A dozen lifetimes’ worth of collecting all things kitsch lines the high walls of Scenarium, a three story samba club in Lapa, the epicenter of Rio de Janeiro’s nightlife scene. The club is the manifestation of owner PlÃnio FrÃ³es’ pledge to keep alive the tradition of samba as well as choro, a musical stlye born on the streets of Rio more than 200 years ago.
Clubs in Rio embody a distinct warmth that can be attributed to the attitudes of clubgoers, void of the too-cool dancefloor politics found in the major venues of any American city. Image goes out the window once the band starts playing, and it no longer matters wether you know the dance moves or not. Scenarium enhances this atmosphere with a space unlike any other. Carved into three ancient houses, it’s filled with artifacts from tacky statues of Christ to twisted metal grills of old facades, each set of items grouped in a cluster on a part of the wall. The second floor bar is particularly attractive; an old apothecary shop complete with hundreds of age-old medicine bottles with moth-eaten labels.
Scenarium is the whole experience, lounge to dancefloor. A Wednesday night will leave you room to marvel at the wall treasures, while a Saturday crowd will bring treasures of its own.