The Playdium opened in the former Penn Square Theater on the north side of Euclid Avenue just west of the Pennsylvania Railroad trestle over Euclid and East 55th on Christmas Eve in 1945. It initially featured extravagant floor shows. Owner Norman Khoury eventually settled on a Harlem-style policy for booking musical talent, and the Playdium had a short run as a popular music venue that attracted biracial patronage until at least 1948. It was located directly across the street from another short-lived Harlem-style venue, the Metropolitan Theatre. The inclusion of “Cafe Society Midtown” in its name in some ads probably sought to connect the club in people’s minds to New York’s famed Cafe Society because it had no relation to the Green Book–listed Cafe Society in Glenville.
Additional information coming soon.