‘The Great Gatsby’ was perhaps for some, an escape from reality.
Our Grand Old Lady, with Richards help, took part in this exciting way of evening entertainment. In February 1936 our beloved Ballroom was built; reported as the largest open indoor space at that time outside of Theatres and purpose built entertainment settings in the city.
The dream was to have as much live music as possible, with a large dance floor ‘on springs’, concealed lighting, air purifiers and enough space to seat 350 people in one sitting. Under the Ballroom was what we think to be the only heated indoor car park outside of London, with room for 50 cars (now Club Continental) and upstairs an American Cocktail bar; with chrome stools, a semi-circular bar and ‘pleasant’ lighting – and was reported to be the first bar that women were marketed to directly as guests welcome without a male companion!
Above the Ballroom was also the addition of 12 new bedrooms, complete with gas fires!