How The Daily Planet defined Penrith’s nightlife for nearly a decade

The drinks flowing at The Daily Planet.
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It lasted just eight years, but from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, Penrith nightclub The Daily Planet became an institution – and it’s still talked about today.

Located as part of the Penrith Hotel at the top of High Street, Matt Jones was the man in charge of the club from when it opened in 1995.

Matt Jones in Penrith recently.

Now, some 20 years after it closed, Mr Jones returned to Penrith recently to revive memories of the Planet and catch up with the Weekender’s On The Record podcast.

“One thing that I was very lucky with during my time at The Daily Planet is that I was guided by a lot of very intelligent people who had been in the game for a while,” Jones said.

“We had to give the people in Penrith an experience that was exactly the same as the city.”

The Daily Planet opened in 1995 – bringing with it infamous $1 drinks on a Wednesday night and a huge line-up of celebrity guests every weekend. It transformed the struggling Penrith Hotel into Penrith’s number one social destination.

Tania Zaeta at the club with Matt Jones (Right).

“[The opening night] was something that made the hair stand up on the back of my neck and just some of the music… to see your club open up and to see the massive lines of people, which still amazes me today, it was an amazing achievement for both me and my family,” Jones said.

Jones recalls with fondness the huge list of celebrities that graced the Daily Planet over the years – including the late cricket legend, Shane Warne.

“He’s exactly how people have portrayed him. He was the most amazing, energetic person. He got behind the bar with the bar staff, amongst all the customers as well – he was fabulous,” he said.

Long lines to get into the Planet.

“We had a massive list of stars. What was a main attraction for the club was bringing to Penrith everything that you possibly could from the city.”

Jones said nightclubs were more relaxed during that era in Penrith.

“It was fun. I think the era we were in we didn’t have as many dramas they do today – we were just looking for a bit of fun,” he said.

“I had the best 10 years of any young man’s life.”

Matt Jones and some of the patrons at The Daily Planet.

The Daily Planet closed suddenly and unexpectedly in 2003 – still at the top of its game, attracting thousands of people every week.

“We were offered a considerable amount of money for the property. We bought it for $900,000 back in 1974 and we were offered a considerable amount,” he said.

Party time at The Daily Planet.

“I didn’t want to finish, but they [Jones’ parents] did. I’d still be there doing it today. But it was more that it offered a better lifestyle for my mum and dad.

“We went out on a high, not on a low, and we moved on.”

You can hear the full interview with Matt Jones below.

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