And these weren't sleazy strip clubs. The Playboy Clubs were classy, cool and hip. In Diamonds Are Forever, we learn that James Bond is a member. It became a status symbol to be a "Keyholder" for 25 bucks a year. To give you an idea of how "unsleazy" Playboy's reputation was at the time, Hefner had a television show called Playboy's Penthouse.... this at a time when networks would never dream of putting Ward and June Cleaver in the same bed! Indeed, these were places you could take your wife and not feel awkward - they were tasteful and swank.
At one time there were 25,000 Bunnies and over a million Keyholders! And the revenue kept pouring in - soon, The Playboy Casinos became the primary source of income for the Playboy empire. In fact, the 45 Park Lane Playboy Casino was the most successful casino in the world at one time.
All good things must come to an end, however. Playboy lost its gambling license, which killed a huge source of profits. Other factors included a general decline in nightclub attendance and the meteoric rise in feminism put the final nail in the coffin.
I'll start with a picture of me at age 12 at the Baltimore Playboy Club in 1971. (Not really.)
Several image sources found here at the ex-Playboy Bunny site
The next two are from LP Cover Lover