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  • Former Liverpool nightclub loved by celebrities was ‘just the place to be’ – Liverpool Echo

 September 25

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A “fabulous” former Liverpool nightclub loved by celebrities and stylish club goers was “just the place to be.”

Opened in the late 1970s by stylist Herbert Howe and business partner Jonny Malloy, clubgoers would get dressed to the nines to head to the Hollywood nightclub on Duke Street.

The city-centre club boasted black and white walls, Hollywood memorabilia and photographs as well as a cocktail bar often ran by some of Herbert’s hairdressers, with film-themed drinks and glasses decorated with pink sugar.

Read More:Iconic Merseyside statue once caused ‘public uproar’ in town

Over the years, the Hollywood welcomed famous faces such as Jermaine Jackson, Teena Marie, Sister Sledge, Jim Kerr from Simple Minds and Spandau Ballet.

Liverpool bands Frankie Goes To Hollywood and China Crisis were also regulars, with Billy Butler, Les Dawson, Kev Seed, Ricky Tomlinson, John Hargraves, Wally Scott and Stan Boardman also visiting the venue.

Into the 1980s, the club changed ownership twice and the ECHO understands it officially closed around the 1990s.

Herbert’s sister Christine Lawton, 75, told the ECHO: “It was just a fabulous club. Upstairs there was a heavy music room and downstairs was nice music which was different.

“There was a fabulous cocktail bar and there was a pancake bar. We used to have a hypnotist there, it was quite amazing to be honest.

“People like Ricky Tomlinson, who had done their shows of a night at the theatre, they used to come straight to the Hollywood to go see Herbert and enjoy it because he was really full of life.

“New Year’s Eve he used to have fabulous parties, everyone used to go. Most celebrities used to just call in.”

Inside the former Hollywood nightclub on Duke Street. Pictured: Former owner, the late Herbert Howe

The late Herbert Howe inside the Hollywood nightclub on Duke Street

Christine said herself, her mum Queenie, dad Frank and brother Ian were regularly at the club, with Queenie taking care of “beautiful coats” in the cloakroom.

She also fondly remembers the year staff at George Henry Lee’s had their Christmas party at the Hollywood and when caterers cancelled, all the family, Hollywood staff and hairdressers at Herbert’s of Liverpool came to save the day.

She said: “It must have been good because they said can we book for next year.”

The club also boasted a powder room, were ladies could help themselves to tonnes of perfume and men could for aftershave.

Inside the former Hollywood nightclub on Duke Street

Inside the Hollywood nightclub on Duke Street

Christine said: “The people, all of them, dressed so magnificently. These days you may go out with beautiful jeans or designer jeans, but these were dressed immaculate. Nobody could wait to get to Herbert’s place to dress up.

“He was the entertainer, the people would go for Herbert, they’d all congregate round him. He’d always go on stage and could hold an audience. He really, really loved it.

Do you have any memories of the Hollywood club? Let us know in the comments section.

“The girls in Herbert’s of Liverpool salon were always there. It was like one big happy family. He was an unbelievable man, I don’t half miss him.”

Inside the former Hollywood nightclub on Duke Street

The Hollywood nightclub was extremely popular with clubgoers and celebrities

Roscoe Travis, 65, from Aintree became resident DJ at the Hollywood nightclub in the late 1970s, after being introduced to Herbert and business partner Jonny Malloy by a friend who worked as a hairdresser at Herbert’s business.

DJ’ing Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s at the club on the the upper level, with Mike Davidsonon the lower level, Roscoe left returned to the club and worked there until the late 1980s.

T he ECHO has launched a new 56-page nostalgia supplement in print. It’s packed with photos from the recent past and the not-so-recent, from shopping, fashion and music to the Albert Dock – plus an elephant on parade in Woolton. You can order a copy here

He told the ECHO: “The club was just spectacular. At the time nightclubs were just matte black paint and silver patterns on walls and at the end of the night there was sweat running down the walls.

“But Hollywood wasn’t a bit like that – it was all glitter and beautifully decorated.

Inside the former Hollywood nightclub on Duke Street

Staff inside the Hollywood nightclub on Duke Street

“It was not like any other nightclub in town. I’d never seen anything like Hollywood. It was an absolute first for the North West of England, to have a nightclub with such a high standard of décor and everything in the whole place was themed.

“It was one of those places that didn’t have a down side. It wasn’t one of those ‘it’s a great place but’ – because there were no buts.

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“It was ground-breaking in its day, absolutely ground-breaking. Certainly for a long time it was the best club in town.”

Roscoe said some of his strongest memories of the club are of Herbert’s hair shows, hypnotist Arthur T. Leslie and kind staff such as doormen Richie and Terry.

Inside the former Hollywood nightclub on Duke Street. Pictured, Jermaine Jackson and resident DJ Roscoe Travis

Jermaine Jackson and resident DJ Roscoe Travis at the Hollywood nightclub

During his time at the Hollywood, Roscoe said stars such as Jermaine Jackson, Teena Marie, Sister Sledge, Jim Kerr from Simple Minds and Spandau Ballet were among those who visited the club.

Liverpool bands Frankie Goes To Hollywood and China Crisis were also regulars.

Roscoe said: “One of the biggest tunes of the time that we were playing about 20 times a night was Native New Yorker by Odyssey.

“It was such a pleasure to work there at the time. It was very much – to use a sixties word – the trendy set. It was the place to go. It was very very hard to get in.

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“It was absolutely 110% strictly no jeans. It was smart causal but it attracted a clientele that dressed really really well. It wasn’t unusual to see Rolls-Royce’s parked outside.

“It always stayed a nice place but the Herbert years were certainly my best recollections. He was such an exuberant bloke.”

Inside the former Hollywood nightclub on Duke Street

Inside the former Hollywood nightclub, Liverpool

Paying tribute to Herbert in 2016, close friend Pete Price said: “During his illness, he spoke at length about his career, which includes clothes shops, card shops and a nightclub called Hollywood – it’s hard to remember all of his businesses.

“Thinking about Hollywood, his club, he did make me laugh. He always said he built it for me to work in.

“I will never forget the opening night as sadly it was the night my mother died. Herbert was incredibly supportive to me, but Herbert, being Herbert, decided to sack me after the first night – informing me I was too expensive – only Herbert could get away with that!”

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Original posted at www.liverpoolecho.co.uk

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