Beacher’s Madhouse Brings Vaudeville to the LA Club SceneFebruary 17, 2011 By: Sean Evans
No other venues can boast this unique combo of features as part of their nightlife establishment: burlesque dancers, a live monkey, a cadre of little people dressed either as Oompah Loopahs or as mini-celebrity impersonators, magicians, karaoke and a varied nightly performance. No, the only place to find all of those elements under one roof will be when Beacher’s Madhouse, tucked inside the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, opens next month.
Jeff Beacher debuted this madcap nightlife concept in New York City back in 2002 before moving the act to Vegas the following year, with much success. Five years later, he did an 80-city promotional tour with his crew of merry misfits before settling upon LA as his new home base of operations. “We’ve done this for nearly a decade, and sold more than one million tickets,” Beacher says. “Especially after the two-year nationwide tour, we’re ready to be situated in one place again. And where better than LA?"
“I think nightlife should again be about small boutique theatres, as it used to be,” the showman explains. “Everything in nightlife has moved towards massive 5,000 person mega-clubs. It’s the time to go back to intimate, high end, membership-only kinds of places.” So with Thompson Hotels offering a five year, $25 million partnership deal, Beacher’s Madhouse signed on. After a $1 million redesign of the former Cinegrill space, the stage is literally polished and set for absolutely anything to happen upon or around it, which is precisely the vibe and environment Beacher wants from the 3,000-square-foot space.
“We have a little person bartender on a wire who flies around the room and drops your bottles off at each table. We have a mini bar, staffed by little people who pour from airplane bottles to make Mar‘teenys,’ we have food – everything from small bites to dinner. We have a real monkey who’ll come sit at your table and take pictures with you and your friends,” Beacher lists, and laughs, “I can keep going.”
Perhaps the most interesting facet of this nightlife proposition isn’t the show itself; it’s the business model behind it. “When we open March 16, it’s to the public for previews,” he shares. “Anyone who’d like can call up, make a reservation, enjoy a table and the venue for the night. They can do that once. Then in September, we transition to a fully private, members-only club. Guests will apply, and we’ll select a 2,000-person roster for the club, and only those people will be able to make reservations,” he says, noting that members can bring non-members as part of their crew. Membership fees will be about $2,000 per year.
“The application process will create an intimate, one-of-a-kind entertainment experience for the city's top creative personalities, executives, and celebrities alike,” concludes Beacher. “I think we’ll fill up our membership spots quickly.”
Not only that, it creates an immediate cash flow for the venue and a loyal customer base, and all before the club officially opens. It seems that Beacher's not quite as "mad" as one would think...