Swampy’s #Florida says Happy Jerry Lewis Birthday!
Jerry Lewis steps into his 89th birthday today and we have him to thank for a
outstanding pictorial tour of The Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach,
circa 1960. The Fontainebleu is the backdrop of Lewis’ film ‘The
Bellboy’. An unplanned film that Lewis wrote while on a plane to Miami
Beach to perform at the hotel. Paramount Pictures was wrangling with
Lewis over his film 'The Ladies Man’ about when it would be shown in the
theaters. Lewis pushed hard for a December 1960 release. Paramount
pushed back and said they’d do it only if Lewis would deliver one of his
contracted films to be shown in theaters the Summer of 1960. Lewis
finds this out as he is on his way to The Fontainebleu to perform his
club act for a few weeks in February & March of 1960. Such club
shows usually doubled as a Florida vacation for performers to Florida.
Not for Lewis. Lewis immediately started constructing a film with a
setting that he would be immediately nearest to - The Fontainebleu. Thus
'The Bellboy’ was born.
Here’s the Hotel Floridan that used to stand on the corner of Forsyth Street and Clay Street in Downtown Jacksonville. The back of the postcard advertises that the building is 100% fireproof, Beauty-rest mattresses, coffee shop, cocktail lounge, beauty salon and “All public rooms are air-conditioned”.