Long Beach Historical Society to hold ‘Speakeasy’ event

Benefit for Long Beach museum set for May 18

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The Long Beach Historical Society will pay homage to the barrier island’s Prohibition-era past when it holds its "W. Reynolds Speakeasy & Gin Joint" event on May 18 at 8 p.m. at the museum, at 226 West Penn St.

Attendees are encouraged to celebrate in period dress, and the event will include a ragtime band, signature cocktails and roulette, crap and Blackjack tables. The event supports the Historical Society’s museum and programs.

“It’s a re-enactment with gaming tables, music and we come in period dress,” said Karen Adamo, president of the Historical Society. “It’s based on the history of Prohibition and the speakeasies that we had in Long Beach.”

In October 1919, when Prohibition went into effect, Shine’s —  the oldest bar in Long Beach, which opened in 1912 — closed its doors and reopened as a speakeasy. It was one of 28 speakeasies in the West End alone, and presumably operated successfully until it was raided in 1930, the Herald wrote in 2013 to mark the business’s centennial. Prohibition was repealed on Dec. 5, 1933.

“They used to bring the liquor in from the beach on boats, and of course the West End,” Adamo said. “There were numerous underground bars in Long Beach at the time, the city had many speakeasies, including Shine’s.”

Tickets for Historical Society members are $75 and $125 per couples; non-members: $100 for singles, $150 for couples. To register, visit https://www.lbhs11561.org/ or call (516) 770-0587 for more information.