The Boom Boom Room was a landmark gay club in Laguna Beach, CA. It closed a couple of years ago due to being sold. The new owner had plans to tear it down and build a boutique hotel. But, up to this point it has just sat vacant, and thanks to the crappy economy appears to be up for sale again.
You have to understand gay history here in So Cal a little before I go on. Orange County is NOT gay friendly by any stretch of the imagination. This is where the crux of the Yes on 8 people came from. It's where all the crazy televangelists come from. It was spoken of with disdain in the movie Milk:
ANNE KRONENBERG: Not great. State Senator John Briggs is Anita Bryant's go-to guy in California for sure. He's filed his petition for a statewide referendum to fire all gay teachers and anyone who supports them.
[A pall falls over the room. This is worse than expected.]
HARVEY MILK: How many signatures will he need to qualify for the ballot?
CLEVE JONES: Whatever. He can get them in two Sundays at church in Orange-f***ing-County.
Being gay in O.C. is not all that great, except for in one place: Laguna Beach. It was established as an artist's community, and drew a lot of gays early on. It has always been a haven of sorts for the gay community of O.C. who don't want to travel up to West Hollywood. It was home to the first openly gay mayor in the US. It's quaint. It's artistic. It has a great gay beach. And for decades, the club scene in Laguna Beach was served by the Boom Boom Room.
D and I met a guy who spearheaded the effort to save the Boom Boom Room. He had someone follow him around with a video camera and record a documentary about it. It's been shown at quite a few film festivals around the world. It's not a high quality film, but it is a high quality story. We got the chance to see it at it's premiere showing in Laguna Beach last week. It was great. If you have some time and want to see the documentary, go to savetheboom.com and click on the video links on the left hand side of the page. It's excerpts from the full documentary.
And, if you happen to know anyone with $10-12 million that wants to buy a large, beachfront property in Laguna Beach, D and I will be happy to reopen and manage the Boom Boom Room and adjacent hotel for you. :)
View Larger Map
After the film, we got to meet some of the local gay crowd from Laguna Beach. It was crazy. There were 8 of us that went to dinner, and 4 of us were raised Mormon. I swear there's a gay gene floating through the Mormon veins. I need to write another blog about that experience. Hopefully I remember to later this week.