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Hollywood’s Sunset Strip Goes Up In Miami

July 25, 2011 By Carlos Miller in Miami: Local News  | 7 Comments

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One of Miami’s most downtrodden intersections has been revamped to look like Hollywood’s Sunset Strip during the 1980s glam metal heyday.

And while the area still lacks the energy that possessed the real Sunset Strip of the 1980s, it makes a perfect backdrop for the upcoming Rock of Ages movie, which is being filmed in South Florida.

It also makes a nice backdrop to photograph a South Florida burlesque performer named Isadora Bull.

“It’s all about expression,” she said. “Burlesque, dance, photography – even glam rock.”

We’re not sure how long the set will remain in the area of 1400 North Miami Avenue, on the edge of Overtown, which is why he jumped at the chance to do a photo shoot there last week.

But considering they were not filming at the time, we were given free reign of the set by the multitude of security guards who were on-hand protecting it from potential thieves and vandals, but thankfully, not photographers (it is a public area, but that little detail never seems to sway some security guards and police officers from enforcing non-existent laws as we learned in Fort Lauderdale last month).

Tower Records

So we snapped photos in front of the makeshift Tower Records (above), which is really ABC Restaurant Supplies & Equipment and still open for business.

Not that the real Tower Records on Sunset is still open. That closed down in 2006 (below) and will soon be a David Barton Gym (which we’ve had on Miami Beach for years).

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Whiskey a Go Go

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We also took pictures in front of the makeshift Whiskey a Go-Go (above), which still exists on the Sunset Strip but hasn’t had the notoriety it had back in the 80s when Guns N Roses and Motley Crue performed there. Unlike Tower Records, the Whiskey a Go Go still thrives on the Sunset Strip (below).

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And speaking of Motley Crue, check out the video of Isadora Bull performing to Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room at the end of this article.

“Burlesque performers have a lot in common with the 80s rockers,” she explained.

“Styles over comfort, glitter, glitz, big hair, makeup, the performance, the character is key.”

Roxy Theater

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We also took photos in front of the makeshift Roxy Theater (above), which still exists on the Sunset Strip (below) and is where the Red Hot Chili Peppers debuted in 1989.

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Gazzarri’s

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And we snapped some photos in front of the makeshift Gazzarri’s (above), which is where Van Halen performed in the 1980s before it closed down in 1993 (below) and was demolished in 1995.

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The filmmakers also erected an actual telephone booth, something many youngsters might not even recognize. And they erected flashy billboards – which are splattered all over the real Sunset Strip – including one advertising cheap flights to Sin City, aka Las Vegas, which is only an hour away from Los Angeles.

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The irony of all this, of course, is that Hollywood filmmakers have long recreated Miami in Los Angeles for films such as Scarface and shows like CSI:Miami. This might be the first time they recreated Los Angeles in Miami.

Rock of Ages, a movie about the 1980s glam rock scene based on the musical of the same name, stars Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and Mary J. Blige.

They will continue to film throughout Miami until the end of August. It is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2012.

Driving through the area: See it while it lasts

Cupcake Burlesque

Meanwhile, if you want to check out Isadora Bull and the rest of her burlesque troupe, called the Cupcake Burlesque, they will be performing at 9 p.m. this Sunday at the Cinema Paradiso, 503 S.E. 6th St., Fort Lauderdale.

The show will be part of the ongoing Le Croix French Film Festival. Call (954) 525-FILM for more information.

Now here’s the video that will give you a taste of what to expect this Sunday with more photos from the makeshift Sunset Strip below.

 

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Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

Carlos Miller is a featured writer at Miami Beach 411. He also operates Photography is Not a Crime, a blog about photographer rights, New Media and First Amendment issues.

See more articles by Carlos Miller.

See more articles by Carlos Miller

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7 Comments on

"Hollywood’s Sunset Strip Goes Up In Miami"

Blackford Oakes says:

The only touch missing is Angelyne driving her pink Corvette up and down the set.

This brought back some memories.

Posted on 07/27/2011 at 10:02 AM

Gus says:

Blackford, there is an authentic looking “Angeline” billboard, next the Carney’s train car. You can see the billboard at the beginning of the video above. Hope you get a chance to come down and see the set; a security guard told us it will still be up for a few more weeks.

Posted on 07/27/2011 at 10:29 AM

Doug says:

I used to seat Angelyne whenever she came into a restaurant I hosted at back in 1987.  She once signed a postcard for me: “To Douge, you’re a great actor! Love, Angelyne”.  What they’re re-creating here is the LA I knew best! It looks a little re-arranged, but still brings back memories!

Posted on 07/27/2011 at 12:43 PM

Carlos Miller says:

You can see the Angelyne sign here.

http://www.miamibeach411.com/ee/images/uploads/Isadora_Bull_(1_of_1)-14.jpg

Posted on 07/27/2011 at 1:07 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Well, the link didn’t work. Just look at the fourth photo from the bottom of the story.

Posted on 07/27/2011 at 1:09 PM

Blackford Oakes says:

I saw her about three months ago on the strip as she ripped up Kings Rd in her Corvette.
She’s a sick sight if you see her up close. She must be 70 going on 20

I wondered before on a previous post,if I would be able to tell the difference if this was a set after production. With these new pics, I don’t think I’ll be able to tell.

Posted on 07/27/2011 at 3:01 PM

Blackford Oakes says:

The Strip was always there. I didn’t party there until Starwood Club closed down below on Sta. Monica and Cresent Heights, By that time, the Strip had lost it’s luster of the 60/70’s.
Mainly patronized the Rainbow Bar next to the Roxy. Gazzarri’s never measured up.

Posted on 07/29/2011 at 10:24 PM

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