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CIA - North Hollywood, CA - Reviews page 1 - Judysbook


11334 Burbank Blvd (at Lankershim Boulevard)
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 506-6353
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CIA - North Hollywood, CA


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This is the most amazing creative club Ive ever had the pleasure to attend and perform at. I grew up in London, and spent my early teen years in kicking around clubs in Amsterdam ...


What an awful place. Bands and musicians beware, stay away! We have toured all over this country and never have we been treated with so much disrespect and nastiness. Totally unpr...

My FAVORITE club in the world!!! 1/9/2011

This is the most amazing creative club Ive ever had the pleasure to attend and perform at. I grew up in London, and spent my early teen years in kicking around clubs in Amsterdam and Paris, and this is the coolest nightspot Ive come across. My band and myself had a great experiance here, everyone on the C.I.A. staff treated us first class. Our fans loved the club too, and we have already booked 2 more shows with them. All the photos taken of us performing at that show came out beautiful, colors and backgrounds are completely psychedellic and freaky. Wish they had clubs like this back home. 5 stars!!!!! more


This club is the best venue I performed in, and amazingly its not pay to play which is the norm for a club of this caliber. The entire staff was cool, and our fans who came can't wait til we perform there again.The sound was fantastic !!! great acoustics. The drinks are reasonable, and the freakshow theme is really cool. They have a Thai food bar inside the club that has great beef sate, better than Thai town. National Geographic channel was there that nite tapping a show hosted by Henry Rollins and meeting him was cool. I highly recomend this club to bands and patrons alike. more

Worst experience in America! 4/10/2010

What an awful place. Bands and musicians beware, stay away! We have toured all over this country and never have we been treated with so much disrespect and nastiness. Totally unprofessional management with a great con-game to get out of paying bands that packed the house. We were told to be there at 7pm and then no one showed up till 9pm. Sound guy was an atrocious control freak who would not let all of the members of the band into the building at one time. Made a pregnant band member stand out in the cold, would not allow her to use the restroom until they were ready to let customers in. We could tell the staff was taking pleasure in being uncivil to us, like schoolyard bullies. We were left SHAKING WITH ANGER!! And this place is plugged as some kind of interesting or weird or cool circus themed club. This place is very stupid!! Filled with junk made to seem like it's interesting. A bunch of foam rubber props! Fake artifacts made in China! Wishes it could be the Museum of Jurassic Technology, but it's a con! It's in a very sketchy and industrial part of North Hollywood. Just say no to the CIA. Everyone, stay away from this putrid, soul sucking nightmare!!! Pros: Nothing charming about this place. Cons: Unsafe neighborhood, staff is so rude! more

Best place to be in North Hollywood 8/31/2009

First off I love the place, I love horror theme night clubs! I would go more often if LA had more local bands that didn't have an ego and could actually play music! Some of the people that go there are rude, if they bump into you they don't say sorry. Just goes to show you the type of people those crappy bands bring to see their crappy music. The bands don't care about sound quality just how loud they can be. I saw this band play with japanese girls once and it was just horrible, they took forever setting up, and about the time they went on I was ready to go home! I love this place but I wish they would find better talent!!! Pros: Great venue, love the decor. Cons: The crappy bands that play there, they are all too loud for more

JERKS JERKS very very very RUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6/14/2009

BANDS!!! DO NOT PLAY HERE!!!!! 1. YOU HAVE TO "Tip" the sound guy to mic the kick drum. hahaha. he doesn't do ANYTHING but the 3 mics for vocals. He(Justin) even said "if you tip me, I will mic the kick drum but i only have mics for vocals, it is going to sounds horrible anyways because I don't care" ........ what the hell???? so pointless. just they want to be BAD BAD PEOPLE 2. YOU ALSO HAVE TO TIP THE GUY TO CHANGE MUSIC ON THE FLOOR. COST YOU $20. ASK THE OWNER BOB HE COULD BE REASONABLE. 3. BE CAREFUL with JUSTIN, CARL at the place. They are the worst people you will ever meet. I was shaking by how rude and heartless they are. 4. Bands only get water. ha! 5. DON'T EVER NEVER PLAY THIS PLACE. the place looks great. but it doesn't worth anything to deal with these AMAZINGLY HORRIBLE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!! Pros: place looks great Cons: RIP OFF, Jerks, unprofessional, horrible treat to bands more

BANDS BEWARE! 5/29/2008

This venue may look 'interesting' but it's a RIP OFF and the owner is a SLEEZE who will LIE to get people into the door. BANDS BEWARE! Pros: looks cool Cons: everything else :( more

get it in writing! 7/23/2007

Myself and some other bands tried to book here and were successful in doing so; unfortunately the owner, carl, doesnt offer contracts. BE WEARY! The establishment was extremely hard to initially contact, and they generally are only operating during the weekends. This is definitely a venue for bands with the ability to pay to play, however, if not; DO NOT BOOK HERE! write down everything the owner says, as he speaks rather quickly. He was incredibly rude to the management of our bands that booked to play here. So, needless to say the show was cancelled and the bands nor the management plan to gig here, ever.....unless new management at CIA takes in effect. The owner seemed very unprofessional and yelled at managers that came in 2 weeks prior to the show. The band finally hired managers and the managers knew they couldnt afford to play here. no contract was offered and the band management finally asked for one. when they got one the band realized they COULD NOT meet the requirements. Lesson Learned: Ask for contracts, or offer them from the get-go to avoid "wasting peoples time". Pros: the venue looks cool. Cons: the Owner, Carl more

Funky freak show for fanatics 4/19/2007

This club is really bizarre. But it's cool like that. There's a clown's skeleton. That should attest to the general collection of stuff at the CIA. The whole thing is very carnival fun house, and the path to the bathroom has a distorted hallway thing. Anyway, it's a real trip just walking around there place, and that can add up to a half hour by itself. If you need to escape the small main viewing area which gets extremely loud during rock band performances, head onto the patio to watch a cult film or music video / classic film montages. The bands are definitively independent and local. I've been to 4 shows so far, 3 of them with my friends as part of the bill. The club owners are quite friendly, and the social scene is quirky like the club. The people you meet have a common interest in either the strange or the type of music, and so the crowd is united at least somewhat, giving people at least one thing to talk about, assuming the decor isn't interesting enough. It also gets decorated like The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland for certain holidays. The bar isn't cheap, but the CIA is basically the worst place to get drunk anyway. It's not the best (or worst) neighborhood, so if you're leaving at 1 or 2am, walk in a group. The club is a good one, as has waaay more character than other all ages clubs in LA. The cover is worth it (if you get in for 8 dollars, you can catch a movie and a show) and the music is pretty solid. Pros: Zany atmosphere, awesome shows, Plenty of stuff to keep you busy, Interesting people Cons: Not the best neighborhood, Main concert area can get rather loud if a rock band doesn't use discretion in their amp settings more

Cool Creepy Scareland for Rock n Rollers and Classic Film and Music Buffs 3/25/2007

I am a music supervisor and independent film producer. I attended a show on Friday with such bands as Rover's Pinky, Radioactive Chickenheads, Rosemary's Billy Goat and LosDuggans. This venue and the bands together were like popcorn at a circus. The bands fit well at the venue, is what I mean. It did have a bit of a freak show feel as a beautiful freak with a scary mask and plastic bikini danced to a slow, creepy punk song. (There was also some incredible guitar and drums and vocals) The dancer in the Borat speedo and the giant Ninja Turtle head was an extra bonus. It seemed to me as if punk has evolved into this new slower and creepier form of expression through music. I really thought it was cool as I am the biggest Tim Burton fan ever and am ever inspired by the creepy and creative. The venue is amazingly decorated and they even have a two headed baby. Some care has obviously been taken to make this a creative place of expression for the bands and attendees alike. Thanks for the great show. more

An experience to try.... 2/7/2007

This palce is extremly unique! Though I'm not a fan of rock music in general I had a great time! It was full of oddities and interesting things to look at.. It's a must try if you like rock music or the strange. DON'T BOTHER GOING IF YOU AREN'T OPEN MINDED OR A FAN OF ROCK. I went with a few friends who are hip hop, like me but I'm more open minded, ... they hated it. I guess they didn't understand the beauty of the strange. :D Pros: Unique, Quirky Cons: Not for the closed minded. more

Best bar in California 4/11/2006

If you don't like evil clowns and dead perserved things on display while you drink your rolling rock. This might not be the best place for you. But if you like the dark. This is the top choice. It's my favorite bar to go every weekend. They also have a projector outside. Where they play a lot of random movies or concerts. Perfect to take your drink and smoke outside and relax. Pros: Everything Cons: Serve only beer more

Welcome to the C.I.A! 1/9/2006

i have attended shows and have also played shows with my band at the C.I.A on numerous occasions.......this is one of NoHo's best kept lil secrets!!!the atmosphere is great the people are great and sum really great acts have been booked there.I highly recommend checking out the C.I.A,although on the nights they host Fright Night it does get really packed in there....but they do have really great bands and performers,the staff is really friendly and great,if you are into the dark and mysterious then this club is definately for you! more

Fantastic Atmosphere 6/13/2002

This place is amazing. It's decked out in this scary carnival theme. Think a Tim Burton set but scarier, more poorly lit, and without the glossiness. Bizarre props tucked in every corner, including a pseudo-museum area leading into the club containing items purported to be authentic mummified clowns, petrified magician arms, and other creepy circus paraphernalia. I've only been there once to see a band, but if they get their liquor license I'm sure this place will draw an interesting and devoted crowd. If not, it's the world's loss. Pros: Atmosphere more

The coolest place 6/10/2002

This clown museum freak show is unbelievable. The owner is the nicest man and will give you a tour and history about all of his collections. Only wish there was alcohol. I must go in LA!!! Like nothing you will see anywhere else. more
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  • The Scene
    Located in an industrial area of North Hollywood, the California Institute for the Abnormalarts (CIA) is a strange circular maze of funhouse decor and bizarre relics. Somewhere between the shrine to a dead fairy, the skull of the smallest Freemason and the body of fishboy, one begins to question if it's really a live music venue or artifacts from Ripley's Believe it or Not museum. Co-owner Carl Crew is a lifelong lover of the unusual, and an ex-mortician; both traits are evident in his carnival-like club, which he refers to as a "multidimensional art space."

    The Draw
    The majority of the crowd falls into one of two categories: Under 21 or circus performers. Expect to see many of the former outside smoking. Booking policies celebrate indie music, but genres range from rock to electronic, along with cult artists like Girlie Freak Show, who can emit 20,000 watts from her body.

  • 4/17/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Fri-Sat 9pm-2am
  • Payments:

  • Neighborhoods:

    South Valley, North Hollywood

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