The site of the Beverly Hills Supper Club is open to visitors one day out of the year, during the Memorial Day Weekend. Here is my visit to the location and what is left of it today. It has mostly been reclaimed by nature.
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It would be very difficult to visit this place, Mr. Roberts, as we lost people we knew in the fire; a few of the group escaped but were never the same. Most everyone is gone now.
This is beautifully done, the film and the music. I am glad they never rebuilt on the site, but do wish they would clear away the debris and let nature have it all except for a small area for families and friends to grieve. Perhaps enclose the metal and concrete, etc. into a container or something to prevent further destruction and make a memorial. Grateful for the statuary and mementos. I remember this as if it were yesterday. John Davidson was to perform that night and so many wanted to be there. He was a big name at the time.
Thank you for sharing; this is a gift.
I think they the company that owns the property should donate to the city for a park. They can improve the statue on the hill and create a deck on the hill side so that you can look up at the front of it, recreate the fountain that was in the Garden Room, create a permanent display of surviving objects from the club, have a small amphitheater and create a few hiking trails and some playground equipment. Also, they could have plaques spread around with information about that night and the club. I would rather see the place transformed into something useful, educational and joy rather than trying to just forget that it ever happened by making the place into an office building, which seems like the current owners want to see happen. Letting the place just turn into what it has become seems rather disrespectful to me.
A park would be a good thing, Mr. Roberts. I like your ideas. One of the survivors, a busboy who ran on stage and told people to get out, also said recently in an interview that he thought they should turn it into a park/memorial. It should never be forgotten. Hope they do not build offices or hotels there, as those ideas have been tossed around. It is disrespectful. I'm sure there are other sites of terrible tragedies that are not marked, but don't specifically know of any. Usually there is at least a memorial marker and an area for remembrance. I agree what it is now is not the best; for sure, it seems lost and lonely. But nature unchecked is better than building over it. The grounds should be as sacred as cemeteries are. I hope the city can obtain it and turn it into a real memorial park.
I had a thought (will wonders never cease). You're an artist, Mr. Roberts. If you are able perhaps you could design what the area should look like and present it to whomever the powers that be are. Your ideas are solid and maybe they just need a push in the right direction?
There were many people up on the hill that day and many of them wanted to tell someone their story, either about their own experiences or about someone they knew. Some of the visitors had studied the incident and were very knowledgeable, one guy even going as far to show us some of the exposed aluminum wiring sticking out of the ground that was responsible for over heating and starting the fire. Another guy told us about how the Governor had the rubble bull dozed after only 2 weeks before a full out investigation could be done and recalled all the evidence photos, many of which hasn't been seen since. One of these guys was telling us how the current company that owns the property has so much money that they can afford to just sit on it and wait for the memory of the fire to fade so that they can develop it. It's all about making money off of that subdivision or new office building someday. I would be really surprised if they let the property go.
That's very unfortunate, Mr. Roberts. Family and friends never forget. This was an enormous tragedy and they should honor it. But you are right; it is all about money. no matter what. Clearly they have no shame.
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