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Old Posted Nov 7, 2011, 9:08 PM
Fab Fifties Fan Fab Fifties Fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo View Post
On the second map under Glendale Airport - the is an entry for "night club" - I believe this was the "Club Continental" - a night-club and casino for the rich and famous owned - or run by - an LA crime lord called Nola Hahn.

Hahn seems to be a mysterious character and I cannot find any photos of him - or the Club Continental - does anyone have any information on him and any other clubs he was invovled in ?
Hi Bilbo, welcome!

Digging through different files I found out a little bit on Nola Hahn and Club Continental. No pictures yet, but I'm hoping to come across some soon.

That is indeed Club Continental on the map. The building originally housed the Airport Gardens Supper Club, which was a well-known speakeasy during prohibition. After the repeal, Nola Hahn was brought in by a group of investors to establish an illegal gambling club for high rollers. The club was also remodeled extensivley and quite elaborately.

Nola had established himself as a leading expert on designing gambling pits that could be hidden away by panels or other camouflaging contraptions in case of a bust. Club Continental was seen as his crowning glory. The club was set back quite a ways from Sonora, with a very long driveway. Guards watching the street entrance could radio the club and the gambling area could be completely converted to a dining room by the time agents reached the front door.

Raids didn't happen often since the then mayor of Los Angeles, Frank Shaw, was one of the club's best customers and received kickbacks from the operation. By 1938, Hahn seems to have ended his partnership in the club because he then bought the Trocadero from Billy Wilkerson. His timing for that purchase was not good because later that year Mayor Shaw was recalled and Fletcher Bowron was voted in as his successsor. Bowron ran on the platform of a crackdown on vice.

Nola Hahn kept the Trocadero for a couple of years, then sold it and headed for the pre-Bugsy Siegel Las Vegas. He opened the hugely successful Colony Restaurant and within a few years became the go to guy when it came to designing legal gambling clubs.

There is not much of anything about him after that, other than he committed suicide in 1957 at the age of 60.

~Jon Paul
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