Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The 2022 Ed-Vent Calendar, Day 6: The Cameo Room

The Cameo Room played a key role in the Ed Wood story. Twice!

Two days ago, I shared some B&W publicity stills from The Beach Bunnies (1976), a mostly-forgotten sex comedy that Ed Wood wrote for director Stephen C. Apostolof. Way back in 2014, I fleetingly mentioned a long-gone nightclub called the Cameo Room that is briefly glimpsed in that film. Back then, I complimented the club on its "very cool-looking neon signs" but admitted that I couldn't pin down an exact location for the place.

Well, this week, reader Shawn Langrick let me know a little bit more about the Cameo Room. In a Facebook forum about Ed Wood, he wrote:
The Cameo Room was at 5061 Sunset Blvd. and was around from 1946 until at least 1977. This pic from 1946 is pretty dark, but I'd bet a good dinner at the Brown Derby that it's the same sign.

Here's that pic he's referring to:

An ad for the Cameo Room from 1946.

Shawn also mentioned that the Cameo Room was where Ed Wood met his wife Kathy. And, sure enough, in a chapter of Nightmare of Ecstasy (1992) called "Marriage," Kathy Wood tells this anecdote:

Kathy describes the first three or four times she met Ed Wood.

I knew you'd want to see what the business looks like today. As of right now, 5061 Sunset Blvd. is an office building that's for sale. Astonishingly, though, it looks like the building is intact! The neon is gone, but the stucco walls and Spanish tile remain. And Ed Wood would have appreciated that there's a liquor store in the mini-mall next door.

The former site of the Cameo Room as it looks today.

Thanks again to Shawn Langrick for the cool Cameo Room research!