Somewhere in Time, Unlimited invited its members and several members of local dance groups to participate in reliving a 1920’s Speakeasy on March 30, 2008. The event was held at the beautifully rennovated Georgetown Ballroom which looks like it stepped straight out of the 1920’s club scene.
Brick walls, a sign rescued before demolition of a true speakeasy in north Seattle, silk electrified lanterns in various colours hanging from the ceiling, a backbar, a courtyard with an antique car at mid-restoration point parked there (must I go on?) lended to the building and event’s vintage atmosphere.
Women in attendence came as beautiful movie-star-quality ladies, dressed in wonderful 1920’s fashions. The gentlemen notably also came in tuxedos, spats and zoot suits. The younger members had the infamous “Flapper Girl” sort of look.
The “totally ficticious and made-up backstory” that was used about Shanghai Lily was:
She was a well known woman of questionable breeding, hung out in the “wrong part of town”, and had opened a dance establishment that (gasp!) served liquor when the cops on the beat turned their heads.
Yes, “Shanghai Lily” was her name. Her speakeasy establishment was in operation from 1919 to 1933, on and off, but mostly “on”. (In celebration of such a successful party, I will be posting up photos to the SITU website very soon. When you go into “Prior Events”, Look for a new tab in the 200called “Shanghai Lily’s Speakeasy”.)
It was a classy, but raucous sort of place with great musicians, quality food and of course, the mandatory hooch that the folks all wanted despite Prohibition. When the sharp blow of a whistle was heard or rumour was that the cops were on the way, supplies were dropped into the underground tunnel that ran beneath the dance floor and wound up across the street at a warehouse containing ice in old Georgetown, just south of downtown Seattle. There were many close calls, but it was seldom that the early Seattle police force (who happened to be located just down the street!) ever managed to capture Lily’s hooch or girls!
This Spring, come visit Shanghai Lily’s notorious establishment and judge for yourself if you are participating in SITU’s Spring Event, or if you’re reliving history by stepping back into time as a “Hep Cat” in your spats, a gangster out of Chicago visiting, a “Modern Millie” from New York, a “Flapper Girl” of Gatsby’s quality, a beautiful vision to rival Ginger Rogers, or maybe just one of Lily’s girls.
We’ll be meeting on a Sunday late afternoon. The cops will never suspect. Shhhhhh.
Knock twice and tell them “The Possum sent me“….
The event was a total hoot, complete with “Da Copper” who came to “bust da joint”! If you’d like to see all the photos of this really fun event and all the lovely costumes, click here: