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June 11, 2021 1:32 PM   Subscribe

The Rise and Fall of Planet Hollywood ; or, 'Planet Hollywood Origin Story History Interview'
posted by box (19 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Amazingly, it had more to do with celebrities than I ever thought it did. I had to go to one in the nineties or early 2000s -- you know how it is when you don't get to choose the restaurant -- and I don't remember much about it, except that it met expectations of tackiness. Never in the world did it occur to me that celebrities would go to one, except for a D-lister to cut the ribbon, maybe. Huh. I feel bad for the staff who had to answer questions about them.

Patrick Swayze ordered a Pink Lady! Man, that guy was secure. God love him.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:04 PM on June 11 [6 favorites]


Warning, contains a picture of the ex president.
posted by Jacen at 2:28 PM on June 11 [5 favorites]


Kind of weird to read about this, because, even back then, I'd always pegged PH as being a Hard Rock Cafe wannabe. (I've never actually been to a HRC either, but I've got a T-shirt from the Moscow location, thanks to relatives.) I do think that PH may have started the joke/meme/temporary trend (as noted later in this article) where every type and sub-type of celebrity, except maybe for politicians, had to have their own theme restaurant, if not a chain. Maybe my favorite satire of that trend was in the graphic novel Kingdom Come, in which an elderly Bruce Wayne orders a steak at "Planet Krypton."
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:34 PM on June 11 [5 favorites]


Patrick Swayze ordered a Pink Lady! Man, that guy was secure. God love him.

I once ordered a Cosmopolitan when I meant to order a Manhattan, and I just took what I was served in stride. I'm not saying Swayze mis-ordered, because that's what I would do, not him. But I dwelt on the self-assuredness that I ordered it, so it's mine. Deal with it, all my straight co-workers out for a drink with me, the only gay guy, who ordered a pink cocktail.
posted by hippybear at 10:04 PM on June 11 [5 favorites]


i love stuff like this. thanks for posting.
posted by capnsue at 10:09 PM on June 11


I didn't even realize that Planet Hollywood still exists. I guess it didn't fall all the way.

Just saw a video about the rise and fall of the Hard Rock Cafe Amusement Park, which, apparently was pretty good, but because of a lot of bad timing and bad luck, was only open for 5 months.
posted by eye of newt at 10:14 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


What's wrong with a pink lady?
posted by Carillon at 1:14 AM on June 12


What's wrong with a pink lady?

The Jeff Altman garnish primarily.

Or the egg white, which, now that I think about it, is kinda the same thing in a way...
posted by gusottertrout at 1:37 AM on June 12 [5 favorites]


(Re Pink Lady, might be worth noting that Swayz and his pals Snipes and Leguizamo had recently filmed To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar, a movie that I've never seen that is probably just as much a 1995 time capsule as a Planet Hollywood opening.)
posted by box at 5:04 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


To Wong Foo is actually a pretty good movie. A little fantasia about queer and trans existence in America. I've seen it several times.
posted by hippybear at 5:07 AM on June 12 [4 favorites]


I remember all the hype when they opened one in Vancouver (1997). Made me feel embarrassed for my town. Though to be honest, I don't recall anyone I know ever actually going (or bothering to mention it if they did). Guess we just weren't the target market.

It shut down two years later. Bankrupt. Well done, Vancouver.
posted by philip-random at 6:47 AM on June 12 [5 favorites]


But in January, Earl opened Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun, an all-inclusive resort that includes “the PH Spa, inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood.”
I don’t know why, but I need to go there, but not spend any of my own money doing so.
posted by mikesch at 7:48 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


I remember all the hype when they opened one in Vancouver... to be honest, I don't recall anyone I know ever actually going

Same with the one in DC (conveniently located on the tourist trail there, between FBI HQ and The House Where Lincoln Died). I think Arnold Schwarzenegger attended the opening.
posted by Rash at 9:05 AM on June 12


Regardless of how secure Patrick Swayze may or may not have been in his drink order, his drag in To Wong Foo... is simply stunning, and there are points in that movie where he absolutely exudes both confidence and vulnerability. He was a remarkable actor.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:19 AM on June 12 [10 favorites]


gusottertrout beat me for the reference, but apparently the Japanese female pop duo was named after the aforementioned drink. (Would have posted something from the short-lived (and infamous) 1980 "Pink Lady (and Jeff)" TV show, but that would probably go against the Metaguidelines concerning Disturbing Imagery). Like to think there's a Pink Lady/Boredoms mash-up out there somewhere (tho Ex-Girl did cover a few of their songs in their Punk Lady persona)

But back to the regularly scheduled topic... I'm sure there must have been Planet Hollywoods here in the Bay Area, but we probably avoided (or, probably more accurately, overlooked) them because everything about them screamed "Tourist Trap" (reading the article, it seems like PH didn't quite know how to consistently "brand" itself).
posted by gtrwolf at 1:53 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Pink Lady was the drink often mentioned in Sword of Honour (but I think that their recipe was gin + whatever mix was available at the time.)
posted by ovvl at 6:56 PM on June 12


Am I the only one seeing "For subscribing members only" when I click the link? Ah well.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:37 AM on June 16


I'm sure there must have been Planet Hollywoods here in the Bay Area, but we probably avoided (or, probably more accurately, overlooked) them because everything about them screamed "Tourist Trap" (reading the article, it seems like PH didn't quite know how to consistently "brand" itself).--gtrwolf

Well Etsy has a vintage San Francisco Planet Hollywood T-shirt, so there may have been one a long time ago. Further searching suggests it was at 2 Stockton Street in 1994 and one of the investors was local actor Danny Glover.
posted by eye of newt at 12:38 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


When Danny Glover decided to invest in a Bay Area Planet Hollywood, he was just two days away from retirement.
posted by box at 1:04 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


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