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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

The Tropics, Denver, CO (restaurant)

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Name:The Tropics
Street:4842 Morrison Road

The Saint's Tropics was located on Morrison in Denver and owned by Warren St. Thomas. I saw this matchbook on ebay and started doing a little research, was surprised that it was not on Tiki Central.

(same inside cover as the Tropics in Dayton)

I found this website with nice renderings of the mid-century modern building

The website also had a cool story:

Front doors were hand carved wood to like Tiki Faces.You must of had a picture of the club good drawing and likeness. The sign said The Saint’s Tropics…inside there were hourly thunder storms sounds.

The upper eating areas around the outside of the main dance floor…take 2 small steps up to the eating area that had hollow banisters in front.. and hidden water tub supplied water ..and it would fall into the hallow banisters with lights flashing at the ends so you could see the water coming down and the thunder sounds.A very large tree branch was on the sealing with moss on it and little twinkling white lights hidden hear and there.The dancer floor was hydraulic and could be lifted up for shows.A big bird like cage came down out of the sealing above dance floor for special shows and persons could be inside of..there were tiki masks on the back walls that had black lights on them.There was a small
Lighted alligator pit in one back corner of the club.The chair had an animal skin prints on them.And the girls that worked there had animal skin print bikinis suits on with one shoulder strap.

Many Many head liners in music,comedy,and dancers.etc. played there of the years.
Till more clubs opened in the heart of downtown Denver.
It was a Very Cool Place and a bit ahead of it’s time inside and out…!

Also found an ad with some of the great headliner acts that played at the nightclub.

Anybody else got any info on this place (ZuluMagoo)?


That line-up...!!!?? You must be kidding me, that must be a photoshop job! That is like everybody's favorite Burlesque queen there is, plus Calypso, at a TIKI MODERN venue? Only Betty Page is missing (if she would have performed). How much more perfect dream-come-true can you get!? That must be fake, that's like Martin Denny would have a performed at THE TIKI RESTAURANT....

...wait a minute, he did! The above poster (to be seen in my Sound of Tiki booklet) is real, the place existed, and he played there. When I saw this at my friend Jordan's house for the first time, I could not believe it! It seemed like such a cliche. So does the above ad, but I do thing it is real too. I just love it when all the elements of our genres come together to form a sort of hyper-reality!

I only wish that this ad would exist in better quality somewhere...

I am bemoaning this because I am hoping to use the Denver Tropics as an example of the "Tiki Modern" look in "The Look of Tiki". You must have missed the post, D.C.:

Zulu Magoo (Mike Skinner) has posted these posted these fantastic photos here (under Denver Tiki) and Michelle Baldwyn wrote an article about it in the Denver Tiki Fanzine:

Here's my favorite:

According to the article, the building still stands.


Here is how the building looks today.

"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2010-05-08 16:07 ]


On 2010-05-08 13:00, bigbrotiki wrote:
The above poster (to be seen in my Sound of Tiki booklet)


The leopard-skin outfits, yes, that's the best one. I don't recall those pictures from Mike. Glad to see the building is still there. It's not a far cry from what it used to be, on the outside anyway.


Missed ZuluMagoo's post when I was researching this, I know I had seen those leopard print outfits before. That is the all star line-up of Burlesque Queens if there ever was one.

A little more info from Shimmy Magazine issue #2.

When Warren St. Thomas opened the Tropics as a burlesque club in the mid 1940’s, he couldn’t have picked a better time. The war was ending, men were coming home, and burlesque stars had moved from the theatres into what had become a full-blown nightclub circuit. St. Thomas easily became a steady part of that circuit with his ingenious recipe for burlesque success



Way Way cool!!!

Found few more great ads from the Tropics.

What a line-up.

I noticed that the Waldorf borrowed an image from the Tropics for their Exotica night ad.



Those ads are classic, nice work DC. I wish I could go on tiki expedition and dig around inside that place. There has to be a archaeologist in the local area who can figure out a way to take some pictures of the inside. Maybe some more vintage pics of the inside will turn up.

A menu from The Tropics sold on ebay a while back.

Now where did the get the idea for that design?


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