GTMS Life > News November 17, 2022

Did You Know About The Trauma Club at 2121 Arch?

Did you know that 2121 Arch Street used to be a nightclub?  The Trauma was at 2121 Arch Street. The proprietor was Manny Rubin, who also ran The 2nd Fret on Sansom Street, Philadelphia’s leading folk club. The Trauma was a pretty small place, more like a club than a ballroom, and came to be […]

Did you know that 2121 Arch Street used to be a nightclub? 

The Trauma was at 2121 Arch Street. The proprietor was Manny Rubin, who also ran The 2nd Fret on Sansom Street, Philadelphia’s leading folk club. The Trauma was a pretty small place, more like a club than a ballroom, and came to be known as the psychedelic nightclub. It looked like a normal neighborhood bar when you first walked in, but the real action was upstairs, where there was a stage complete with one of the first light shows in the area.

The first show was February 24-26, 1967 with Lothar and The Hand People. The last confirmed show was The Mothers of Invention playing 6 nights at the end of 1967 (December 26-31). Unfortunately, Rubin’s excellent timing merely provided a “proof of concept” for the Electric Factory, which opened up in February 1968, just a block away. Apparently The Trauma survived into early 1968, but it could not compete with its larger rival. Another club succeeded The Trauma, but we are not able to find any details – only that our own Erika Goldberg, Director of Enrollment Management, saw Art Blakey and Miles Davis back there in the day!

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