‘Dirty Dancing’ Hotel: Fire Destroys Grandview Palace, Inspiration For Hit Film

 @MarkJohansonIBT on April 18 2012 10:31 AM

Remember that Catskills resort that Frances Houseman's family stayed at in Dirty Dancing? Well, any chance of reliving your Dirty Dancing dreams is now up in flames as the famous hotel was destroyed by a fire over the weekend.

The blazing fire in New York's Catskill Mountains consumed nearly the entire condominium complex, which was formerly known as Brown's Hotel. The building inspired the hotel known as Kellerman's in the iconic 80's film about a teenager who falls for a dance instructor while her family vacations in the Catskills.

Dirty Dancing was one of the biggest films of the 80's, catapulting the now-deceased Patrick Swayze to superstar status. The sleeper hit became the first movie ever to sell more than a million copies on VHS.

Despite its supposed setting, the majority of Dirty Dancing was filmed in North Carolina and Virginia, not New York. However, Brown's Hotel was one of several Catskills establishments that formed the inspiration for the script.

The former hotel opened in 1944 on Route 52 in the city of Loch Sheldrake, N.Y., about 85 miles from New York City. In its heyday, it was known as one of the signature hotels of the Catskills' so-called Borscht Belt era -- a place where Jerry Lewis and other comedians would entertain crowds of vacationing New Yorkers.

A decade after the 1987 film, it was turned into condominiums and was last known as the Grandview Palace.

The fire that destroyed a piece of movie history began at around 6 p.m. Saturday and moved quickly through the complex. It drew more than 43 fire companies and 300 firefighters. Seven of the nine buildings in the complex were destroyed in what the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, N.Y., is calling the largest fire in Catskills history.

No one was reportedly killed or injured in the fire, but several residents lost their homes and all of their possessions to the flames. Many are taking shelter at Sullivan County Community College.

The Grandview Palace complex was cited for many fire code and safety violations and just last month, the town of Fallsburg dropped an effort to condemn the place.

It's safe to say the team currently working on the Dirty Dancing remake, due out in 2013, will have to look elsewhere for inspiration.

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