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The Laredo Nitespot

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John Campbell Collection

 
 

Church House on the corner of Cambridge Terrace and Gloucester Street  —  The Horticultural Hall, which housed the Laredo Nitespot, wrapped around behind Church House

 
 

To the left, the main entrance to the Horticultural Hall (Laredo Nitespot) enlarged from the image above, and to the right the "trade" entrance for artists/band equipment etc.

 
 

The Laredo Nitespot was owned by entrepreneur Jimmy Rhydings and compèred by a flamboyant Les Stott (who fancied himself as an Elvis-a-like).  The venue was located on the corner of Cambridge Terrace and Gloucester Street, wrapping around behind an imposing Church House building.  The main entrance for patrons was on Cambridge Terrace, but there was also a supplementary entrance on Gloucester Street, where band equipment could be loaded/unloaded.  It was also used as an artists' entrance.  Over the life of the Laredo Nitespot, a number of significant local groups had residency - The Playboys (later to morph into Dave Miller and The Byrds), Johnny Campbell and The Detours, along with The Vigilantes.  The Laredo Nitespot was a focal point for visiting artists, with many New Zealand stars being engaged as headliners — many noteable stars would also appear spontaneously at The Laredo after performing their own shows at other venues, for example The Librettos, Peter Posa, Jim McNaught, Rochelle Vinsen, Alison Durbin, Sir Howard Morrison, Tommy Adderley, Ray Wolfe and Gwynn Owen.  Live music, air conditioning and supper were included in the 6/- admission charge (about $12.00 in 2020 terms).