From the 1920s to 1950s, Central Avenue was the hub of the West Coast jazz scene. Famous the world over, “the Avenue,” as it was lovingly called, was a must visit destination for jazz lovers staying in Los Angeles. “I didn’t know where Sunset Boulevard was when I moved to L.A., but sure I knew Central,” legendary producer Quincy Jones recalled.
The Alabam was black-owned and run by bandleader Curtis Mosby, “the mayor of Central Avenue.” The club featured black entertainment for integrated audiences and was one of numerous nightclubs and theaters that flourished on Central Avenue until the early 1950s.
The Alabam hosted an annual "drag ball" that attracted a multi-racial crowd, with men wearing lipstick and dressed in gowns.