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The Club | 2001

SOUNDS | There's never a dull moment during inside the 2001 Entertainment Complex, which includes two large dance clubs - Next Level and Club Touch - and the Starlight Room, a theater that features cabaret shows. Each spot features its own flavor of music.

Inside Next Level, you'll hear live bands playing beach music, R&B, Motown, and classic rock among other genres. Every Thursday night in the summer, Next Level features the No Limit Band, which plays hits from the '80s and '90s.

The music blaring inside Club Touch includes Top 40 and hip hop. The deejay also plays mainstream dance and techno, keeping the excitement and energy alive.

The Starlight Room entertainment and music changes throughout the year. Right now you can catch Dino's Variety Show - The Dean Martin Tribute Show. "Golf the Musical" is coming in August.

SIGHTS | 2001 looks a lot more like 2010 nowadays, after being completely revamped to what's now called Next Level (formerlly Razzies Beach Club).

The recent renovations really took the club to the next level - the new facelift is a huge improvement. It's brighter, nicer and modern, providing an upscale lounge feel. The new look features chic furnishings and trendy furniture, such as contemporary art that compliments the leather booths underneath.

Colored lights flicker through the dimly lit room, lighting the stage and those getting their groove on across the dance floor. Behind the bar, a large, luminous V-shaped fixture protrudes to the ceiling, casting a glow on those enjoying a cocktail. High-top tables, couches and zebra-striped chairs surround the wooden dance floor, providing an excellent view of the movers and shakers in front of the band onstage.

In general, Next Level is smoke-free. However, you can light up in the Tiki bar, a raised area overlooking the dance floor and stage of Next Level.

Here, you'll find high-top tables and barstools along a rail where you can set your drink while you flick your ashes into ashtrays scattered around the room. Bamboo stalks line the back, providing a tropical wall to the Tiki feel.

Next Level generally has an older crowd - ages 35 and older.

Those 25 and older, looking for more of a party atmosphere, head over to Club Touch. Music blares throughout the massive club, keeping talking to a minimum and dancing to a maximum. The room is wide open, and so is the atmosphere. There are a couple dancing poles on platforms in the corner - and yes, they get used - often. Red, blue, green and yellow colored lights penetrate through the darkness, illuminating the floor and bouncing off the smiling faces of dancers. People crowd onto the large, two-tiered dance floor in the center of the room. Spectators sit at a number of high-top tables surrounding the dance floor. If you need some liquid courage to bust a move, bartenders will happily crack open a beer or dial up a cocktail. There are two bars - one toward the front, the other along the back wall.

Large projection screens hang above each bar, as well as above the dance floor, playing music videos that coincide with the tunes.

The Starlight Room has also gone through some changes. It transformed from a disco (FunkyTown) to an international music dance club (World Bar) to a theater with seats, tables and a stage where cabaret shows take place, such as variety shows and musicals.

All-in-all, with thousands of square feet devoted to dance space and state-of-the-art light and sound systems, 2001 Entertainment Complex is an exciting and entertaining place to drink, dance and enjoy shows.

STORY | 2001 Nightclub has been on the Grand Strand for 30 years, opening its doors in April of 1980. The club recently celebrated its three-decade stint, reminiscing about how the venue has evolved through the years. Back in the day, it was considered one of the three biggest clubs on the East Coast - sharing the title with Studio 54 in New York and Limelight in Atlanta. The popular Horry County club - at the time, surrounded by pastures - also shared clientele with the big- city clubs, including celebrities who didn't travel down the East Coast without stopping at the place to be.

2001 was a franchise out of Pittsburgh; a group from West Virginia brought one here. Now, the Lake Arrowhead Road location is the last one standing out of the chain of clubs, and of the original eight owners, there's only one left. Six years ago, a group of locals partnered into 2001 Enterprises, including Roger Davisson, Billy Alford and Danny Issac. Davisson managed 2001 during the 1980s, and is back again after running clubs at Broadway

at the Beach, such as Malibu's Surf Bar. Since he took over in June 2004, Club 2001 has undergone massive renovations, including the most recent changes to the Next Level.

STYLE | Next Level is definitely a shaggers' stop, which meshes perfectly with beach music. You'll also see people dancing swing, the hustle, the cha-cha or just your typical slow dancing. Groups also hit the dance floor for the Cupid Shuffle and Electric Slide.

Each visit to Club Touch is different. You may see people getting jiggy with it. You may see dancers bumping and grinding. You may see a couple discretely making out in the corner - maybe they're long time lovers, or maybe the tunes and tequila helped create a spark they just can't ignore - it is, after all, Club Touch. But more than likely, you'll see all of the above - wrapped into an all-encompassing package of an entertaining night out at 2001 Entertainment Complex.

2001 is casual dress - hats aren't allowed but jeans are welcome. You will, however, see plenty of men wearing button-down shirts and slacks and women wearing nice pants outfits, dresses or skirts. On a weekend night, expect to see many inside Club Touch in club attire.

SPENDING | If you're drinking instead of dancing, or you need to throw back a few to lower your inhibitions before you make your way out to the dance floor, expect to pay at least $6 per cocktail and around $4 per beer. Every Thursday night, though, the Next Level offers $3 drink specials on beer, wine, flavored vodkas and Kamikaze shooters. There's also a discounted cover charge on Thursdays - $3, and ladies get et in free until 11 p.m.

The rest of the weekend, you'll have to fork over $10 to get in the door, $5 if you have a local ID. Ladies - grab your friends and come early - you get in free before 9:30 p.m. (Doors open at 8 p.m.) You can avoid paying cover charges altogether with a membership card. Your first one costs $50 bucks, and it's $30 each year to renew your annual pass to unlimited dancing.

If you get the munchies, or need some sustenance to boost your energy on the dance floor, hit up the Carolina Cafe in 2001, which serves food until 1 a.m. Nightly specials between 10:30 p.m. and midnight include $9.99 baskets with items such as fried shrimp or steak burgers served with fries and

coleslaw. You can also snag a personal pizza or sweet potato fries for less than six bucks.

SITE | 920 Lake Arrowhead Rd., Myrtle Beach. Call 449-9434 or visit www.2001nightclub.com.

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