Makeovers: Inside the LA Athletic Club’s Secret Celebrity Blue Room, Now Remodeled and Reopened

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All photos by Antonio Dias

Renovations on the fifth and sixth floor spa areas are still in progress (salt cave, anyone?) at the historic Los Angeles Athletic Club, but the club is now unveiling its formerly secret Blue Room, a classy, reinvigorated lounge area with its own cocktail bar on the fourth floor. The Blue Room was a feature of the LAAC when the club began operating at its Downtown location in 1912, and was where the LAAC’s influential, men-only Uplifters Club formed in 1913; it went on to count among its members movie stars like Will Rogers, Spencer Tracy, and Clark Gable, and behind-the-scenes bigwigs like director/choreographer Busby Berkeley, Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, and Walt Disney, a release from LAAC says.

Renovations at the Blue Room uncovered a club feature that many had forgotten about: a staircase that connects the area to the third floor and what is now a bar. The secret stairway was used during Prohibition times, but has been out of commission since. Now it’s been reincorporated into the Blue Room, taking guests from the third floor to the lounge via steps “hidden” behind a false bookcase. A sturdy rail runs the length of the slim flight of stairs, for those who have really enjoyed the Room’s cocktail bar.

This is the latest in a slew of remodels and overhauls at the LAAC over the last couple years, including a total makeover of its hotel rooms and the launch of new eatery and lounge spaces. Take a look:

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