The 1987 romance/dance film “Dirty Dancing” is coming up on its 35th anniversary. The house that inspired the vacation spot in the film, the Grossinger’s Hotel, burned down this week.
“Dirty Dancing” followed Baby (Jennifer Grey) as she falls in love with her dance instructor Johnny (Patrick Swazye), much to the disapproval of her father. In the film, Baby is on vacation at a resort that was very similar to the Grossinger’s Hotel.
NPR reported that the hotel was engulfed in flames on Tuesday night. The Liberty Fire Department arrived on the scene, and put out the fire. Afterwards, the remainder of the 3-story hotel was knocked down to prevent further accidents. The fire is still being investigated.
The property had closed back in 1986, and had been mostly overgrown and abandoned since.
The anniversary of “Dirty Dancing” comes on August 21. The cult classic film has been a favorite for several generations. One of the stars of the film, Swayze, sadly passed away in 2009 from pancreatic cancer. His wife, Lisa Niemi, recently remembered him ahead of the anniversary, and near what would have been his 70th birthday.
She spoke to Entertainment Tonight about her husband and his work on the film.
“When Patrick was still alive, he would always say, ‘I’m on my second generation of fans’… He’d get approached by young ladies who weren’t even born when the movie came out,” she said. “Any artist for their work to live on like that and make such an impact in such a positive way, what more could you ask for?”
35th Anniversary of “Dirty Dancing” Approaches After Hotel that Inspired it Burns Down
One of the most iconic moments in the film is a dance move in which Baby runs to Johnny and is lifted straight up in the air. Niemi said that her late husband loved that he could pull off this move, and would do it occasionally.
“Patrick loves going off and he was strong enough to do all that stuff, so when they want to pull off a great lift, he says, ‘I got one for you,’” she said.
There is a “Dirty Dancing” sequel in the works, but it will not be an easy task without Swayze. Grey spoke about the sequel to TODAY.
“What happened happened, and that will never happen again. There will never be another Johnny. There will never be another Patrick,” she said.
She added that the film will have to be a “standalone piece.”
Grey couldn’t say much, she said, but she did give fans a look into what they are in for with the sequel: “I can’t tell you much, sadly, but I will tell you that it will involve Baby. It will involve Kellerman’s. There will be music. Unless there’s a lot of CGI, Baby’s going to be a little older. It’s going to be Kellerman’s, music, dancing, love story, romance. I’m just so super committed and invested in making it a fresh (take).”