The year was 1987. A new film company, Vestron, was not happy with the rough cut when their film was completed on time and on budget on October 27, 1986. The Vestron executives finally convinced themselves that their film was going to be a flop. In May of 1987 the film was screened for producer Aaaron Russo. His reaction?
"Burn the negative and collect the insurance!" Finally the film was premiered on August 16, 1987. Depressed, the Vestron executives planned to release the film in theaters for a weekend and then, send it straight to home video sales which was their main business. Well, guess what?
Regardless of the negative atmosphere surrounding the film, "Dirty Dancing" simply by word of mouth shot the film to number one in the United States - almost overnight. In 10 days it hit the $10 million mark and by November it achieved international acclaim. Seven months after what was thought to be a fateful release, "Dirty Dancing" brought in $63 million! It became one of the highest grossing films in 1987 earning $170 million worldwide. Patrick Swayze, the second choice for the male lead, received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Unfortunately, the star passed away on September 14, 2009 of Stage IV pancreatic cancer.
The film which allowed for only two weeks of rehearsal and 44 days of filming is a major claim and achievement for Rutherford County's Lake Lure.
Tomorrow, Friday, September 17 and also on Saturday, September 18, a major undertaking will showcase the very first "Dirty Dancing Festival at Lake Lure". It is scheduled to become an annual event! The proceeds from this two day event will benefit The Foundation Performing Arts Center, Hospice of Rutherford County and the Lake Lure Youth Center.
Visitors are invited to partake of the activities. On Friday, at 7pm at the Lakeside Film Screening at FireFly Cove you can feel like you are in the movie as you watch "Dirty Dancing" against the waterfront site of "the lift" on the original location of Johnny's cabin. Admission is free. You should bring your own blankets and chairs. On Saturday from 9am to 4pm the outdoor "Dirty Dancing Family Festival" will take place. It will also include a shag competition. For this event: $20 per adult and $10 per child. Later at 6pm the "Time Of Your Life Gala" will take place at Firefly Cove. $50 regular admission or $70 VIP.
Without a doubt, this first event should definitely capture the memorabilia and theme that will make it "The Time Of Your Life!" Lake Lure is definitely the place to be!