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1966_04_23--096_SP Playboy Western World

"There are two distinct images of woman being projected now," says Hefner. "One is in the women's fashion magazines, the other is in ours, and one of them is very sick." MR. PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD The boyhood dream is real and the empire flourishes. Bunnies gambol prettily in The Mansion, the money pours in and the 0 fficial Philosophy pours out. But is Hugh Hefner happy? By Calvin Tomkins A few weeks from now, when the wind whipping off Lake Michigan has lost its bite and the Bunny girls on front-door duty at the Playboy Club have put away their tiny fur capes, Chicago's most spectacularly successful citizen will pass a major milestone in his career. Hugh Hefner, the boy genius who started a magazine of "entertainment for men" in 1953 on $600 in borrowed cash and built it into a $48-million-a-year empire, is taking over the 37-story former Palmolive Building on Michigan Avenue as his new headquarters. Some old Chicagoans may pretend not to notice the event; it is still a little hard for conservative, middle-aged burghers to accept Playboy magazine's brash young publisher-editor as a fellow captain of industry. But ordinary citizens will look on with amused admiration, taxi drivers will point out the remodeled Playboy Building to sightseers, and airline pilots and Great Lakes seamen will probably go along with the campaign to rechristen the two-billioncandlepower, rotating searchlight atop the building—the most powerful navigation light ever designed, a famous landmark with a beam that can be seen 500 miles away—the Bunny Beacon. Such is the irresistible contagion of success. It is quite an empire that is being consolidated. The Playboy Clubs alone grossed more than $19 million last year—there are 15 of them in the United States and Jamaica—and they have revolutionized the nightclub business with their $1.50 drinks and $1.50 meals (steak or roast beef) and their Loreleiwaitress Bunnies in scooped-out, squeezed-up, cottontailed costumes. The first European Playboy Club is set to open on London's fashionable Park Lane this June, and Hefner plans eventually to establish Bunny beachheads in all the major cities of the western world. In addition to the key clubs, there is the Playboy Press, which publishes highly salable anthologies of Playboy's stories, jokes and cartoons, and also puts out hard-cover editions of books by Lenny Bruce, J. Paul Getty and other eminent sages. There are the Playboy Products—calendars, record albums, and some 90 other items, from cuff links to Caribbean cruises—which brought in well over one million dollars last year. There is Playboy Models, Inc., a model agency that doubles as a source of new PHOTOGRAPHS BY BURT GLINN Swamped in a sea of paper and files, Hefner works on installment of Playboy Philosophy. He rarely ventures from his 48-room Chicago mansion and has little time for live bunnies.


1966_04_23--096_SP Playboy Western World
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