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Great American Beach Party

In 1963, the critically acclaimed film Beach Party introduced the world to a new wave of cinema — beach party films! (Did the title of the movie give that away?) These beach subgenre flicks were meant to be a low-budget imitation of the Elvis Presley and Doris Day musicals and followed a unique formula: one that was devoid of adult supervision. They focused only on a gang of fun-loving teenagers free to do and live as they pleased. (Is that so different from now, Fort Lauderdale?) Sure, the days of the ’60s are over, but Fort Lauderdale will always act like a time machine for us. Saturday, it hosts the second-annual “Great American Beach Party.” Clothing inspiration? Check out the most notable onscreen duo, Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, teenage icons who appeared in the majority of the films, including Bikini Beach, Muscle Beach Party, and Beach Blanket Bingo. Get familiar with the cast and crew; oftentimes the movies used the same kids.

Celebrating the city’s centennial, a section of A1A will be transformed into a retro happening filled with live music, family-friendly activities, and a vintage-car show. The festivities kick off at 11:30 a.m. and continue until 9 p.m. Visit fortlauderdale.gov, or call the 24-hour event hotline at 954-828-5363.
Sat., May 28, 11:30 a.m., 2011

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Betsey Denberg

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