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Susan Sarandon Puts Her Passion For Ping Pong on the Table at New L.A. 'Social Club'

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Susan Sarandon plays a little ping pong at the SPiN Happy Hour At Bing Bar during the Sundance Festival in 2011 (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment)
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You know how your friends are always asking you if you'll join them in a game of ping pong? No?! Well, we may be skeptical now like we once were about cellphones and instant messaging, but if ping pong takes off as the new "it" pastime, we may have Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon to thank.

Opening today in Los Angeles is the newest location in a modest chain of "ping pong social clubs" called SPiN. L.A. joins New York, Toronto, and that bastion of urban entertainment, Milwaukee, in the ping pong mini-empire, with the new club that now occupies the entire second floor of Downtown's Standard Hotel.

Leave it to The Standard (the hotel that put a lady in a glass box above the registration desk) to make ping pong chic, and to Sarandon for joining in the fun. As the Associated Press reports, the 66-year-old star "has been giving ping pong tables to friends and to inner-city schools since she helped open the New York club in 2009" and calls herself a ping pong "propagandist."

Sarandon likes the game because anybody can play at any age, it's fun for a family, and it's a good option for a date. (Rumor has it ping pong--namely her alleged affair with a ping pong club owner--is what tore apart Sarandon and her longtime love Tim Robbins in 2009.) The "club" concept is to amp up the social aspect of the game.

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In L.A. the SPiN club will have "state of the art sporting facilities showcasing a court for professional matches, sleek new tables for the rest of us and of course, the 'standard' nightlife facilities," according to the hotel. "Professional instructors are available to teach the basics to those who didn't grow up with a table in their basements and to help amateurs perfect their skills," adds the AP. (Sorry, Los Angeles, the gold-plated ping pong table of your dreams is going into the club in Dubai, not our fair city.)

If this seems like your thing, The Standard has "founding" memberships available, although you don't have to be a member to bat the ball around.

Oh, and lest you think Sarandon's love of ping pong is purely recreational, she is making it doubly professional. In addition to the SPiN club partnership, she's starring in an indie film about...you guessed it...ping pong.