Teen Clubs - 1970s & 1980s

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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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FresnoBeach
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:36 pm

Teen Clubs - 1970s & 1980s

Postby FresnoBeach » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:29 am

in the 1970s there was the Crimson Castle and in the 1980s there was the Lighthouse. From the Fresno Bee's Ask Paula:

Q: When I was in high school my friends and I went to the Crimson Castle to listen to bands and dance. I actually saw Neil Diamond and his band perform there before his first hit song. How long was the place in business?
— Ray Ramirez, Fresno

A: Details on its history are sketchy, but it appears the Crimson Castle, a “teen dance club” at 2112 Tuolumne St. near Van Ness Avenue, operated from about 1963 to 1973.

According to city directories, the building it occupied was built in about 1934 and was known as the Woodmen of the World Building. The building housed a variety of businesses through 1948 — union and service club offices, dance schools — and was occupied by the American War Mothers and later the Armenian American Citizens Club until 1962.

From 1963 to 1970 the occupant is listed as Mid State Investment Co., but while Crimson Castle is listed as the occupant only from 1971 to 1972, there is evidence that the club operated in the building during the 1960s.

Singer Neil Diamond, an up-and-coming artist in the 1960s, recalled “his anxiety over an appearance at Fresno’s Crimson Castle early in his career,” Bee writer David Hale wrote in 1970 when Diamond and Linda Ronstadt performed in Fresno. According to Hale, Diamond said of the Crimson Castle gig: “There must have been 200 people there!” A 1967 Fresno Bee advertisement announced a series of revival meetings at the Crimson Castle. The Crimson Castle was owned by Gary Kayajanian, who held his own wedding reception there in 1969. City directories also list the Castle Sound Studio at the address. The building is listed as vacant by 1974.

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