One afternoon when I was 16 we went to a burlesque house called the Alameda. Three punk high school kids with fake IDs; the big deal was to try to get in the Alameda back then. We were scared shitless we would get caught, they didn’t care just took our money. This was in the late 50’s; it was an old theater that had seen better days, the kind with a little ticket booth out front. Everyone in there was smoking, so you watched the show through a haze highlighted by the stage lights. There was a three-piece band, as I recall, or at least a drummer. We watched some women glide around onstage and swing their breasts to make their tassels twirl. Just didn’t see what the big deal was, so after a few dancers we left. But, we had bragging rights.
I would love to say I saw Tempest Storm, but I didn’t. One thing is certain, I will never forget that experience.
I should tell you about the Moonlight Ranch sometime.
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One of the prompts this week was… smoky stage lights… That made me think of this story.
The Alameda Theatre opened as the Nippon Theatre in 1907 and sat 450. The theatre closed in 1960 during the redevelopment boom in Sacramento. And, Tempest Storm did play there.