Boys & Girls was a popular celebrity nightclub in 1980s Los Angeles. Except for a Polaroid camera owned by the club’s founders, no cameras were allowed inside (and no one had iPhones with cameras). The late Chris Daggett snapped Polaroids of stars like Anjelica Huston, Richard Gere, and Janice Dickinson late into the night — his photos appear in the first issue of LALA magazine, an L.A.–based arts-and-culture magazine that launched this week.
“The big fashion photographers, models, young actors all came: Madonna, Sean Penn, Al Pacino, Thierry Mugler, Julien Temple, to name a few,” Bret Witke, an architect who owned the club and ran the door back then, tells LALA. “It was everyone before plastic surgery and everybody dressed up.” Chris Daggett was his life and business partner, running around with the camera. Once inside, everyone enjoyed free beer and Witke’s famous blue punch (made with vodka and blue curaçao).
The candid photos often look like inside jokes. In one frame, the late singer George Michael and his then-girlfriend Kathy Jeung caress a plastic baby doll. (Witke explained the two played Joseph and Mary Magdalene at a New Year’s Eve party and pretended to give birth to baby Jesus.) Other images show Richard Gere in conversation, Deborah Falconer on the dance floor, and a slew of random objects amid the partying — white tulips, a disco ball, and a white telephone. “You can’t live like this, nobody feels that comfortable in any given moment anymore,” Witke says. “Back then, there weren’t even paparazzi outside.”
Click ahead to see images from LALA magazine’s spread.