One of the great movies of that great period of movies -- late '60s/early '70s -- was "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?," which starred Jane Fonda, Susannah York and a mess of big stars slow-dancing for their lives. The film spotlighted the pretty-much-gone-and-very-much-missed concept of the pier ballroom, that massive, ocean-perched space where hordes of young people would come to hoof it, for days on end, back in the teens, '20s and '30s.
Okay, "Horses" was a tense film, not all happy-la-la-la-dancing hijinx, but completely fantastic. Oh, and Jane Fonda's curls. And the Dust Bowl-era duds. Memorable.
The spectacular setting of the movie was the La Monica Ballroom, which lived on Santa Monica Pier for a solid four decades until shuttering in the '60s. But, a wonderful footnote: Santa Monica Pier is revisiting the legendary La Monica for a night. On Thursday, July 23rd, "La Monica Ballroom Redux" comes to the pier, bringing with it memories of dance-a-thons past.
Pork-pied players The Squirrel Nut Zippers are providing the vintage sounds, and we're expecting many attendees will be in full pencil-skirted, scarf-at-the-neck, pin-curled glory. Something zoot-suit-y would be appropriate for the gentlemen. Suspenders, at least. A hanky in a pocket.
It's a time machine -- a *free* time machine, we should add -- no admission required -- with beachy breezes and brassy horns. Your spectator pumps are shined, we hope?