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The Beverly Hills, 90210 Spring Dance!

Apr 28th, 2009 | By | Category: 90210 & Beverly Hills, 90210 Filming Locations

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A few weeks ago, I happened to pop in my Beverly Hills, 90210 Season 1 DVDs to watch the “Spring Dance” episode – one of my very favorite 90210episodes of all time!  As I scrolled through the DVD menu, I realized that, unbelievably, I had yet to watch that episode accompanied by the commentary by series’ creator Darren Star.  So, I settled in with a nice Starbucks Iced Latte to listen to what Darren had to say.  And I am SO glad I did, because besides dishing juicy little tidbits of information (such as Shannen Doherty and Luke Perry were not getting along at all that day), Darren also stated that the West Beverly High Spring Dance sequence had been filmed at the Universal Sheraton Hotel in Universal City.  So, I of course, grabbed my boyfriend and my camera and immediately headed over there!  :)

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Unfortunately, last year the Sheraton Universal Hotel underwent a $25 million renovation project and now looks completely different than it did back in 1991 when 90210 was filmed there.  :(  Even the hotel’s main entrance has changed significantly and the circular awning which was shown as the gang drove up to the prom venue has been replaced.  : (   According to the hotel’s General Manager, Peter Walterspiel, the forty year old Sheraton “needed a facelift pretty badly”.

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First opened in 1969, the twenty story, 451 room hotel is now ready to face the 21st Century.  Although I never saw the Sheraton pre-remodel (except on 90210, that is!) , I absolutely love the way it now looks!  The lobby is shiny and modern and full of bright, open spaces.  And there are many black and white photographs of old time movie stars, like Audrey Hepburn and my girl Marilyn Monroe, lining the lobby walls!  Gotta love it!  :)

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I really wanted to grab a cocktail in the hotel’s Club Lounge (where the lights change colors based on the cycle of the sun!), but alas it was only 4 in the afternoon when I was there.  :(  Oh well, next time!

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The Beverly Hills, 90210 Spring Dance scenes were filmed in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, which, thankfully, looks much the same today as it did eighteen years ago when it appeared on 90210:)  Although some parts of the room have changed since that time, you can see in the above photos that the dark wood doors, wainscoting, and even the wallpaper are still the same.

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You can see in the above photos that the wierd lights located above the ballroom doors also haven’t changed since the filming.  The screen capture I made of the lights didn’t come out very well, but if you watch the episode you can see the lights more clearly.

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Many other productions besides Beverly Hills, 90210 have also been filmed at the Sheraton Universal Hotel.  The reality series Cougar used the hotel for both location filming and as the place where all of the contestants were put up during the filming.  According to the concierge the escalators leading down to the hotel’s conference rooms were used repeatedly on the show (pictured above).  Contestants from the reality series America’s Got Talent were also put up at the Sheraton Universal.  And on an episode of Hogan Knows Best, Brooke Hogan and her father, Hulk, checked into the Sheraton while visiting Los Angeles.  A recent episode of the television series Chuck was filmed in the Club Lounge and the hotel was also featured in both Desperate Housewives and CSI: Las Vegas.

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The Universal Sheraton, which is nicknamed the “Hotel of the Stars”, often plays host to celebrities, as well, including George Clooney, B.B. King, Michael Jackson, Ava Gardner, Tom Hanks, Sophia Loren, Gladys Knight, John Travolta, Dolly Parton, Matthew McConaughy, and my girl Jen Aniston.  Telly Savalas, Jen’s godfather, actually LIVED in the hotel for over 17 years!!!!  Apparently, Telly began staying at the Universal Sheraton while starring in the television series Kojak, which was filmed just down the road at Universal Studios.    He was so keen on the hotel that he ended up moving his wife and kids in and making it his permanent residence.  Supposedly, he used to hang out quite often in the lobby bar and was always willing to take pictures and sign autographs for hotel guests.  :)  Sadly, on January 22, 1994, Telly passed away in his Universal Sheraton Hotel suite.  He was only 70 years old.  :(

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I HIGHLY recommend stalking – or even staying at – the Universal Sheraton.  In fact, I am trying to think of a good excuse to drag my boyfriend there for a weekend.  :)  The staff was incredibly nice to me and answered all of my silly questions about the filming that had taken place there over the years – although no one remembered the 90210 Spring Dance being filmed there back in 1991.  LOL  For all of you tourists who are planning a trip to Universal Studios, the Sheraton Universal would be the place to stay as it is literally a hop, skip, and a jump away from the theme park.  You wouldn’t even have to rent a car.  :)  Oh, and my favorite part of the hotel?  The mini Hollywood sign located at the Sheraton’s main entrance (pictured above).  LOVE IT!  :)  I’ve gotta get me one of those for my backyard!  :)

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  :)

Stalk It: The Sheraton Universal Hotel is located at 333 Universal Hollywood Drive in Universal City.  You can visit their website here.  The Beverly Hills, 90210 Spring Dance took place in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, located just downstairs and to the right of the main lobby.

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4 comments

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  1. Alexis Colby says:

    It took me several hours to find it but the establishing shot came from the St. Regis Hotel (formerly called the Westin Century Plaza Tower). It was on 2055 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles but it was sadly demolished some years ago…

  2. Alexis Colby says:

    According to this forum, http://knightrideronline.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11725&start=175 , the establishing shot of the hotel seen in “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “the Colbys” is eventually not the Universal Sheraton Hotel! As often as in “90210”, it seems the editors used an establishing shot that has nothing to do with the location filming.

  3. Alexis Colby says:

    The establishing shots of the Universal Sheraton Hotel came from the second season of “Dynasty II: The Colbys”. It was the hotel of Zachary Powers (Ricardo Montalban). The establishing shots were also used on “Melrose Place” and “Savannah”. “Beverly Hills” used also old establishing shots from the mini-series “Hollywood Wives” (another Spelling production) in its credits, as for instance the Rodeo Drive shots.


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