HOTELS/TOURISM : For Teen-Agers, Closed Videopolis Limits Boogie Options

Times staff writer

Orange County teen-agers will have one less place to boogie once Disneyland closes Videopolis.

The teen nightspot--located inside the G-rated Magic Kingdom--will be shut down on Nov. 26. to make room for "One Man's Dream," a musical stage show tribute to Walt Disney.

"The decision was made to put in something new" during 1990, when Disneyland will be celebrating its 35th anniversary, park spokesman Bob Roth said. So starting Dec. 16 and continuing through next year, the former Videopolis site will be the stage for the Disney tribute, which is now playing at Tokyo Disneyland through 1993.

"It's a musical tribute to almost all the classic Disney films," Roth said. The 30-minute show starts in the early days with a black-and-white set featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse, then switches into color as the show progresses. "It's a much more intricate production than we've ever done here," Roth added, with 30 performers and numbers.

Videopolis is an ideal site for the show, with its 90-foot-wide stage and bench seating for 1,500. The club, which has the appearance of a small concert amphitheater, has been the site for performances by such diverse talent as the late Roy Orbison, Chubby Checker, Pia Zadora and the Original Mouseketeers.

The $3-million club opened in 1985, one year after Knott's Berry Farm created its successful Studio K club for teen-agers. At the time, park officials hoped that Videopolis would bring in a larger share of the all-important younger market.

It was the scene of controversy last September when gay men sued the park over the right to dance with one another there. Disneyland settled the lawsuit and has lifted its ban on same-sex dancing within the park.

Once Disneyland's 35th anniversary celebration is over, chances are that Videopolis will reopen, Roth said. "That's the plan at this point. Although 1991 is still far enough away that we're not married to that idea, that's most likely what will happen."

Until then, hotfooted couples can keep cutting the rug at the Tomorrowland Terrace, a smaller dance floor area, and Plaza Gardens, which features big bands.

Meanwhile, in Buena Park, Knott's is considering tearing down one wall of its Studio K to accommodate more teens during the busy summer months.

Now, the open-air area has a stage and disc jockey who plays taped music every night in the summer and on weekends during the winter season.

By removing one of the walls, the area would be opened up and "people would be able to see the kids dance and hear the music" better, said Stuart Zanville, park spokesman.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
55°