If you’ve ever been to Hollywood, you’ve heard of Playhouse — if not because of the venerable buzz then definitely by the bustle of the line outside that can be seen on any typical night from Hollywood Blvd. But don’t let the line intimidate you, there’s a reason why the Los Angeles party elite don’t mind the wait.
Once past the velvet rope, guests enter over 13,000 square feet of pure bass-induced party — from table service and the usual celebrity sighting to hanging with some of Hollywood’s better looking gentry.
HPNOTIQ caught up with Steven Helmcamp, concierge of the notorious club, to talk about what gives Playhouse an edge over the usual Hollywood night out, how the good vibes within the club’s walls prompted Lil Wayne to surprise guests with an impromptu performance and how to make a girl feel special with Playhouse’s HPNOTIQ bachelorette packages.
Do you feel like Playhouse falls into the typical Hollywood party scene?
I think we’re different in the way that Hollywood is known for the glitz and the glam and who’s who, and we do have that aspect of it, but we’re different because we’re such a large club — we have 13,000 square feet, two stories. The headliner DJs are always in the downstairs main area which is just a big space with a lot of action going on. Then for a more exclusive feel is our VIP balcony room — it’s all red leather couches and VIP tables but what’s great is that even though it’s intimate the people getting bottle service are more likely to party with the table next to them since they’re so close. So you can have your own private party feel or be in the midst of it all.
And in terms of being in Hollywood, Playhouse is definitely among the more desirable clubs to go to because we have a great reputation in addition to having frequent celebrity appearances and record release parties. People hear about us hosting events like Chris Brown’s record release party and they’re sure to put Playhouse on the list of places they want to visit.
Tell me a little about the general atmosphere at Playhouse. What’s the crowd like?
Our crowd ranges but it’s mostly 21-35, sometimes little bit older on some night. Every night is different here — Monday night we stick with house and trance music, the we have a hip-hop night and a Top 40 night, Thursday we do a college night where we have buses that bring students from UCLA and USC. We really try to make Playhouse a place for everyone by working with the hotels in the area as well as many Los Angeles restaurants. We have a lot of regulars, but at the same time people from out of town know that they want to come to Playhouse because of everything we’ve heard.
What are some of your favorite recent events?
Of course the Chris Brown party was a lot of fun. We also had an insane week during the Grammys — a lot of after parties including a surprise performance by Lil Wayne. Tyga, part of the Cash Money Crew, was hosting the event and Lil Wayne came in with his entourage so we set him up with one of our VIP tables, of course. After about 30 minutes, he decided to get on stage and perform.
I happened to be standing in the crow’s nest a.k.a. the lighting booth and everyone just had their cellphones out recording this impromptu Lil Wayne concert — everyone was shocked, including us, because it wasn’t a planned thing. I mean, if he were to do that at some club in Vegas, it’d probably cost the place $100,000 whereas he came to Playhouse and had a good time and wanted to take it to another level. That was really an amzing unexpected experience.
We also had an party during NBA All Star week at which Janelle Monae performed with a live band, and Prince, Diddy, and Bruno Mars came out to watch and support her which was amazing. Just being in the room with Prince made being at Playhouse feel really special — having such legendary icons come into our space.
Would you say Playhouse is a great Girls Night Out destination?
Yes definitely, especially bachelorette parties. When girls call to see what we offer, I’m proud to say that we work with HPNOTIQ to put together these bachelorette packages, because a lot of clubs in Los Angeles don’t have the option of having a specific package catered to them. So we offer them the HPNOTIQ gift bags with all the goodies they need to have a great night, as well as HPNOTIQ drinks. We always greet the ladies at the door and usher them in, make sure they’re comfortable and they truly feel special.
So next time a friend of theirs is getting married, they can skip the strip club and come straight to us and have a night that’s all about them that includes something blue before their special day.