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Where Disco Nights Live On


It's Saturday night at the Crush Bar where the Motown sound is alive and well. Early Michael Jackson tunes are setting the tone for crowds of die-hard dancers who groove in '70s style.

"Car Wash" is the calling card for Coco Bennett who positions herself on a dance stage lined with mirrors where she really can shake and shimmy. Moving her hands in the "Karate Kid" wax-on, wax-off motion, the Reseda regular twists and turns and decides to stay around for another romp when "We Are Family" hits the turntable.

"I hated this music when it was popular, but now I just love it," Bennett, 34, says.

The Crush is the place to come if you long to wear platforms and think polyester is cool. These days while many clubs are featuring '70s music with a '90s twist, the Hollywood hangout is a true-blue friend of the bell-bottom era.

The Crush was a '70s club long before the era became fashionable again. Opened 12 years ago, and open only on the weekends, the club attracts a crowd of people who love the '70s and who love to dance, manager Nazareth Nalbantian says.

On the exterior walls of the building, which was formerly a bus station, there is a mural of Diana Ross and Elvis Presley, a preview of what's in store inside where old 45s and album covers from the Supremes and the Four Tops decorate the walls along with charcoal drawings of musical legends from the era including Jimi Hendrix and Barbra Streisand.

Located on Cahuenga Boulevard miles from the oh-so-hip Sunset Strip, the Crush is a kitschy venue that attracts a regular set. Between the James Brown and Diana Ross hits and retro faves such as "I Will Survive" and "Play That Funky Music White Boy," the dancers take a breather in the lounge area, a narrow room where metallic curtains and neon-colored murals cover the walls and waitresses sell kamikazes and tequila sunrises.

Passe video games like Ms Pac Man are scattered throughout the club's three bar areas. And at midnight, patrons can always look forward to delivery of the pizza the club orders to nourish its hungry crowd.

The pepperoni-eating scenesters are a young group, in their 20s and 30s. The women prefer the sheer '70s style dresses and clunky sandals, the men denim get-ups.

All in all, the dress code is casual and regulars like T-shirt and jeans-clad Kevin Woods, who has frequented the club for seven years, knows that '70s music was made for dancing and the Crush is a place to get down and boogie, so comfort should come first.


Where: The Crush Bar, 1743 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. (213) 463-7685.

When: Friday and Saturday, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Cost: Cover, $8. Kamikaze and tequila sunrise shots, $2; domestic beer, $3; pizza, free.

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