What Killed The Hotel Entertainment Lounge

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by thirteenbyseven, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. thirteenbyseven

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    I just played a favorite DVD of mine, a classic from 1983 called Vacation. There is a great scene where Chevy Chase gets dressed up in a ridiculous leisure suit and white shoes to prowl a stereotypical 1980s era Holiday Inn lounge. The place is packed with women (including a spectacular 29 year-old Christie Brinkley) and live entertainment. Just then it occurred to me, what the hell happened to all those Holiday Inn genre lounges? Did they die off as Baby Boomers aged? Was the demise of polyester as a babe magnet wardrobe spell doom to the hotel lounge? There has to be some reason why they went from the hottest social gathering spot to gathering dust.

    Recently I was on a trip to Northeast Ohio and visited one of those hotels frozen in time around 1965-1970. If it were in Palm Springs it could be called mid-century modernism and people would flock to it in but in the college town of Kent Ohio, the University Inn on Water Street is just plain old. However, on my visit I learned that back in the early 1970s the rooftop of the University Inn was hopping with a restaurant and lounge with live entertainment. The place enjoyed an upscale Kent State professorial crowd that was 11 floors above the "Hell no, we won't go" undergrads who frequented the bars north at Water and Main Streets. No longer.

    A night before flying back to the West Coast I heard an even more surprising story at the Sheraton- Cleveland Hopkins. A generation ago atop the Sheraton Hopkins hotel was a huge nightclub called The Final Approach. It had mood lighting with runway-like blue neon leading from the elevators to the lounge. The final approach had a wrap around bar, panorama windows overlooking the airport, a dance floor and a stage for live entertainment where a famous Cleveland group called the Bruno Brothers performed countless times. The businessman with the silver hair relaying the story seemed to miss that era as we sat in a near empty pseudo sports bar in the airport hotel called Amelia's.

    Do any of these hotel entertainment lounges still exist today? This question is probably addressed for the U.S. forum members. If you need any lounge music time machine inspiration, listen to this incredibly corny song by an artist known as Jerry Vale (born Gennero Luigi Vitaliano.) The song is You Don't Have to Say You Love Me (selection number 15). Click it on the MP3 list: Free Music: Sings The Great Italian Hits by Jerry Vale - Rhapsody Online

    Caution: Take two Asperin before listening. Between the crooning and the vocal glissandos it is just painful! :biggrin1::biggrin1:
     
  2. pym

    pym New Member

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    Those places have gone extinct due to Crushing Drunk Driving Punishments and NO Smoking Ordinances.
    Also, the Next generation would rather stay home and Rant all nite long on forums like this.

    PS: Jerry Vale sang at my parents wedding in 1960.
     
  3. BiItalianBro

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    Interesting....I live in hotels about half of my life and I am happy to report that the hotel lounge is alive and well IME. Not so much the cheezy velvet red "im single, lets mingle" kinds of lounges....but a more up to date, sterile, "may I have another $8 bottle of CoorsLite please" with flatscreen TVs all over the place playing everything from FOXSports to FOXNews.

    One memorable somewhat old-skool airport hotel lounge is the lobby bar at the Hilton LAX Airport on West Century....right next to the former drive in diner turned porno book store. I have had some surreal experiences in that place. Another good one was the Columbus OH Airport Holiday Inn with the half dead parrot in the lobby.
     
  4. BigDallasDick8x6

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    Schrodinger's parrot, by any chance? :biggrin1:

    "What have you done to the cat? He looks half-dead."
    -- Schrodinger's wife
     
  5. thirteenbyseven

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    In other words "that's a no nice." From his Palm Desert retirement home Jerry's going to give me the malocchia. :wink:

    Hey PYM that is some guitar collection; including a Gibson acoustic, a Rickenbacker manufactured down in Santa Ana (John Lennon) a Fender Stratocaster (originally made in Fullerton pre-CBS by Leo Fender in a plant off of Raymond Ave.) Is that a Fender Twin Reverb amp? I'm envious.
     
  6. BigDallasDick8x6

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    I would surmise (but I don't know) it is because the younger generation disdains the ordinary in favor of glitzy nightclubs. They are the Disney generation after all. Special effects in movies, special effects in concerts, special effects at football game halftimes. They aren't going to feel "entertained" in a hotel lounge listing to someone their parent's age singing.

    In other words, I'm guessing it's a demographic issue. The twentysomethings are the ones who reliably go out EVERY weekend, where many married couples or older couples stay in more, somewhat more, or much more.
     
  7. pym

    pym New Member

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    The amps you can partially see in my pictures are a:
    1959 Stromberg/carlson P.A. Amp
    1968 Fender Vibro-champ
    1973 Fender Bassman Ten
    1994 Fender HotRod Deville

    I also have{as amps go}
    1966 Ampeg ReverbRocket 2
    2006 Marshall Plexi stack Hand-wired
    2007 Fender 1957 Reissue Twin amp
    2007 Fender Twin Reverb 65' Reissue
    2005 Fender Deluxe Reverb 65' Reissue
    2007 Vox AC-15 Hand-wired

    I guess you could say i like Vintage tube stuff.
     
  8. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    Long live Steve and Edyie! Long live Louis Prima and Keelly Smith!
     
    #8 HellsKitchenmanNYC, Mar 6, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  9. joyboytoy79

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    Ya know, I know Tori Amos was a hotel Lounge Singer as late as 1990... so the death (if there was one) had to be way past the polyester jumpsuit craze faded.
     
  10. BigDallasDick8x6

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    Blossom Dearie died a couple weeks ago, unfortunately.
     
  11. Bbucko

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  12. SpeedoMike

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    I lived in Fullerton, toured the plant in about 1956, and knew Leo. I'm in love with the Stratocaster!! I think the plant was on Fender Avenue?
     
  13. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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  14. SpeedoGuy

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    Oh, they still exist. They are something like a step backwards in time. And they're still the bane of my travelling assignments.

    It's always the same: My employer books a block of rooms for a regional conference to be held in the meeting room at a Holiday Inn. Note: This is always the Holiday Inn on Industrial Way out behind the airport parking lot miles out of town, not the Holiday Inn downtown near the university district with all the good restaurants and pubs.

    Since my employer won't pay for a rental car during my week at the conference, I am stuck for the duration at the airport Holiday Inn and its drab, 1970s decor lounge.

    No wonder pay-for-porn is always an option the hotel's TV menu.

    :frown1:
     
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