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  • Mod Movie Monday Time! This Week, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, 1970

    Posted on August 16th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    beyond-valley-dolls-posterHere’s a truly Mod movie for Mod Movie Monday…What do you get when you mix late ’60s Hollywood with stacked chicks, Russ Meyer and a young Roger Ebert? Just what you’d expect…a classless, confusing, wild and oh-so-fun-to-watch flick with a cast of hot chicks and a good old fashioned X rating.

    Beyond The Valley Of The Dollsvalleyofdollsdetail

    from 1974 is NOT a sequel to The Valley of the Dolls. In fact, other than some shared costumes and Manson-style murders, there’s nothing to do with Valley of the Dolls. But hey, everyone was juiced up on acid in 1970 so who cares, right? Diggit.

    beyond-the-valley-dolls-zmaI’m not even going to try to explain the plot of this movie beyond four hot, mod chicks in a rock band decide to head out to LA to make it big, and everything goes nuts from there. The girls get naked a lot. There’s ’60s-style lipstick lesbian sex. Kool cars. Drugs. Music by the Strawberry Alarm Clock. Crazy swingin’ Hollywood parties. Styles, decor and music that will send you far out, baby. It’s the scene. It’s also funny (intentionally) and has some wacky, out-there scenes (especially the ending) that writer Roger Ebert (yeah, the thumbs guy) and director Russ Meyer cooked up on-set. valley-dolls-sex-scene(Funny note: Russ Meyer didn’t know the film was getting an X rating, which is pretty much equivalent to an NC-17 today. He said if he’d known it he would have added a lot more sex and nudity to the film).

    valley-dolls-hookaDinner & Cocktails: There’s actually a drink called LSD, which I think is fitting for this flick:

    0.5 oz  Banana Liqueur
    0.5  oz Vodka
    1 wedge  Lemon
    1 sprinkle  Sugar
    0.25 oz  Sambuca

    Pour banana liqueur and vodka into shot glass. Place lemon wedge over shot glass. Sprinkle with sugar and add float of Sambuca.

    beyondvalleyofthedollspartySounds kinda disgusting, but who knows. Maybe it’s better if you do the real LSD first. As for food…anti-establishment all the way! You have to fight the man…the chef..man…and go against the grain of society to make your own voice heard, baby…put a hot dog on a hamburger bun…eat your steak with your hands…radical ideas like that. You know where I’m comin’ from, brothers and sisters. Lay down that groovy flower power. Or something.

    Anyway while you’re enjoying your hippiefest I’ll be at the Tiki Bar having a Zombie. Later kids!

    -Tiki Chris P, like, sitting in the center of the cosmos, listening to sitar tunes and watching the pretty swirly colors of the tropical flowers.

    Tiki Lounge Talk features a new Mod Movie Monday every week. Check it out, kats  & kittens!

  • Art Deco & Mid-Century Modern Come Together in Downtown Hollywood, Florida

    Posted on February 17th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    ramada-frontIt was a beautiful day in downtown Hollywood, Florida where I work. Sun shining, puffy white clouds, not too crazy hot. So I decided to take my trusty Instamatic Camera (not really, it’s a digital camera) and head down to the happinin’ section of Hollywood Boulevard.retrovision

    Hollywood was founded in 1925 by a visionary named Joseph Young who wanted to build his dream city in Florida. It quickly became a thriving city, with beachfront hotels, beautiful homes, and a busy downtown area. This downtown was first built up in the mid to late 20s, with some slowing during the depression and WW2. It found a resurgence in the 50s, as many vacation spots did, and had a building boom through the 60s. This history led to a unique combination of early Art Deco construction, Spanish-Floridian construction, and Mid-Century Modern.

    It’s amazing that these buildings were able to survive through the architectual vacuum of the 70s and 80s, but some managed to hang on with their original look intact. The late 90s saw a re-popularization of the original styles, and luckily the popularization has remained through the present leading to numerous restorations, retro-refitting of more recent dull buildings, and dig this…brand new construction in the Art Deco and Mid-Century style. Seriously. (continued after the slide show)

    I was able to get some very nice shots of the Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern buildings along the boulevard. One of my favorite buildings is the Great Southern Hotel, located on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Young’s Circle. I believe Young himself had this hotel built as part of the city plan back in the mid 20’s. It has a sort of Florida-Spanish style combined with that 1920s pre-Deco look you see in a lot of shore towns. What the hell do I mean by that? Basically it means simplicity, symmetry, and terra cotta.

    There are a good number of trendy nightclubs and cafés along the boulevard, and most of them have stuck with the retro look. It’s nice to see people taking these historic styles seriously, and appreciating them for the timeless beauty they portray.

    ***

    Funny story about The Great Southern hotel. When we first moved to Florida in 2000, my wife and I took a drive to Hollywood to check it out. At that time it was in a state of change; a lot of stores were vacant, and still looked like they did in the 70s. I noticed the big white hotel on the corner, and thought to myself that it looked really familiar, but couldn’t place it. Mind you this is the first trip I ever took to Hollywood. Anyway, a few years later in 2005, I end up working in a building on Hollywood Boulevard a couple of blocks from downtown. While there I picked up a local paper, which happened to have a story about “The Great Southern Hotel” on the cover. The story was about how the owners wanted to tear it apart to put up a parking garage, how the city didn’t see anything wrong with that, and how the historical society was about ready to commit murder if necessary before letting that happen. The name rung a bell…but I still couldn’t catch it. Then one day it came to me…where I’d seen that name. It was in a movie, which I ran out and bought right away.

    There it was, in one of the last scenes of Midnight Cowboy from 1967. Joe Buck and Ratzo Rizzo are headed down to Miami on a bus. The bus stops for a break, and Joe Buck ditches his cowboy outfit and boots for a Hawaiian shirt. As he shoves the boots into a trash can, you can clearly see a giant white building with the name “Great Southern Hotel” in giant letters in the background. That was it; a scene in a movie I had seen when I was about 13 had stuck in my head for years…and as fate would have it, I wind up working down the street from the place. But here’s what’s even more interesting: One of the themes of the movie is that the characters want to get out of the city, out of the cold, away from the freaks up north and down to sunny Florida where the palm trees sway and you can pick the oranges right off the trees. Well, my father and I used to joke around about it all the time, that we had the same dream. Finally, in 2000, he, my wife and I made it down here. “Everybody’s Talkin’ at Me” from the movie was going through my head as we crossed the Georgia border into Florida. The sun actually was shining through the pouring rain as we drove down I-95 into Fort Lauderdale. My father, who was very sick at the time, made it down right behind us, but unlike Ratzo lived a few years to enjoy it. Whenever I see the Great Southern I think of him, and how we both got our dream to come true.

    (This is a repost from last year, but it was such a popular one I thought I’d give it another view)
    -Tiki Chris Pinto, for the Tiki Blog