Rainbow Ballroom, it was scary back then

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Come back with us now to those hot summer nights when half of Fresno's teens were driving up and down Belmont. Or remember what it was like on Fulton St. before Belmont took the title of "Fresno's Main Drag" Remember the Rainbow Ballroom? Post you night life memories here.
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Lost Fresno Guest
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Rainbow Ballroom, it was scary back then

Postby Lost Fresno Guest » Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:03 am

My first memory of the Rainbow Ballroom was in 67 when my neighbor who was a teenager too, was telling me about going to a club. The place she was talking about was the Rainbow ballroom. That kind of set the theme for me and I knew it was in a bad part of town, so I basically avoided the place even though I heard it advertised constantly on the KYNO. To me the Rainbow just had a bad reputation.

But as a senior in high school I gained more confidence and decided to start going to the dances there on Friday night. I usually went by myself because my friends were too scared to go. Just parking in the lot and making it to the entrance seemed kind of sketchy at the time. All as I remember were no name bands but looking back, it seems that many famous bands played there. I guess I just missed all those. Now surfing on the internet, it seems to me that mainly Latino band s play there today. But then even in the 60’s it seems that it was booked a lot with Latino music. I guess I mainly thought the place was cool because of the neon cocktail glass outside on the main sign. The main reason I went besides the fact that I liked to dance was to meet girls. Of all the times I went, I only met one girl that we got together a few times afterwards and she was the daughter of a CHP officer. Just my luck!

Lost Fresno
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Re: Rainbow Ballroom, it was scary back then

Postby Lost Fresno » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:46 am

Thank for posting your Rainbow Ballroom memories. Below is a great shot of the Rainbow neon sign and the "cocktail glass" you like so much.
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rainbow.jpg

JAKE_HOLMES
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 2:44 pm

Re: Rainbow Ballroom, it was scary back then

Postby JAKE_HOLMES » Wed May 11, 2011 2:55 pm

Funny, I dont remember The Rainbow Ballroom as scary at all... It was the mid-seventies.. and that was the place to go in Fresno for the disco scene... We all had really crappy fake ids and they'd take them without a second glance... Spent many a night there drinking and dancing in our Angel Flights... Even saw Beck there many years later..

fresnen

Re: Rainbow Ballroom, it was scary back then

Postby fresnen » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:43 pm

went to Hank William JR. there in '79, just saw Floggin Molly there a couple of months ago, great wood floors for stompin! the "sketchyness" is the big part of the charm!

Alvnalyn

Rainbow Ballroom

Postby Alvnalyn » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:11 am

Being raised in Fresno in the 70's the Rainbow Ballroom was a popular place for my family. My mother also went to dances there and had many fun stories to share with us. My most vivid memory however, is having my Quincenera Reception there back in Aug, 1986. I wasn't real excited about the event but it was a family tradition so there was no way to escape it. The day took an unexpected turn for me when we pulled up in front of the Rainbow Ballroom and I saw the marquee "Happy 15th Birthday Alvina" I then had a whole new attitude toward the event. Funny how something like that can really shake things up for a silly 15 year old girl. My wonderful, lively, party-loving family and friends packed the place that night, security actually had to turn people away at the door. Back then, actual invitations were required for entrance, Evite was yet to be discovered.
That night turned out to be a day I will never forget. Many years later I got to see Third Eye Blind in concert there, it was another great night. If the walls of that place could talk I'm sure the stories would be fantastic and endless.

santanafan

Re: Rainbow Ballroom, it was scary back then

Postby santanafan » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:57 pm

Jim Dovell and the Gauchos rocked the Rainbow in the sixties.....

paradie

Re: Rainbow Ballroom, it was scary back then

Postby paradie » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:50 pm

I too remember the mysterious and someone dangerous feel to be kind of exciting. My parents would not let me go to parties other events there unless I was accompanied by my friends parents. But lucky me - my friends parents were cool and let us hang out on the other side of the hall where they could not see who we were talking to. Good memories!

Lost Fresno
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Re: Rainbow Ballroom, it was scary back then

Postby Lost Fresno » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:50 pm

When did YOU attend the Rainbow Ballroom concerts?
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Attachments
rainbow-ballroom-fresno.jpg

ilovefresno
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Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:35 am

Re: Rainbow Ballroom, it was scary back then

Postby ilovefresno » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:24 am

When I went there, it was elegant and safe. But that was in 1950. The year before, when my mother and I went shopping for my senior prom dress, I found the perfect yellow strapless formal. But Mom thought Dad would disapprove, so we bought a pink fluffy dress with ruffles and rickrack and bows on the shoulders. When I got to college, on one of my first dates, we went dancing at the Rainbow Ballroom. There it was! The girl singer was wearing my yellow strapless dress. Anyway, I always loved going to the Rainbow Ballroom in those days, it was like a movie set.

Lost Fresno
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Re: Rainbow Ballroom, it was scary back then

Postby Lost Fresno » Thu May 19, 2016 12:26 pm

Great poster from 1972 for the Rainbow Ballroom. My first memory of the Rainbow was from Jr. High and a girl that lived down the street from me. She was already dating and going out on the weekends with boys. Nobody else our age was! So I was in wonderment when she announced that she was going to the Rainbow on weekends. Further, she elaborated that she had to always hold her hand over her beverage cup to prevent someone from dropping in a pill. To this remark, I was totally confused as to what kind of pill this would be and what the purpose was. Ah, to be 14 in 1966 again!
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rainbow_poster_1972.jpg


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