“Grand Hotel Implosion”‏

“When you get into a hotel room, you lock the door, and you know there is a secrecy, there is a luxury, there is fantasy. There is comfort. There is reassurance”. Diane von Furstenberg

hotel (n.)
1640s, “public official residence,” from French hôtel, Old French hostel “a lodging” (11c.), from Medieval Latin hospitale “inn” (see hostel). Modern sense of “an inn of the better sort” is first recorded 1765.

“I need something truly beautiful to look at in hotel rooms”. Vivien Leigh

Grand Hotel is a 1932 American drama film directed by Edmund Goulding. The screenplay by William A. Drake and Béla Balázs is based on the 1930 play of the same title by Drake, who had adapted it from the 1929 novel Menschen im Hotel by Vicki Baum.

The phrase “Grand Hotel theme” came to be used for any dramatic movie following the activities of various people in a large busy place, with some of the characters’ lives overlapping in odd ways and some of them remaining unaware of one another’s existence. Such “grand hotel” films have been set at airports, aboard ocean liners, in large department stores, etc., as well as in hotels. Neil Simon used the format in both play and film versions of Plaza Suite, California Suite, and London Suite.

The art director, Cedric Gibbons, was one of the most important and influential in the history of American film. The lobby scenes were extremely well done, portraying a 360° desk. This allowed audiences to watch the hotel action from all around the characters. It changed the way sets were made from that point onward

“It was Elvis who really got me hooked on beat music. When I heard ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ I thought, this is it”. Paul McCartney

“Well, since my baby left me,
I found a new place to dwell.
It’s down at the end of lonely street
at Heartbreak Hotel”.

 “Incredibly, almost every hotel I ever played in Vegas was blown up shortly afterward: The Dunes, The Sands, The Landmark, The Aladdin, The Frontier, The Hacienda, The Stardust – all were imploded”. Elayne Boosler

If there is such a thing as an “implosion craze” in Las Vegas, then the demolition of the Dunes was the hotel ending that started the trend. One of Vegas’ most classic establishments, the Dunes opened in 1955, heralded by a 35-foot-tall sultan that straddled its main entrance. By the time of its closing in 1993, the sultan was long gone, as were the glory days of the Dunes, its significance dwindling as new mega-resorts like the Mirage and Treasure Island opened.

The implosion of the Dunes demarcated the end of an era as much as the opening of its replacement, the $1.6 billion Bellagio resort, at its time the world’s costliest hotel. Bellagio opened with more than 3,000 rooms on an 11-acre site, featuring a 22-million-gallon lake, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art and a spectacular Cirque du Soleil production show, “O.”

Implosion Craziness

“Supergroupies don’t have to hang around hotel corridors. When you are one, as I have been, you get invited backstage”. Germaine Greer

“Somebody asked my friend Bob Seger, Why do you think the Eagles broke up? He said, Hotel California”. Glenn Frey

Written by Don Felder, Glenn Frey and Don Henley, this song is about materialism and excess. California is used as the setting, but it could relate to anywhere in America. Don Henley in the London Daily Mail November 9, 2007 said: “Some of the wilder interpretations of that song have been amazing. It was really about the excesses of American culture and certain girls we knew. But it was also about the uneasy balance between art and commerce.”

The hotel on the album cover is the Beverly Hills Hotel, known as the Pink Palace. It is often frequented by Hollywood stars. The photo was taken by photographers David Alexander and John Kosh, who sat in a cherry-picker about 60 feet above Sunset Boulevard to get the shot of the hotel at sunset from above the trees.

“People equate sexy with promiscuous. They think that because I’m shaped this way, I must be scandalous – like running around and bringing men into my hotel room. But it’s just the opposite”. Jennifer Lopez

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