Burlesque Lounge from “Burlesque”Feb 25th, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
A couple of months ago, I dragged the Grim Cheaper out to see Burlesque and, because of all of the bad reviews the movie was generating, I did not have very high hopes that either of us would enjoy it much. As it turns out, though, I could NOT have been more wrong! It is a highly entertaining romp which boasts fabulous musical numbers, sparkling and intricately-designed costumes, and incredibly beautiful sets that made me want to hop right into the movie screen. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. And even though the movie is definitely a chick flick, the GC said he thoroughly enjoyed it as well. So when I saw that fellow stalker Gary, of the Seeing Stars website, had just published a page detailing various filming locations from the movie, I just about died. The were two locations that I was most interested in stalking, the first of which was the Mediterranean-style apartment complex where Ali (aka Christina Aguilera) and Jack (aka Cam Gigandet) lived, which come to find out does not, in fact, exist. Fellow stalker Chas, of the ItsFilmedThere website, contacted a few Burlesque crew members on my behalf to find out the location of the apartment building, but they all informed him that it was a set that had been built on the Sony Pictures Studio backlot, which was shocking to me as I had been convinced that the building was a real place. I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on the DVD of the movie, which is being released on March 1st, so that I can listen to the commentary to learn more about the construction of that set. Anyway, the other location that I was dying to stalk was the exterior of the Burlesque Lounge, which, thanks to Gary I now know, was in actuality the side entrance of the historic Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood. So, I dragged the GC right on out there to stalk the place this past Monday afternoon.
The Ricardo Montalban Theatre was first built in 1926 by Myron Hunt, the legendary Los Angeles architect who also designed the Rose Bowl, Occidental College, the California Institute of Technology, the Huntington Hotel (now the Langham), and the Huntington Library, among countless other area buildings. The Beaux Arts-style theatre was originally a live, or a “legitimate”, stage venue known as the Vine Street Theatre, but was transformed into a single-screen movie theatre during the Great Depression. A few years later it was purchased by CBS and became a radio broadcasting venue known as the CBS Playhouse Theatre. It was there that legendary Hollywood producer/director Cecil B. DeMille hosted his Lux Radio Theatre show in which movie stars of the day would act out radio versions of his many films. In 1954, the property once again became a live theatre venue and was renamed the Huntington Hartford. In 2000, the 1200-seat venue was purchased by Nosotros, a non-profit performing arts organization founded by Fantasy Island star Ricardo Montalban. The organization set about renovating the theatre and restoring the property to its former 1927 glory and in May of 2004 reopened the space as the Ricardo Montalban Theatre.
In Burlesque, the Ricardo Montalban Theatre’s side entrance, side exterior stairwell, and parking lot area were all used as the Burlesque Lounge’s main entrance. Amazingly enough, the wrought-iron gate which was featured so prominently in the movie is actually there in real life, which I was BEYOND excited to see! You can check out some pictures of the gate dressed for the filming here. (The theatre was having some sort of a movie screening when we showed up to stalk it, which is why there are people camped out on the sidewalk in all of my photographs).
Sadly, the parking lot area, which was featured in the scene in which Tess (aka Cher) and Nikki (aka Kristen Bell) get into a fight, has been ripped up and is currently under construction. According to the signs posted on the fence which now surrounds the former lot, a parking garage is set to be built in that area.
I literally just about fell over when, while stalking the theatre, I recognized the burger stand located next door as the spot where Lucy (aka Britney Spears), Ben (aka Anson Mount), Kit (aka Zoe Saldana), and Mimi (aka Taryn Manning) signed up for the Slide Records singing audition in the movie Crossroads! I had actually been on the hunt for that location for quite some time and was absolutely FLOORED to have stumbled upon it in such a way. For whatever reason, I always seem to have that sort of luck when it comes to Crossroads locales as I also stumbled upon the gas station which appeared in the movie in a very similar manner.
If you would like to stalk the stand, which is named Molly’s Charbroiler in real life, you should do so soon as, according to fave website CurbedLA, the tiny restaurant may be torn down in the coming months in order to make way for a new office building. Have I mentioned how much I love change?
You can watch the trailer for Burlesque, in which the exterior of the Burlesque Lounge is briefly shown, by clicking above.
Big THANK YOU to Gary, from Seeing Stars, for finding this location and to Chas, from ItsFilmedThere, for contacting Burlesque crew members to find out where Ali and Jack’s apartment building was located!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Ricardo Montalban Theatre, aka Burlesque Lounge from Burlesque, is located at 1615 North Vine Street in Hollywood. The Burlesque Lounge entrance is located on the north side of the property. You can visit the theatre’s official website here. Molly’s Charbroiler, from Crossroads, is located at 1601 North Vine Street. You can visit the burger stand’s official website here.