8383 Sunset Blvd.

8383 sunset-blvd-as-club- casanova

Club Casanova 

8383 was situated on a large parcel owned by the Coyne family that straddled the boundary of what was the the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County territory. It had previously housed Prohibition-era nightclubs, the Moscow Inn and Club Ballyhoo, addressed as 8353 and 8373 respectively. With a key location across from the Sunset Tower apartments, 8383 Sunset seemed a sure hit, but like many nightspots on the Strip, its history is one of high-turnover and frequent name changes.

8383 sunset strip as CLub CLemente 11-14-35

8383 as Club Clement, 11-14-1935

8383 debuted as Café Clement in November 1934, one of the nightspots that would earn this stretch of Sunset its nickname, “the Strip.” The exterior of the building was eclectic Spanish-Deco; the cuisine was French-Italian. Café Clement scored a coup in bringing out entertainer extrordinaire Martha Raye from New York for an exclusive singing engagement in February 1936. That same month, Café Clement became the Club Casanova.

Martha-Raye-8383 Sunset Blvd 2-13-1936

Cafe Clement imported entertainer Martha Raye from New York in February 1936. The club changed its name to Club Casanova during her engagement. 2-13-1936

8383 Sunset Strip ca. 1938

The Strip snaking by 8383 Sunset Blvd. c. 1937, captured during the brief time that it operated as Club Casanova. The entrance to Sunset Tower apartments is on the right. LAPL.

In May 1937 the Club Casanova closed “for rebuilding.” Before the year was out it had undergone another name change, to U-Gene’s Bagdad with a “Harlem in Hollywood” theme.

8383 sunset strip as U-Gene's Bagdad 12-31-1937

8383 Sunset Strip as U-Gene’s Bagdad 12-31-1937.

8383 as U-Gene's bagdad

On July 6, 1939, 8383 Sunset made its bow on the Strip as “Little Eva.” It didn’t last long. October 26, 1939 saw the grand opening of The Sports Circle.

8383 sunset strip as little eva 7-6-1939

8383 Sunset made its bow on the Strip as “Little Eva” on July 6, 1939.

8383 Sunset as the Sports Circle

The Sports Circle had its grand opening October 26, 1939.

By Mar 1940, 8383 was operating as the real estate office of William R. “Bob” Coyne, who had recently accused Deputy Sheriff and vice squad head George Contreras of owning a piece of a slot machine and gambling racket. As of 1943 it was a failed carpet business.

In January 1949, again operating as a nightclub, 8383 was the scene of one of the Strip’s many celebrated brawls, involving movie stunt flyer/playboy/race car driver Joel W. Thorne. After suffering fire damage in December 1950, it was repaired and converted back to office use.

 

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