The best clubs are those that provide an exciting place to escape from reality. And there’s no greater escape than what you’ll find in the photos of this abandoned underwater nightclub in Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat.
Nightclubs can be judged in terms of its dancers, drink deals, music, service, the exciting vibe, the size, and the mood of the people going there. Owners will try absolutely everything to get you to step through the front door (preferably with a wallet full of cash). Some even provide special appearances by celebrities and personalities in an effort to bring home the bacon. Other establishments, however, entice patrons with a unique atmosphere.
Which brings us to this abandoned underwater nightclub in Eilat, Israel which is a major tourist destination. It’s located underwater, and its photos, history, and current state will get your imagination going.
The story came to light thanks to Gil Koplovitz, a marine biologist, who was working in the area one day. He told Huffington Post in an email that he found the location while on his dive, swam up to the windows to see what he found, and then took photos of his surprising discovery.
But this wasn’t just an ordinary nightclub. If you look to the left of the image above you’ll see a strip pole… for dancers… of the adult variety.
Another, clearer shot of the pole and dance stage. You’ll notice the mirrors in the background showing Koplovitz taking the photo.
Some tables can still be seen stacked in the background of this shot. (This detail will be important later in the story.) In this case, you can see another swimmer out the window — this time without a camera — so it’s clear that Koplovitz wasn’t alone.
But what was this place, and what is it today? Clearly that question garnered everyone’s interest, which is why Huffington Post reached out to Koplovitz to learn more.
Koplovitz explained that this club was the now-deserted Nymphas Show Bar.
“The entrance is above water,” Koplovitz explained to Huffington Post. “People just crossed a 230-foot bridge and went down a flight of stairs. No need to get wet.”
So, what’s the history behind this place? And can you see the abandoned club today? (The answer to the second question is YES! And the images/info/video we found was more exciting than we could have imagined.)
The structure was originally built as a bar and restaurant called the Red Sea Star in the early 1990s in this tourist-driven beach town. According to Travel + Leisure, a visitor should order, “Any of the bar’s fruity, umbrella-ed frozen cocktails to complement the under-the-sea theme.”
So, why did the original restaurant close? We did a ton of digging and couldn’t find any info. We know that after the closure it was developed into a strip club before shutting down permanently in 2012.
But we did read a plausible theory behind its demise.
On Reddit, a person named nautilusmaker posted this in late 2019. (NOTE: None of the quotes in this article are edited for spelling or punctuation.)
“This is a good example why seasteading on base of marine steel structures is not feasible. It was built from marine steel plating – steel needs to go to drydock and get sandblasted and then re-painted. Aditional you do ultrasound on the plating to see if it still has the required minimum thickness or if it is compromized by marine corrosion to the point where it needs to be replaced ( cut out with a torch and replaced by new, thicker plating) – well this is what you do with ships and barges. But how do you get a tower with a coral garden as ballast to a drydock to do this process ? – you simply can’t do it – so you need to close it down permanently for security reasons once the plating becomes critical (after 15 years of service life)…”
While we don’t know if this reason is 100% accurate, it is a good theory. And, in our hunt, we did find some publicity photos of the original restaurant.
Here’s a shot of the restaurant above the water. You’ll see the long bridge that Koplovitz described to Huffington Post.
Now, let’s go inside…
According to the site Atlas Obscura, “Each table of the restaurant has two large windows, one at its side, and one above the table. At night, the coral gardens around the Red Sea Star are softly illuminated with a light, designed not to disturb the fragile eco-system.”
Check out the jellyfish stools. Amazing. From what we can tell, this was the bar area. The next photo of the dining room.
There were actually two parts to the establishment, one above and one below the surface. Above the surface wasn’t just a waiting area, it was called the Metro Bar, which offered views of the Gulf of Aqaba.
Below the surface was the bar in the previous photo, and a dining room. Atlas Obscura noted, “the underwater area roughly resembles the shape of a star, hence the name of the place.”
We even found a travel video from someone who went there.
First Video — Vacation 2013
The video was uploaded in March 2013 — presumably after the restaurant’s closure. The video quality is what you’d expect from that time period. That said, it’s kind of cool to see people in the space. It’s from ada Wittenberger, and we’ll post her video at the end of this article.
But the real exciting news? The structure is still there today, and we have footage of people going inside it.
Second Video — Recent Underwater Images
This video from Ron2812sr is all about underwater video and photography. He explores the coral reef, outside views, and some glimpses inside.
This video was uploaded in October 2016, and we’ll embed it (and all the videos) at the end of this post.
Third Video — 2018
This video is from pavel kliot and it was uploaded in 2018. It’s the most recent video, and the guys explore the outside.
The most startling thing we learned from this video and the next one, is that the structure isn’t that far out from the shore, and it’s not in very deep water. When you look at the swimmers, they just have snorkels and fins. So reaching the site doesn’t seem difficult.
That doesn’t mean it’s safe, it just doesn’t seem difficult.
But now, let’s take a look inside the abandoned underwater club. Yep, that’s right, two guys swam out and got inside.
Inside the Underwater Nightclub in Israel
The final video is from Slava and Karen. (Again, we’ll post the whole video at the end of this article.) Slava is the guy who filmed the footage, and we don’t know who his dark-haired friend is (pictured below). It was uploaded in July 2015.
As you can see, the guys just wore bathing suits and swam right down to the structure we’ve seen in the previous photos. No heavy equipment required.
Another shot of Slava’s friend, right on the outside of the club wearing only goggles, a snorkel, and fins.
Slava described the adventure like this: “just off the coast in front of the red rock hotel there is a structure that looks like a view point on a stick . we wanted to jump of the bridge to the water but first we had to explore what is underneath and if the water is deep enough.. it ended up being deep enough and also containing an underwater nightclub we had to look around and then we wanted to explore what is inside. this video is the result 🙂 hope you liked it! “
The biggest challenge seemed to be getting inside — but they did it.
Standing on some underwater pylons, Slava and his friend came to the deck that was presumably used for staff and crew. They then had to do a massive pullup to get themselves onto the deck.
They succeeded, and they’re clearly not the first people to make it inside the rusting hulk.
In the video, graffiti lines the entrance, meaning that others have been on board the Red Sea Star / Nymphas Show Bar.
The blond guy holding the camera in the front is Slava.
The duo quickly moves pasts the restrooms to find the club itself. They follow the path downward, into halls covered in eerie blue light from sunshine streaming through the water.
Here’s their first shot of the interior, and the looks on the guys’ faces is pure excitement. You’ll notice the dance pole is on the left, still standing.
And, yes, the boys decide to take a spin on it, but none of the shots were good enough to post here. You can watch the video to see it for yourself.
Welcome to the bar area. You’ll see that the tables which were in Koplovitz’s original photos, are still there. The rest of the structure is littered with the built-ins, though there was a plastic drinking cup that looked like it still had liquid in it. No telling when that was left.
After some more exploring — which is super cool to see in the video posted below — the boys take off. We included this shot to give you some perspective on the building’s location to the shore.
Which brings us to today, and what the structure is currently being used for. No, it’s not a restaurant or nightclub…