Opening in 1940, Ciro's combined an overdone baroque interior and an unadorned exterior and became a famous hangout for movie people of the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s. It was one of "the" places to be seen and guaranteed being written about in the gossip columns.
Among the celebrities who frequented Ciro's were Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Desi Arnaz, Gary Cooper, Lucille Ball, Betty Grable, Judy Garland, Peter Lawford, and Dean Martin. Lana Turner said it was her favorite spot.
In the 60s, Ciro's became a Sunset Strip rock and roll club. The Byrds got their start there in 1964. Accounts of the period (reproduced in the sleeve notes to The Preflyte Sessions box set) describe a "church"-like atmosphere, with interpretive dancing.
Ciro's also served as the host during the recording of the 1965 Dick Dale album "Rock Out With Dick Dale: Live At Ciro's"
Ciro's was started by William R. Wilkerson who went on to open other nightclubs on the Sunset Strip such as Cafe Trocadero and later The Flamingo in Las Vegas. Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel took over "The Flamingo" and was misrepresented in the Movie "Bugsy" with no mention of Wilkerson. They say that there are still dead people in the basement and that the ghosts still haunt the joint.
The site of Ciro's is now The Comedy Store.