If you own a stripclub, your stage is one of your most prized possessions. The reality is, the stage is where your money-making opportunity begins.
Because gentlemens club owners aren’t always able to dictate the location of their clubs, they have to deal with what they have, and sometimes this means owners are stuck with a club with 8’ ceilings. Nearly every stripclub owner wants a stage with the elusive “WOW-factor,” but low ceilings can be a design issue owners aren’t equipped to overcome. Low ceilings in gentlemens clubs are not a deal-breaker, my friends – there are ways around this, and I’m here to tell you about them! The photo at right depicts a stage I designed for a club with 8' ceilings, Score's Buffalo Airport, in Buffalo, NY.
How to Design a Stage for a Gentlemens Club with Low Ceilings
First, let’s understand what it takes to build a stage. At its core, a stage is nothing more than a floor built above a floor. If your gentlemens club has 8’ ceilings, the most basic stage is one built like a platform (shown in the photo at right, which is the "Before" photo of the stage featured above). We’re all familiar with clubs who own such stages, but this is a poor design solution – and worst of all, one that is going to cost you, the club owner, BIG TIME. Here are the problems associated with a stage using a design approach such as this:
- The first problem is that the operational approach is awkward – awkward for the dancers and awkward for the patrons. It’s awkward primarily because it isn’t engaging. Even if you were to position chairs alongside of a basic platform stage, the girls aren’t put in the ideal position of interacting with the patrons. Solution #1 is to add a drink rail. Every stage needs a drink rail, such as the one shown in the photo at the top. I’ll discuss this later.
- The second problem is that pure platform stages just aren’t attractive. There’s little you can do with a platform stage to give it “WOW-factor,” primarily because it isn’t really a stage, in the traditional sense. Basic platform stages lack structure, formality and engagement, the three basic elements of stage design. If own a platform stage, do yourself a huge favor – make it look like one.
The Free-Standing Drink Rail: A Basic Design Element For Low Stages
Stage Design 101 requires that every stage needs a drink rail, as I mentioned in an earlier blog post, referenced below. This is especially the case with platform stages, not only because of its inherent benefits (a place for one’s drink) but even more so because of the common bonding space this creates for the dancers and the patrons. With a drink rail, the dancer has an eye-level platform for closer interaction, for propping herself for further engagement. Eye-to-eye contact is one-on-one contact, which creates the ideal opportunity for the dancer to maximize her tips AND sell lap dances – lots of them! And by the way, she now has given YOU the opportunity to keep the customer in your club much longer – CHA-CHING$$!
So now that I have your attention, you’re thinking, ‘Great, but my club has wooden floors – how can I provide structural support a free-standing drink rail?’ No worries, my friend!! There is a method I’ve developed to solve this problem, and it’s discussed in an earlier blog post about Lavi railing systems, which you can read below.
Of course, if all of this is more than you want to handle, I am available to custom-design your free-standing drink rail. We’ll provide you with all the plans for construction, a sample of which is shown below, right, along with the vendors and materials for your project.
The Stage Canopy and its Hidden Benefits
I have a particular fondness for stage canopies. No matter the ceiling height, stage canopies create a greater sense of formality. In the case of the platform stage, canopies are “the cherry on the sundae,” as they add structure and formality to the overall stage design. They also provide a platform to delineate large, open spaces as well as to create an opportunity for lighting. MOST IMPORTANTLY, however, in many instances, clubs with 8’ ceilings offer a hidden secret benefit – the opportunity for additional vertical clearance. Yes, folks, in many instances there is space above the ceiling line that can be exploited! Of course, to take advantage of this extra space, it may entail structural shoring, but this is a one-time expense. Referring to the stage featured in the photo at the top of this article, by adding the canopy, we were able to gain an additional 24” (610mm) of clearance! The drawing above is one of the drawings I did for the stage featured in this story.
So, as you can see, even if you own a gentlemens club with 8’ ceilings, it really isn’t as bad as you might think. There are plenty of ways to dress-up your height-challenged stage.
The bottom line is: by implementing design enhancements to a height-challenged stage, you will be putting more money in your pocket!
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