July 31, 1988: Last Playboy Club in America closes

Teresa Mathew

On this day—July 31, 1988—the last original Playboy Club in America shut its doors in Lansing, Mich. The Playboy Clubs, which first opened in Chicago in 1960, were successful for over a decade and at one point had 22 clubs open at a time around the nation. Only Playboy Club members, men who possessed the $25 Playboy key or key card, could get into the club.

Over time, however, the Playboy Clubs became less popular and posh. The onset of the sexual revolution as well as Playboy’s loss of its gambling proceeds hurt both the franchise as a whole and the clubs in particular. The last American Playboy Club had nine bunnies on its payroll when it closed, ages 21-31, who earned roughly $200 for three evenings of work a week. A new Playboy Club was launched at Las Vegas' Palms Hotel in 2006, but it closed in 2012. As of 2012 there were operating clubs in Monaco in Cancun, and plans to open more in India by 2022.