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Up All Night / Social Climes

Hot Jazz, Cool Prices

August 20, 1995|MARK EHRMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

It's a cheap date.

"You can pay $2 to park, you can have a $3 beer and you can get in for $3 and buy a girl a beer, all for under $10," boasts Charlie Collins of Internationalist, the club he and partners Derek Walker and R/Kain Blaze hold every Friday night at Hollywood Moguls.

While Collins' addition may be off the mark (we make that out to be $11, Charlie), his concept isn't.

Collins says Internationalist "provides maximum entertainment for the money," and here his arithmetic is indisputable. While good jazz tends to command top dollar in this town, Collins and company provide that plus a whole lot more for one low cover price.

"The idea is to provide a lot of entertainment that people aren't used to seeing and try to train them to like intelligent vibes," he says.

On any given night, Internationalist will field about five acts in quick succession, cabaret-style.

And if one of the performances doesn't suit you, not to worry, because, as Collins points out, "We always have the back room."

He's referring to the cineplex-size screening room in back. Here you can hang out and watch, say, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" or "Goldfinger," sans sound, while a DJ spins hip-hop, funk and disco.

Soon Collins will add interactivity, bringing burlesque dancers to interact with the action on screen.

Internationalist is also purveying a mood--or to put it in the more appropriate early '60s hepcat argot, a vibe. The dark, cavernous, industrial space sports a checkerboard stage, wild installations, comfy booths, a bar and full menu.

"We're trying to bring a sense of style to the whole Hollywood market," Collins says. "There's a lot of no-class spots. We want to make a place where people can feel like, yeah, they can think."

A recent lineup, for instance, included two jazz bands (one of which, the Jazz Poets, is the Internationalist house band), a vocalist, a comedy duo and the debut of a performance artist called Irv, who delighted the audience with his lip-synced rendition of Willy Wonka's "Imagination."

"It's just all around a very artsy feeling here," says Angela Heine, a Cal State Northridge film student.

"Anyplace that would have live jazz would be a very expensive, smaller, kind of a dress-up, kind of grown-up kind of place," says Heine's friend Joe Harnish, a 27-year-old art student from Chicago, making comparisons to the venues in his hometown.

"This is more of a groovy, kind of a younger, more hip kind of scene."

*

Where: Internationalist at Hollywood Moguls, 1650 Schrader Blvd., Hollywood. (213) 465-7449.

When: Friday nights, 10 p.m.--2 a.m.

Cost: Admission: $5 ($3 with flyer or password; call to get on mailing list). Coffee, $1; beer and wine, $2; pizza, $4; pasta, $5-$6.

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