This edition of our London SOHO series comes from the pages of the October 1960 mid-century men’s magazine ACE. And we get what appears to be a nice glimpse into the Panama Club, which was at 41 Great Windmill Street. The following is the pictures and text ftom this issue, and a then-and-now view of the exterior of the Panama Club.
An Amerian in Paris—even one who doesn’t speak French—has no trouble finding the Gallic fun spots. He may be fleeced by cab drivers, but eventually he’ll wend his way to the Folies Bergere. Gendarmes may confuse him when it comes to directions, but sooner or later he’ll find the Moulin Rouge and he’ll love it. Mild swindles may be perpetrated upon him by bistro waiters making fast change, but he’ll carry away memories of those Parisian filles that will last him a lifetime. And he’ll do all this easily, despite the fact that he’s a stranger speaking a strange tongue in a strange city. But plunk the same American down in London and, even though he may speak the language after his Yankee fashion, he’s at a loss. All he knows when it comes to seeking fun in the staid British capitol is one word: Picadilly. Fortunately, he usually knows that. If he didn’t, he might conceivably spend his entire stay watching the changing of the guard at changing Palace—which is admittedly colorful, but somewhat lacking i sex appeal. That’s one quality that Picadilly doesn’t lack. Here the visiting cousin will find entertainment and excitement galore. Here he will find possibly the sizzlingest shows in the word, revues that make their counterparts across the channel seem tame by comparison. Picadilly’s reputation, spread far and wide as it is, is justified. And nowhere more so than in the fabulous spectacles staged by the Club Panama. Here thematic originality is combined with the natural voluptuousness of the entertainment world’s most carefully selected showgirls to present a revue that might make a Ziegfeld envious. If the tourist has missed the changing of the Palace at Buckingham Palace, he can see it emulated a the Club Panama. And if the costumes are different, it’s doubtful if he’ll complain. They’re every bit as colorful — and far more reveling. And the ‘guards’ are so much shapelier. And this is only one of the torrid satires the nitery offers. Others include “Nudes int he News”, a humorously fleshy take-off on the headlines of the day; the “Devil Dance”, a whirling dance excursion into the nether regions; and “On the Spanish Beach”, a sultry panorama of Latin bathing beauties. The girls in the ensemble are recruited from all over the world. Among them is a lovely known simply as Lorraine who is recognized to be England’s top glamor model. She has the distinction of being the most photographed poser in the British Empire. Among her contemporaries are a Swedish beauty contest queen, a Swiss dance competition winner and a Japanese beauty trained in the famous Takarazuka Theater School. Variety in beauty is among the things the Panama is noted for. Their girls vary from wholesome to sultry, from lazily exotic to healthy outdoor types. A neat balance of blondes, brunettes and redheads is always maintained and they come in all shapely shapes and sizes. The Panama’s boast is that there’s a girl in their show to suit every taste. From the enthusiastic reactions of their audiences, the boast is justified. The tourist knowing enough to find his way to Picadilly won’t want to miss Picadilly’s peek-iest revue!