You probably couldn't have a nightclub event -- DJs, models and sound included -- at your house even if you wanted to. The cops would probably show up at some point. And if you did it 80 times a year and charged as much as $1,000 a head, the city would probably crack down -- especially after your well-heeled neighbors continued to complain that you're operating a nightlife venue in a residential area.
But this is Los Angeles, and the rules don't always apply evenly. Take the Playboy Mansion in Holmby HIlls, for example, where neighbors have long pointed to the unfair nature of the party machine the 5.5-acre property has become. On Saturday the manse will outdo itself with a club-like "Kandy Masquerade" featuring superstar DJ Paul Oakenfold, women in lingerie, and open bars "all night."
A promotional invite that looks like one that came from a rave promoter states, " ... Think Eyes Wide Shut meets Phantom of the Opera - where beautiful women clad with only masks and intimate lingerie partying and dancing with gentlemen masked in dark clad attire, reminiscent of a venetian carnival."
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Tickets are $1,000, and cabanas are $10,000. Some of the proceeds will benefit the SPCA. A Los Angeles Business Journal look at the mansion's parties in 2003 stated that resident Hugh Hefner requires about a $40,000 donation to a charity of his choice in order to have a party at the residence. Organizers must pay about $150,000 on top of that.
Playboy Enterprises, which owns the property, has maintained that the often-corporate events at the mansion don't generate profit and always benefit charities. Following up on neighbors' complaints, the Los Angeles City Council inspected the property and declared that it was not, in fact, an illegal business.
Of course, most places in L.A. that feature superstar DJs, bartenders, and models and charge a lot for people to enter are, in fact, night clubs, and they often go through hoops to ensure the venues have proper permits, licenses and permissions. And few if any are in residential neighborhoods, nor would they be allowed to be. But like we said, this is L.A.