In corrupt and capitalist LA the rich and famous fight in the foyer

Click to follow
The Independent US

Thus it was at the Roosevelt Hotel, an elegant 1920 structure and venue of the very first Oscars ceremony that has been at the heart of the recent revival of downtown Hollywood. Last summer, the Roosevelt unveiled not one but two new nightclubs as part of a major renovation, and promptly turned them into the hottest spots in town.

It did this by hiring Amanda Scheer Demme, a former film music supervisor and widow of the movie director Ted Demme. She made sure only the rich, the powerful and the famous would grace the poolside Tropicana Bar or the more cavernous nightclub Teddy's, named for her late husband.

For nine months, it worked a treat. Up-and-coming young stars such as Kirsten Dunst, Jake Gyllenhaal and Lindsay Lohan would regularly be spotted lolling by the pool. Elegant but anonymous would-be patrons would be told the place was filled to capacity, only to see someone with more juice waved past the velvet ropes with a smile.

Ms Scheer Demme was loved and hated in equal measure. Teddy's was a masterpiece of exclusivity. Within the fearsomely elitist club was a private room, the Library Bar, where Ms Scheer Demme would invite only the crème de la crème.

Power appears to have gone to her head. A mini-biography drafted by a publicist and on the Internet Movie Database website described her as a "lifestyle producer" and a "trend-seer". It said: "Amanda Scheer Demme is one of the rare few that can be called an artist, entrepreneur, trendsetter, taste-maker, star-maker and connoisseur without a trace of irony or hype. It's just the truth."

But pride precedes a fall. Ms Scheer Demme has been fired. Thompson Hotels, which manages the Roosevelt, said it was uncomfortable because the club and the hotel guests were frequently at odds.

Guests were refused access to the pool and the nightclubs. There were complaints about noise and under-age drinking. Once, Courtney Love was escorted out on a stretcher. A former professional American football player lodged a racial discrimination suit after an altercation with a bouncer.

Finally, Teddy's was shuttered and Ms Scheer Demme was out. In The New York Times, she denied giving cause for her dismissal. "I love what I did," she said. "I feel hurt at what went down. And I have a lawyer who will deal with my hurt."

A caustic columnist for the alternative LA Weekly wrote: "Haters shouldn't sing 'Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead' quite yet. The diva is not only gettin' a fat buyout check, but will definitely be opening up a slew of new nightlife destinations in LA and Vegas soon. And no, you probably won't be able to get into those, either."

Comments