In May of 1962 the 187-seat Krofft Theater opened at 8151 Santa Monica Boulevard. A former piano bar/ lounge area within P.J.'s was converted to accommodate the production of Sid and Marty Krofft's adult's only marionette production of Les Poupees de Paris. - It played here for 1 1/2 years.
Ad from 1961
October 4, 1961
Before settling into the Krofft Theater at P.J.'s, Les Poupees de Paris played at a diner club in the San Fernando Valley called Nat Hart's Gilded Rafters at 8701 Sepulveda Boulevard in late 1961.
In the 1970's and 1980's the brothers would produce several popular television programs such as H.R. Pufnstuf, Land of the Lost and Lidsville. They were known for thier fantastic and colorful productions.
Les Poupees de Paris was created and produced by Sid and Marty Krofft. The one hour, seven act show featured 128 3-ft elaborately costumed marionettes in silks, satins, mink, real jewels and sequins. Others wear very little. Some of the costumes cost up to $3,000 each. The show got great reviews from the get go.
The show was mounted on a specially designed $250,000 4-ton stage equipped with three elevators. There were two turntables, a 20-ft waterfall and a 15-ft. swimming pool, ice skating rink and dancing water fountains and rain.
The caricatures and voices (sound track) of many entertainers were used including: Jackie Gleason, Pearl Bailey, Edgar Bergen, Liberace, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Mae West. During the show the famous players did the Can Can, sang, ice skated, played the violin and swam.
TheKrofft Theater was located within the cool, late night jazz club late called P.J.'s.
The Krofft Theater was all Victorian velvet and bangle beaded. The small 187 seat theater was quite ornate, with red velvet drapery and blue walls.
The stage was a miniature and make believe replica of the famed Lido de Paris show in Paris.
Les Poupeesde Paris was an instant success and played at P.J.'s Krofft Theater for 1 and 1/2 years. After the run here, the Krofft brothers took the show on the road to Las Vegas, 1962 Seattle Word Fair, San Francisco, New Orleans and the 1964-65 New York World's Fare and Las Vegas.
It became nationally famous at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair after Billy Graham saw it he preached a sermon against it because of its topless beauties. The the 1964 New York Work's Fair had the most ornate of all all Les Poupees productions. It boasted as having the most glamorous show with 250 of 3 1/2 foot tall puppets. It was located in the Lake Amusement Area. It was one of the Fair's most popular shows.
November 2, 1963 - Les Poupees de Parisclosed at the Krofft Theater after a sucessful 1 1/2 year run. It had completed more than 1000 performances. The Krofft brothers took the production on the road and the show a played all over the world.
P.J.'s Theater 1963 - 1966
Dec. 10, 1963
A new puppet show called Les Encore Les Poupees de Paris opened at the Krofft Theater after the original show moved out. The Krofft Brothers were not associated with this show. This production was created by Peter Foy, Stan Kramer and Edward Wassall.
This was a $350,000 production which included 150 puppets and dozens of celebrity dolls such as Zsa Zsa Gabor, Jackie Gleason, Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante, Bing Crosby and Maurice Chevalier. Again, it recreated special effects of the actual Lido de Paris stage show, including waterfall, ice rink, live birds and show girls.
The elaborate adult puppet show showed nightly 8:30 and 10. Friday and Saturday 8:30, 10 and 11:30. Dark on Monday.
May 1964: LA Times
In January 1964 Paul Raffles did some remodeling to the building. He added on to the old dining room and created a showroom with upstairs pavilion. This remodel added 2,000 sq.
P.J.'s Theater continued to be used as a small playhouse for several years. Other performances included:
May 17, 1965 the musical comedyCindy
1965 ad from LA Times
Nov 1965 actress Agnes Moorehead opened a drama school at P.J.'s Theater.
April- July 1966 the Mad Show
The Mad Show (a New York musical review), had its West Coast premiere at P.J.'s Theater with Paul Raffles as producer. It stared Alan Sues, Jo Anne Worley, Bob Sand and Bob Harvey. It was a wild, uninhibited and very funny 90 minute review had been a off-Broadway smash. (No liquor served at this show). Based on Mad magazine, written by Stan Hart and Larry Siegel. Most of the humor erupts from the relationship of kids with parents and kids with kids.
This blog is dedicated to the investigation, documentation and appreciation of the Go-Go's!
It will focus on the band's early days in L.A. (1979 - 1985) and will highlight some of the early L. A. venues they played at. It will also include some of my favorite L.A. cool places from the 70's and early '80's.
This blog will also report on more recent shows and Go-Go news. Go Go-Go's!
Mom of 3 grown kids! Married 30 years. 2 dogs. L. A. preservationist, early Hollywood enthusiast, birder, gardener and animal advocate.