They Paved Over the Boom Boom Room, Put Up a Parking Lot

The Laguna Beach Planning Commission last week unanimously approved a plan to build a
13-space parking garage where the legendary gay bar the Boom Boom Room once stood. But the city's desire for a public display depicting the old Coast Inn complex's long association with the gay community remains unfulfilled.

As the Los Angeles Times' O.C.
reports, commissioners warmly received plans for 1920s-themed
flag poles and awnings at the hotel–which may include retail space and a
restaurant/wine bar. The location of an interpretive center
dedicated to the Coast Inn's gay past is still to be
determined, however.

Architect Morris Skenderian “proposed that an historic
exhibit about the Coast Inn and
its importance in Laguna Beach be placed either in the hotel lobby or in
the restaurant/bar area; that it be prepared by an approved historic
consultant and 'subject to the approval' of the property owner, former
AIG executive Steven Udvar-Hazy,” O.C. Now reports.

Udvar-Hazy, one of the world's
wealthiest men, has been pressured for several years to donate the
property to the city as a gay community center.

Until he comes around on some kind of way to honor the Boom, those who want to remember the fab old days should find John Keitel's Saving the Boom, an excellent short
documentary about the unsuccessful effort to save what for years had
been the largest gay nightspot in Orange County. Or, take another gander at Janine Kahn's slideshow of the club's goodbye party–wet undies contest and all!

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