A tribute to the Land of Cotton’s cotton-tailed belles.
When the Playboy Cub opened its doors in Atlanta in 1965, it provided Atlantans with a chic downtown party spot in which they could indulge their Hugh Hefner-fueled fantasies. It was an exclusive place, though, and if you weren’t a member or the guest of a member you were stuck outside wondering what you were missing. For the August, 1966 issue of the Bunny, the new club in the South was highlighted, along with an assortment of active- and wannabe-bunnies that only helped fuel interest in paying a visit. Consider it another 10 pages of corporate/image advertising.
Opening in March of 1965 in the Dinkler Plaza hotel at 99 Luckie Street, the Playboy Club drew upon a sophisticated crowd of conventioneers, athletes, and local businessmen for its customer base. The club featured entertainers like Dean Martin, Frankie Avalon, and George Burns.
Below text taken from a 2003 article in a local magazine, Creative Loafing:
Atlanta’s Playboy Club opened in March 1965, becoming the 15th location of the international chain. It was located in the Dinkler Hotel on Luckie Street, now the site of a Quality Inn. The club was drenched in suave ’60s chic and served as a living, breathing version of all things hailed by the notorious men’s magazine.
Honey-haired Paula Holcomb hopes to bunny-hop around the PB Club circuit after learning the ropes as a rabittuette at her hometown Atlanta hutch. An amateur scuptress, 21-year old Texan Tonja Mitchell cuts a fine figure while frugging at our New Orleans digs.
Farm-bred Georgia filly Sara Atkinson exudes the kind of ante-bellum appeal that Atlanta keyholders cotton to. Things have been looking up in Atlanta since the rabbit-eared roster first donned bunny satin early last year.
Membership was required for entry, and each member had his own key, which was shown to gain entrance. A winding staircase led from the lobby of the hotel up to the club’s main floor. At the top of the stairs, keyholders were greeted by a woman dressed in the trademark Bunny suit — bunny ears, stockings, four-inch heels, white cuff links and a form-fitting corset uniform.
Stair climbing has become a favorite sport among Atlanta rabitues now that local fashion model Peggy Dorris has decided to double as a Dixie-Bunny. Native Angelino Judy Duek is a doorable addition to Creole-style cottontailing.
In the Playmate Bar, framed centerfolds of Playmates adorned the walls, which was the only hint of nudity in the club. Next to the bar was a bumper pool table where guests lined up for the opportunity to chalk up a cue with a Bunny for $1 a game.
“We became so good at it, we could just run the table, and nobody had a chance to beat us,” says Sunny Green, a former Bunny who now works as a crime scene investigator for Rockdale County. “You could finish a game in two minutes and just say ‘next.'”
Alabama belle Janice Bishop strolls through a maze of modern architectural forms that border Atlanta’s famed Peachtree Center shopping area on her way home from an afternoon stint at a local hutch. A one-time Hollywood hopeful (“My only part was a walk-on in the world’s worst horror flick”), she’s found bunnydom suits her best.
Jan Roberts was highlighted in the August, 1962 edition – something that warrants further investigation.
An off-hours devotee of yoga and chess, “Peaches” Coombs – who toured the country for two years as the mitiest (5′) member of an acrobatic troupe – sizes up the scene along Atlanta’s Peachtree Street, just a few blocks from her own warren.
Another flight of stairs ascended to the Penthouse showroom where live performances were featured. On any iven night, the crooning of Tony Bennett or Mel Torme might be heard wafting down from the Penthouse. Classic comedians such as Milton Berle, Sid Caesar and Steve Allen appeared often, as well as edgier up-and-comers like George Carlin and Steve Martin.
Life as a Bunny wasn’t necessarily a hop in the park. Strict guidelines including weekly weigh-ins, fingernail inspections, grooming requirements and behavior etiquette were strongly enforced. Failure to comply could lead to suspension. Bunnies were also forbidden to date customers.
Bayou belle Carol Leland exhibits four-poster form.
A German-import of recent vintage, carrot topped Lori Schrueger would like nothing better than to see the U.S.A. the Playboy way (“After Atlanta, I’d love to work at every club on the circuit”).
Weeknight crowds consisted primarily of conventioneers and businessmen. A dress code was also enforced: suit and tie required. Acts in the showroom helped draw in more women on weekends.
Local celebrities often frequented the club, especially athletes. Former Braves player and TV yuckster Bob Uecker was a fixture, and Rankin Smith and Pete Rozell shared a toast at the club the day Smith purchased the Falcons. Others guest performers included Dean Martin, Frankie Avalon and Roy Orbison.
Carrie Radison was miss June of 1957.
With stogie in hand, the incomparable George Burns once performed in the club’s intimate Penthouse setting. “He couldn’t see very well, and he had to have a Bunny lead him to the stage,” says Green.
The Atlanta Playboy Club, along with the rest of the chain, swung hard in the ’60s. But by the end of the decade, the era of upscale lounge nightclubs featuring vocalists and comedians was being ushered out the door. In the ’70s, discos, rock clubs and singles bars took their place, and strip clubs began revealing more than Bunnies ever would. The Atlanta club closed after it was damaged by fire in 1975.
Finally a link HERE that shows a complete scan of a typical envelope containing a membership solicitation for the Atlanta Club.