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"Bobby" and The Ambassador Hotel

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  Site Where: Wilshire Boulevard [map], Los Angeles, ca, United States
November 21, 2006 at 9:58 AM | by | ()

With the premiere of Emilio Estevez's new film, "Bobby," The Ambassador Hotel - its history and destruction - is back in the public eye.

Opened in 1921, the historic hotel became the it-place for the Hollywood elite. Celebs and political figures from The Rat Pack to Bing, Barbra, Nixon, Reagan, Howard Hughes, and Satchmo stayed there and played there. Not to mention it's also where The Graduate's Benjamin Braddock conducted his infamous affair with Mrs. Robinson. The Cocoanut Grove, the swinging club which was featured in "The Aviator" hosted about a million shows and dance contests, was Tinseltown's power bar, and was where the famous Oscar statuette was first unveiled. (The first ever Oscar ceremony was held at Hollywood Roosevelt, of course.)

Now, the tragic history of the hotel. Robert Kennedy was shot and killed in the hotel pantry by Sirhan Sirhan on June 5, 1968, following RFK's victory speech there for the California Primary. Sirhan Sirhan, who is still alive, later went on to petition the razing of the hotel - direct from his cell block. The Kennedy family also sought to have the hotel torn down, which recently has been done to make way for a much-neeeded Los Angeles school.

But back to "Bobby." In an interview with Movies Online, Estevez said that he managed to secure five days to shoot exterior shots for the film, set in the Ambassador.

"The circumstances were extreme, they were tearing it down, and they were tearing it down around us, and there were some shots if you were to widen out, the school bus scene in particular, you would actually see the bulldozers working, and the agreement was that they would not stop demolition while we were there."

Today, the hotel skeleton's last stand is lovingly documented by The Ambassador's Last Stand blog. Like many grand and stylish buildings, the Ambassador can't be rescued from the wrecking ball. But you know how Los Angeles feels about old things. This is the top town for plastic surgery and "reconstructions" after all.

Coincidentally, "Bobby" stars Demi Moore and Lindsay Lohan who are certainly no strangers to enhancements themselves. The movie is now playing in New York and LA and opens nationwide on Wednesday.

Related Stories:
· Emilio Estevez Interview, Bobby [Movies Online Canada]
· Ambassador Hotel to be Razed for a school [HotelChatter]

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