DIRTY Dancing is now 33 years old, but the romantic movie hasn't lost any of its shine since it premiered in August 1987.
Every year, diehard fans make the pilgrimage to North Carolina and Virginia to discover the locations where some of the films best-loved scenes were shot.
There’s something about the innocence of the film, which shows love blossom between a teenager and a dance instructor during the summer of 1963, that made it a timeless classic.
All of the scenes were filmed in two locations in North Carolina and Virginia – and many of the places remain intact today.
Thousands of Dirty Dancing fans make the pilgrimage every year to the Mountain Lake Lodge hotel, which was the real-life location for Kellerman’s Resort where Baby and her family stayed.
Just 35 miles down the road is Lake Lure, which was the setting for that famous lift, and also where many of the staff camp scenes were filmed.
So, if you fancy recreating some of those top moments, these are the places to visit for the ultimate holiday album…
The Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia
The Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke is the actual place where Frances “Baby” Houseman and Johnny Grey fell in love.
In the film, it was called “Kellerman Resort” and was supposed to be located in New York’s Catskill Mountains.
Most of the exterior scenes were filmed at the hotel for two weeks in 1986, and quite a few of the interior scenes were too.
Staff have helpfully marked out filming locations around the site for any fans keen to recreate a moment.
The exterior of the hotel itself looks almost exactly the same as it does in the movie, although the lake in the grounds has since dried up.
The gazebo where the dance lessons with guests took place still stands though.
Unfortunately, this is also the lake where the famous lift took place, making that recreation impossible nowadays.
The green cabin that Baby and her family stayed in does still exist though – the three-bedroom cottage rents out to up to 10 guests at a time.
The only filming that took place inside the hotel were the kitchen and the restaurant scenes, and guests can even sit at the same table that Baby’s family did in the movie.
The hotel gets thousands of Dirty Dancing fans booking in every year and they even run special themed weekends that include dancing lessons and watermelon flinging.
Heidi Stone, the hotel’s general manager said: “It is amazing how many thousands of Dirty Dancing fans we meet every summer. We have guests from all over the world that come to Mountain Lake Lodge just for the Dirty Dancing Weekends.
“It tends to be a popular ‘girls’ getaway’ weekend, but we do see some husbands and boyfriends from time to time.”
Lake Lure in Rutherford County, North Carolina
A handful of exterior scenes and most of the interior scenes were filmed in Lake Lure, North Carolina.
While the lift in the lake was filmed at Mountain Lodge, most of the footage around that scene, including the dance on the log, were filmed at Lake Lure.
The stone stairs where Baby is seen practising her steps, and where she carried the watermelons, still stands although it is now on private property and the white bridge has been removed.
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Movie fans can take special Dirty Dancing guided boat tours with the Lake Lure Tours boat company, which points out many of the landmark scenes from the film.
Unfortunately, all of the buildings where the staff quarters scenes were filmed, and where Baby and Johnny’s dance rehearsals took place, were demolished in the 1980s.
They belonged to a summer camp called The Camp Chimney Rock For Boys And Girls, whose gymnasium was also used for the final dance scene in the movie.
Unfortunately, the gymnasium burned down in a fire in the late 1980s, but the floor of the building was salvaged and it lives on in the lobby of the nearby Esmerelda Inn.
Bald Mountain Golf Course at the Rumbling Bald Resort, Lake Lure
Golf courses aren’t usually known for their rom com connections, but the 16th hole at Bald Mountain
Golf Course was used for one memorable scene from the movie.
In the film, the green was made to look like a practice green and Baby interrupted her parents while they were working on their swings to ask her father for money to pay for Johnny’s dance partner’s abortion.
1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa
It’s not an actual filing location, but the 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa is still of interest to Dirty Dancing fans.
While filming the movie, Patrick and Swayze and Jennifer Gray stayed at the inn.
The hotel has capitalised on that fact and guests can book into Baby’s Bungalow or Johnny’s Cabin for the night.
Dirty Dancing festival
If all of that isn’t enough for you, why not buy a ticket for the Annual Dirty Dancing Festival, which takes place in Morse Park Meadows, Lake Lure.
Activities include dance lessons to hits from the film, a lift competition and an outdoor screening of Dirty Dancing.
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