Hugh Hefner wanted his "Chicago Playboy Club" set to resemble a converted Firehouse with a fireman's pole upstage, (later, the fire-pole was axed, replaced with a spiral staircase). The live band performance area was in front of the spiral staircase corner, where a soloist performed, was located to the middle of the right side of the room (behind the cozy fireplace interview area). The fireplace seating interview area located in the front of the room. To the right of the fireplace was a bar well area adjacent to the entrance into a wood panel book lined library room, with a balcony above, with more wood paneled book shelves. This intimate library setting was intended for serious interview conversations. The opposite side of the main living family room was the square arched entrance into the play and dance room. On the left side of the large living-family room was a staircase leading to a back wall balcony, intended to display well groomed party guests languishing, posing, climbing or descending this feature. A prop 6' diameter tan leather saddle-stitched ottoman was featured in the middle of the room, customized with dials, a small television monitor, switches which could raise or lower the room's lighting. Of course, nothing worked on the console, just to help Hef motivate and circulate his club room. The design of the ottoman was a "hint" of Hefner's Chicago bedroom's circular turntable bed! The Playboy Club's Design Representatives, from Chicago, were available as advisor's, having negotiated a furniture set dressing contract with Knoll International. They were supplying wall decorations, as well. The CBS-Fairfax Studio Construction, Paint, Drapery Departments fabricated the scenery, setting the set up on their stage. Upon set up, the Playboy Executive Design team had no wall decorations. The Producers argued with Hefner about the Knoll Barcelona Chairs placed flanking, in front of the fireplace. The Chicago Designers flew back to the sacred Playboy temple, never to be seen nor heard from hence! The Production Designer selected new Knoll furniture replacing specific objectionable items which satisfied and settled the Producers versus Hefner battle zones. Including art work decorating Hefner's Playboy Penthouse. Midway through the series taping schedule, Hefner and the Producers decided the Playboy set should have a theme for each session. Their intent was to have a "Roaring 20's", "30's", "40's", with the party guests (extras) dressed for each themed session. The first theme show was "Hawaiian Night". The entire three room set was lavishly decorated with hanging balls of live orchids, cymbidium, fern, cyclamen, exotic flowers, foliage and plants, Polynesian carved wood and palm trunk totems, and Polynesian buffets and drinks. The decorating cost, food and drink expenses, wardrobe-costume rentals/purchases totaled $30,000. Which ended the theme party plans of Hefner and the Producers! The first season was video taped at the CBS-Farfax Studio, requiring the set to be loaded into the sound stage and re-lighted in the key interview staging areas. The production and set was moved to the KTLA-Paramount Sunset Blvd Television Studio in the second year. The set became a permanent stage set up, requiring less handling, no storage problems, with minor re-lighting in key interview production areas. A major reduction in studio charges balanced the charges for a permanent stage for the series schedule of weekly taping. See more »
I watched this on the PB channel. I liked how it looked like a party, Hef chatting with guests, strolling around with Barbi, ever present, pipe in hand, looking smooth, walks into an interviews with entertainers, writers, economists, intellectuals, a performance by a band or singer of the period, then onto to more strolling and chatting, it's like you were there! A lot of fun to watch! I saw, David Hemmings with his wife, and an amusing early Deep Purple doing "Hush" with the original vocalist, Nic? Semper (dig that do!) and Blackmore not using Strats then. And ol' Hef asking Ritchie, questions about playing guitar, and Ritchie showing him how to play it, smiling even! How rare is that? Of, course the lovely ladies, gotta have the ladies! I first caught this when I was around 23, I was interested in a lot of the music then, Kinks, Hendrix, Velvet Underground, Stones, etc. Like to collect videos, and would like this on DVD sometime!
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