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Fire tears through building at former Grossinger's resort, inspiration for "Dirty Dancing"

Fire at Catskills resort that inspired "Dirty Dancing"
Fire at Catskills resort that inspired "Dirty Dancing" 00:23

NEW YORK - In Sullivan County, a piece of movie history went up in flames. 

 A three-and-a-half story building at the famous Grossinger's hotel in the Catskills caught fire Tuesday night. 

The now-abandoned resort inspired the 1987 film "Dirty Dancing," though the movie was filmed in Virginia. 

After the fire was put out, the building was badly damaged, and had to be knocked down. 

No one was hurt. 

The cause is under investigation. 

In its heyday after World War II, Grossinger's drew hundreds of thousands of vacationers a year, many of them Jewish. The resort had a 27-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, a nightclub, two kosher kitchens and a 1,500-seat dining room. It drew crooners like Eddie Fisher.

At 7:10 PM Tuesday evening the Liberty FD was dispatched to an unknown type fire in the area of Route 52 and Sullivan...

Posted by Liberty Fire Department on Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Firefighters who responded to the scene had to cut through a gate and were hampered by overgrowth and concrete barriers. An excavator knocked down the structure after the fire was out, according to a Facebook post by the Liberty Fire Department.

It was not immediately clear what the building had been used for, though Sullivan County Fire Coordinator John Hauschild said the main building was torn down about four years ago.

The former 812-acre resort is about 80 miles north of New York City.

Fisher not only made his debut at Grossinger's, but married fellow entertainer Debbie Reynolds there in 1955. Other big names to appear at the resort were Joel Grey and Leslie Uggams, as well as boxers Rocky Marciano and Jack Dempsey.

Grossinger's operated for nearly 70 years before closing in 1986, suffering the fate of many local hotels after the region's appeal faded. The site fell into disrepair amid efforts to redevelop it.

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