Opening a series of galleries in Embankment, Camden, and Chelsea, the founder of Proud Group, Alex Proud, decided to turn away from the high brow collectors of Japanese art and focus on something that would appeal to aficionados and the Joe-next-door just as equally. Thus, he came up with the idea of focusing primarily on the niche market of rock’n’roll photography.

After opening the gallery, the newly-established Proud Group’s innovations expanded with the decision to see if they could provide even more value to guests; rather than just photography, what about an evening of art, dining, and entertainment, all in one spot? Thus came the idea for Proud Cabaret. Originally opening at the location in London, it was a way for guests to stroll to a fabulous supper after enjoying the images of their favorite rock and pop icons. On top of it all, there is even a burlesque show featured each night at each of the cabarets. Guests can now go and enjoy a raunchy, randy, but still high-entertainment show for a full evening of fun.

The locations for a number of the Proud venues have significant historical value. For example, the Proud Cabaret Brighton was formerly a mausoleum, then a World War II air raid shelter. It was the slowly fading Hanbury Ballroom when Alex Proud took over and turned it into a premier supper club and cabaret.

Another icon is the Proud Camden Bar, where Proud Group revamped an old horse hospital to turn it into a hot live music venue, in addition to moving the Camden gallery and cabaret to the spot. For the bar area, however, they left several spaces intact reminiscent of its prior occupants: guests can rent stables for themselves and their friends to use for lunch meetings, private dining, and private booths during music events to escape the crowds.

The Proud Group has come far in the entertainment industry, and now Alex Proud serves on judging panels for the Nikon Press and Observer Hodge Awards, and is currently doing a stint on Four Rooms on Channel 4, where he is an expert dealer in unusual artifacts.



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