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Description

 

Cave Nightclub

Officially opened for business in 1937, the Cave nightclub  quickly became one of the biggest night life hot spots in Vancouver history. The club was an Endeavour taken on by Gordon King and his family, who were creating a sister club to the already standing Cave in Winnipeg where the Kings originated.  What originally made the Cave stand out from all other Vancouver night life attractions was its kitschy, over the top atmosphere.
Cave nightclub  had the license to seat 600 party goers (though on popular nights it was not uncommon to find over 1,000 bodies taking in the night) and often patrons had to dress to the nines and suffered excruciating lines just to step inside. Part of the charm of the Cave was its literal interpretation of its namesake. The club sported raw stone-like walls creeping around the carved out spaces, and enormous dripping stalactites falling from the ceilings, all hand crafted out of burlap sacks and Paper Mache via the King’s skillful hands. The atmosphere was heightened with dim lighting and khaki green walls. They even went as far to create giant palm trees (opposing popular belief the Kings assumed this tropical flora grew in underground rock caverns) which surrounded the ground floor of the club. The Cave nightclub  was a space of quirky and eccentric indulgence, and Vancouverites ate it up with a spoon. 

  The Uncle and Nephew duo then managed the club till its closure, constantly having to compete with Is and his new venues, the Pacific National Exhibition  cave nightclub and during his management pushed boundaries for Vancouver venues. In 1954 the Cave Supper Club was a part of the first wave of businesses to gain dining-lounge liquor licenses, legalizing the sale of liquor to accompany meals served from 6:00 pm to 1:00 am. These new venues and spaces allowing the consumption of moderate amounts of liquor in public were all a part of the changing tides from traditional to more liberal social spaces. Following the liquor, Isy brought in the ladies. Soon the Cave had a slew of showgirls and dancers to complete the Las Vegas type atmosphere. The cave nightclub was one of the Grade A west end clubs that offered live music, food, drink, and entertainment.