Sunset Strip

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"Destination 1979: Sunset Strip" by Lisa Kurtz Sutton ©2014
Cover of a 1978 Westways magazine featuring a nod to Rocky Horror at the Tiffany Theater on the Sunset Strip
Large advertisement plaques for the final week of The Rocky Horror Show that were mounted outside the Roxy Theatre - 1975
The Rocky Horror Picture Show 15th Anniversary Box Set at Tower Records - 1990
The Rocky Horror 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Roxy Theatre - 1995
The Rocky Horror Picture Show - 45th Anniversary Limited Edition Vinyl Picture Disc

The Sunset Strip is the 1 1⁄2-mile (2.4 km) stretch of Sunset Boulevard that passes through the city of West Hollywood, California.
A world-famous tourist destination, it played an important role in both the history and development of Rocky Horror and Audience Participation.


The Sunset Strip emerged as an entertainment destination beginning in the 1920s with a growing roster of bars and night clubs. The street later gained notoriety when the 1958 television series 77 Sunset Strip immortalized the fictional address in a catchy jingle and hit record that brought the area to global attention as a hip hot-spot. The Strip hit a pinnacle of fame in the mid-'60s as the youth culture of the time took to the streets of the area. More night clubs geared towards the folk and hippie generation cropped up along with an art-house movie theater in the 77 Sunset Strip location that attracted "that type" called the Tiffany Theater.

Rocky Horror

Music producer Lou Adler purchased a strip club called Largo on the Sunset Strip in 1973, which he named the Roxy Theatre. Adler booked both musical acts and cabaret acts at the club, and imported The Rocky Horror Show after seeing it at the Theater Upstairs in London. The Rocky Horror Show - Original Roxy Cast was updated to fit the space, and it became a hit that ran from March 1974 to January 1975 featuring Tim Curry in the leading role for the first seven months. On October 31, 1974, the audience was invited to come in costume to the show to participate in The First ''Rocky Horror'' Costume Contest, the first known official costume contest associated with Rocky Horror. In following years, the Roxy would host a number of Rocky Horror related events including Tim Curry's musical performances supporting his first two LP releases. From time to time over the years, the Roxy has displayed large LP covers related soundtracks coinciding with various events, reminding the passers-by of the location's history with the show and movie and their music.

While appearing in The Rocky Horror Show, Tim Curry took up residence at the Sunset Tower apartments, an iconic Streamline Moderne building east of the Roxy. When Curry returned to the same stage for his Read My Lips and Fearless tour appearances at the Roxy, Curry stayed at the legendary Chateau Marmont, while his band stayed at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, just off the strip behind the Tiffany's parking lot. Curry on at least one occasion was spotted dining at the infamous nightspot, the Rainbow Bar & Grill, which is next door to the Roxy.

Early in the show's run at the Roxy, Tower Records on the Sunset Strip displayed a 6' x 6' rendering of the Original London Cast Soundtrack Album which was the only available record before the release of the Roxy Cast LP in August of 1974. In the early '80s when The Rocky Horror Picture Show Original Soundtrack Album was still selling in the top 100 LPs in the US, Tower Records had 6' x 6' covers of the movie and Roxy cast soundtracks on their outer wall for several weeks. In 1990, the tradition was revisited with a 6' x 6' cover of the The Rocky Horror Picture Show 15th Anniversary Box Set on the wall for the months of September and October.

In March of 1977, the Tiffany Theater on the Sunset Strip was reopened under a new lease to movie aficionado Tommy Cooper. On June 10, 1977, the location once known as 77 Sunset Strip began running The Rocky Horror Picture Show as the 13th of The First 30 US Theaters with a regular, ongoing weekends at midnight booking. Within a year, the Tiffany was a highly sought out destination for fans of the film from all over the world until it closed on March 13, 1983 to become a live theatre. While The Rocky Horror Picture Show was growing as a cult film, the Tiffany developed a reputation as one of the most lively places to attend the film, and the Sunset Strip location added a unique ambiance including bumper-to-bumper traffic, hookers and various other night life immortalized in Donna Summer's 1979 song "Sunset People," making the show outside on the street as entertaining as the show inside the theater. During the height of it's popularity, an average of 1500 people saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Tiffany every single weekend.

The RTD 91 S bus was the primary source of public transportation along the Sunset Strip. The oft-used mode of transportation to get to The Roxy or Tiffany became its own attraction in the late '70s and early '80s as it was frequently pelted with rice by creatures of the night waiting to attend The Rocky Horror Picture Show who would call out "it's the 91 S, my favorite bus" as it drove past the Tiffany several times a night.

In 1978, artist Jan Sawka painted a cover for Westways magazine, a nationally distributed publication of American Auto Club. Sawka had recently emigrated from Poland and he created a vibrant pop art image that captured the sometimes surreal and cartoonish scene along Sunset Boulevard. Rocky Horror is represented with a stylized illustration of the lips adjacent to a small cross-section of the Tiffany marquee referenced by a large "A N" surrounded by lights at the top of the drawing of the building.

Dozens of newspapers and magazines (including national titles Time and Circus) ran features on the Tiffany, and several crews from Japan to Scandinavia to Italy filmed news features on the growing cult with the Sunset Strip theater as the central focus. In 1979, the local Los Angeles news magazine program Two On The Town hosted by Connie Chung and Steve Edwards featured a 30-minute episode on the Sunset Strip, which included a segment on Rocky Horror at the Tiffany Theater as did the nationally syndicated That's Hollywood - "Cult Classics" in 1981. The 1999 Los Angeles Revival of The Rocky Horror Show came to the Sunset Strip at the Tiffany and was attended on more than one occasion by the show's author, Richard O'Brien.

Notable Rocky Horror Locations

Cast Affiliations

Notable Events

1974: The First ''Rocky Horror'' Costume Contest - Roxy Theatre - October 31
1978: Tim Curry - Read My Lips Tour (Opening Nights of Tour) - Roxy Theatre - July 14-15-16
1979: Tim Curry - Fearless Tour - Roxy Theatre - August 26
1983: The Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Audience Par-Tic-I-Pation! Midnight Screening - Roxy Theatre - October 31
1992: Tim Curry - The Art Of The Poet - Chateau Marmont - February 18
1995: The Rocky Horror 20th Anniversary Celebration - Roxy Theatre - October 20
1999: The Rocky Horror Show - 1999 Los Angeles Revival - Tiffany Theater
2013: I Survived the Tiffany Reunion - Tiffany Theater - March 9
2016: The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again Premiere - Roxy Theatre - October 13
2016: The Rocky Horror Picture Jam - Whisky a Go Go - October 25
2018: The Rocky Horror Picture Jam - Whisky a Go Go - October 30

Other Locations and Landmarks

  • Schwab's Pharmacy - 8024 Sunset Boulevard (Demolished October 6, 1988)
  • Coconut Teaszer - 8117 Sunset Boulevard (Currently Hyde Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails - Open)
  • Lytton Savings Building - 8150 Sunset Boulevard (Demolished May 2021)
  • Garden of Allah Hotel - 8152 Sunset Boulevard (Demolished November 1959)
  • Dudley Do-Right Emporium - 8200 Sunset Boulevard (Currently Pinches Tacos - Open)
  • Jay Ward Productions - Featuring the Rocky & Bullwinkle Statue from 1961 to 2013 - 8218 Sunset Boulevard (Currently Posh Pet Care - Open)
  • Chateau Marmont - 8221 Sunset Boulevard - Open
  • Marlboro Man - 8223 Sunset Boulevard (Dismantled March 9, 1999)
  • Carneys - 8351 Sunset Boulevard - Open
  • Sunset Tower Hotel - 8358 Sunset Boulevard - Open
  • Andaz West Hollywood - 8401 Sunset Boulevard (Formerly Hyatt on Sunset - Open)
  • House Of Blues - 8432 Sunset Boulevard (Demolished June 2017)
  • The Comedy Store - 8433 Sunset Boulevard (Formerly Ciro's, Ciro's Le Disc, The Kaleidoscope, and It's Boss - Open)
  • Petersen Publishing Building - 8490 Sunset Boulevard (Demolished September 2013}
  • Sea Witch - 8514 Sunset Boulevard (Demolished August 30, 2013)
  • Dino's Lodge - 8524 Sunset Boulevard (Renamed as Chez Denis in 1978 - Demolished August 30, 2013)
  • Playboy Club - 8560 Sunset Boulevard (Demolished August 30, 2013)
  • Sunset Marquis Hotel - 1200 Alta Loma Road - Open
  • Ben Franks - 8585 Sunset Boulevard (Currently Mel's Diner - Open)
  • Mutato Muzika - 8760 Sunset Boulevard (Open)
  • Rocky & Bullwinkle Statue - 8800 Sunset Boulevard (Since March 2020 - Originally located at 8218 Sunset Boulevard from 1961 to 2013)
  • Book Soup - 8818 Sunset Boulevard (Open)
  • Terner's Liquor - 8850 Sunset Boulevard (Closed - Scheduled for Demolition)
  • The Viper Room - 8852 Sunset Boulevard (Formerly The Central - Closed - Scheduled for Demolition)
  • Aahs! - 8878 Sunset Boulevard (Formerly Licorice Pizza - Closed - Scheduled for Demolition)
  • Whisky a Go Go - 8901 Sunset Boulevard - Open
  • Rainbow Bar & Grill - 9015 Sunset Boulevard - Open
  • Gazzarri's - 9039 Sunset Boulevard (Demolished 1995)
  • Gil Turner's Fine Wines & Spirits - 9101 Sunset Boulevard - Open
  • Cock'n Bull - 9170 Sunset Boulevard - (Scheduled for Demolition May 2021)

Current Status

As the Sunset Strip reaches its 100th anniversary, the area continues a trend of dismantling its past. Although the area remains a vibrant and active destination for music and nightlife, many of the early 20th Century buildings and landmarks have been replaced by an ever-growing roster of "mixed use buildings," most of which are high rise hotel/condo combos with a contemporary all-glass look that is devoid of the vintage character that once prevailed over the area. The Roxy and its neighboring Rainbow Bar & Grill stand as two few remaining destinations that hold significance to the Rocky Horror community on the famed boulevard.

See Also

Los Angeles Rocky Horror
Rocky Horror Merchandise
Brad's Shorts (really!)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show Book
Creatures Of The Night: The Rocky Horror Picture Show Experience
The Rocky Horror Picture Show - 45th Anniversary Limited Edition Vinyl Picture Disc

Related Media

Rocky Horror At The Tiffany Theater [1]
Pat Travers - "I La La La Love You" (from "Valley Girl") [2]
Donna Summer - "Sunset People" [3]
The Rolling Stones - "Angry" [4]
Richard Segal - "Sunrise To Sunset" [5]
Freddy Cannon - "Action" [6]
Buffalo Springfield - "For What It's Worth" [7]
Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, 1970 [8]
The Sunset Strip: The Story of An LA Icon [9]
The Sunset Strip: The Story of An LA Icon Continued [10]
Curbed Los Angeles - Sunset Strip[11]
Vintage Los Angeles [12]

External Links

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Official Fan Site [13]
The Roxy Theatre [14]
The Sunset Strip [15]