Friday, June 22, 2012

Studio of Style Exclusive! Disco Inferno: Producer Allan Carr's Egyptian Disco Den

STUDIO OF STYLE EXCLUSIVE! DISCO INFERNO: PRODUCER ALLAN CARR'S EGYPTIAN DISCO DEN -- It was the evening of Wednesday, May 31, 1978 and just about "100 or so" friends of outrageously flamboyant film and stage director Allan Carr were all primping and preening to look their Hollywood best for the "grand opening" of Carr's own private disco in his oh-so-chic Beverly Hills manse (now owned by producer Brett Ratner, yes!) on that oh-so-tony Benedict Canyon Drive that snakes its way through the heart of Beverly Hills and up into the canyon onward to Mulholland Drive.  You see, Carr and his pal Jim Randall had just returned from a trip to Egypt (see postcard in posting below) because they were both so overwhelmed by the Egyptian-themed disco that designer-to-the-stars Phyllis Morris had created in Carr's basement -- a fun, little retreat that Carr had installed prior to the opening of his most successful movie Grease -- and now it was time to show it off to his glamorous pals.  The guest list that night included such notables  as playwright Neil Simon; actresses Polly Bergen and Marsha Mason; the be-speckled super agent Irving "Swifty" Lazar; supermodel Cheryl Tiegs; Marilyn Hilton (wife of hotel mogul Barron Hilton); Tina Sinatra (Ol' Blue Eyes' daughter!); and international film star Florinda Bolkan and Italian countess Marina Cicogna; and members of the Grease cast -- and many of them were decked out in caftans (Carr's favorite at-home attire -- and so "sheikh chic" for the theme of his discotheque!).  But the real star of the evening was the disco itself. Phyllis Morris was never outdone by her clientele, for sure, and Carr's disco outshone any disco setting that Hollywood had to offer.  Gleaming copper floors and copper palm trees sparkled in the light of the mirrored disco ball, while guests reclined on copper-colored fabric cushions and pillows only to admire themselves in the mirrored ceilings.  At one end, a copper and malachite-encrusted bar served unending drinks.  Life-sized Nubian servant statues stood watch over the beautiful bacchanalia.  The DJ Dan Blanton peered through a porthole window in the back -- making sure everyone was enjoying the hottest disco tunes blaring at full tilt.  The powder room interior replicated a striped tent with ostrich leather walls.  Special building permits were pulled to create this Nile wonderland and when all was said and done, Morris' copper-clad spectacle cost more than $100,000 -- mere chump change when you consider that Grease would rack up millions at the box office when it opened just two days after this disco party at the Carr residence!  Keep reading below for even more.....
Photos and press clippings courtesy Phyllis Morris Originals