The Strip Club signs of Phoenix, Arizona
No history of Phoenix, Arizona would be complete with a mention of its strip club signs. Now, don't worry, I'm not going into graphic detail here (this is the internet, you can find that elsewhere), but I am going to mention them, as they have been part of the background of Phoenix that I've been looking at since I was a teenager.
I've only lived in two other places in my whole life, Minneapolis and Los Angeles, so I really don't know, but it has always struck me that the strip club signs around Phoenix were pretty blatant. There have always been these big signs all over the place, on city streets where everyone goes by all of the time, that say some pretty outrageous stuff.
For those of you who have never been inside of a strip club, this is how it works: It's a dark room, filled mostly with men who are intently staring at a young woman on a stage. As a song begins, she dances in place, and during the course of the song, she removes her top. Then she puts it back on, waits for the next song, and repeats the procedure. As a young man, of course, I found it fascinating, but after seeing it a few times, I have to admit that it seemed a very simple source of entertainment. OK, that's all I'm gonna say about it. If things have changed much from the last time I went into one of these places, in the '80s, I would be surprised.
Grand Avenue used to have a lot of big signs. No, I'm not going to quote them, and I don't want you to, either. And yes, they were rude and obnoxious, but they were part of Phoenix.
Image above: looking towards South Mountain past the sign for the Playpen in the 1960s, Phoenix, Arizona.
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Posted by Brad Hall