Where O WHERE can you take in a few dozen films.. Get a nice relaxing GREAT dinner.. & a few drinks.. (All within the span of an hour - an hour and a half??? Hmmmm... O yeah - PLANET HOLLYWOOD - that's where! It was a great, sweet, morsel, gem of GOLD of an idea.. A restaurant that gave it's patrons a slice of Hollywood, whilst you ate (and waited to eat!!) Better? The menu was of celebrity family dishes.. WHAT?!? Could go wrong?!? Well?? If you are an Atlanta-ian or Music City-ian (from Nashville) - and you frequented the restaurant often & saw those HUGE lines going out the door.. & wondered how on EARTH they could have WENT OUTTA BUSINESS?? You aren't alone - & hopefully - this page will clear up some of those wonders! (On a side note?? I was a frequenter of the ATL Planet Hollywood! COULDN'T WAIT to eat there when I would visit ATL. The wait (along with the mental image of their SMASHED POTATOES - had my mouth BIGTIME watering when I would arrive!!) The mega letdown to see Planet Hollywood CLOSED upon my arrival was a BIGTIME SUCKY BUMMER of a BUMHOLE! If, indeedy, you were like me wondering WHAT in the HELL & HOW could it've happened to a restaurant who had a line out the door near every & anytime of day you went?? Your not alone!! AT ALL!! Here is the Planet Hollywood stowy...
Planet Hollywood (or PH, as it has seemed to switch to over the last few years), was the brainchild of actor Bryan Kestner. (Of 'Fire Birds' & 'Running Man' fame??) (Tho - it needs to be said that ANY time your in a film with Arnie - your bound to be in the dark somewhat as he is a 'modern day spotlight ho' of sorts!! MMmhmm!) MmBut great actor he is - Bryan's resume is here! He is totally underrated. Bryan went to 'his' boss, millionaire investor Keith Barish, with his idea of a restaurant with film prop artifacts (this one of Sly in 'Demolition Man', originally in ATL Planet Hollywood, always kinda freaked me out .. hanging from the ceiling with a table underneath :).. & celebrity menu - & it was to be modeled after the Hard Rock Café motif, mmBUT whereas Hard Rock features memorabilia from rock n roll - this restaurant would instead feature movie memorabilia. From the time you walked in - made to make you FEEL that you had walked onto a movie set in itself.. He had even hatched a name for the restaurant - "Cafe Hollyrock." Barish loved the idea but knew it needed polishing to work ...& TO NOT envoke the wrath of the 'Hard Rock Cafe' chain. He enlisted the help of a fellow by the name of Robert Earl, to develop on the idea. Robert Earl was the former President and CEO of Hard Rock Café.. Together Barish & Earl renamed the restaurant, PLANET HOLLYWOOD, and an idea was set into mo-mo (motion) to make said idea- a reality!! To MAKE it a REALITY.. Barish & Earl drafted many Hard Rock veterans & KNEW they would have to reach to the Hollywood skies & pluck a few 'stars' shining brightly in the Hollywood cosmos.
RESULT? Enter the celebs you THOUGHT brought Planet Hollywood to glory.
So - to those, (like myself), who thought the restaurant was originally started by Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Sly Stallone, & Arnold Schwartzenegger... WRONG! But somewhat right... Those stars were 'approached' by Robert Earl to APPEAR to own & possess ownership of Planet Hollywood. For their endorsement? They would receive stock options at a low price in exchange for their endorsement, so that they could be billed as legal owners. Thus? They eagerly hopped on-board. Giving the total illusion that they started it all. Such as IS the case in Hollywood with films.. REALLY?? The film you are seeing is a result of the writer - whom - more times than not, the person who'd the idea for the film.. & in the end - the 'director', or an 'actor' is credited for the film.. As for THE IDEA-fella' here, Bryan Kestner? His involvement with development of Planet Hollywood was basically limited to attending grand opening parties, which (according to him).. He was eventually asked to not attend at Robert Earl's prompting as for the HORRID fear that reality would break that indeed, HE, and not the MEGAWATT celebrity power drafted, founded the company. Grand openings of Planet Hollywood, were a BIG DEAL for the city in-which they opened.. Complete with a red-carpet.. & celebs arriving in timed intervals (like this one in ATL), much as is the case for the Oscars ceremonies, According to Wiki - In April 1996, Planet Hollywood went public on Wall Street. The company's share price reached an all-time high of $32 on the first day of trading; however - by 1999, it was down to less than $1. The company has gone bankrupt twice.. Nearly 100 locations have closed worldwide, leaving about 8 currently open. After Planet Hollywood's filing of numerous bankruptcies, Bryan Kestner's shares were worthless and he had to file bankruptcy as well. Kestner still receives NO money from the restaurant or corporation. Interesting (albeit SAD), facts indeed...
The GRAND OPENING OF the very first PLANET HOLLYWOOD came into reality in New York City, on October 22, 1991, with the backing of Hollywood stars Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and Arnold Schwarzenegger! From all the pomp, circumstance, and appearances of this first opening led ALL to 'think' this would be a WINNING ticket! Next grand opening would be closer to home in Orange County, Cali @ the South Coast Plaza.. The next city's opening would be in Miami Beach, Florida, then Orlando (which would/does serve as PH headquarters.. I KNOW psshh.) Next - in Washington, D.C., in 1993, juuust down from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue in 1993. Then in Bloomington, Minnesota at Mall of America in 1993.. From there, to Chicago, Illinois in 1993 - then on South Galena Street in Aspen, Colorado.. Then in Phoenix, Arizona.. From there - Reno, Nevada.. Then to Dallas, Texas.. From there would be a hop & a skip to Maui, Hawaii (where Arnie dressed the part - as did SLY aloha.. for the GRANDe OPENING), in 1994.. Then back onto the mainlands in Atlanta, Georgia (my home turf), in 1995.. Then on Stockton Street, in San Francisco, Cali.. Onto Pacific Avenue (by the boardwalk), in Atlantic City, New Jersey.. and onto (my other home spot) on Lower Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee.. The inside was a cool unique combo of 'thru the years' film & Country music.. From there merch stores only (like the one at Disneyland) opening in lu of the merch restaurant combo ... & on & on (a full list of PH openings can be found here.) From all angles NOONE foresaw the closing of ANY of the Planet Hollywood's, much less the companies BANKRUPTCY. However, with little to no emphasis on the ones open, after the grand openings.. Robert Earl made the unfortunate mistake that each would support it's own - & that would've been a splendid dish, indeed... However - sources that are VERY reliable say they were using 'too much' money from those already open, to begin the new ones faster than they could sustain themselves - thus, finding themselves in a financial pickle by 2001. Thus - they filed their 1st bankruptcy. As they were still opening 'NEW' scheduled restaurants - they began closing some old ones - thus - cramping their finances they once had.. & thus forcing file for bankruptcy once again - before it was all said and done. After Planet Hollywood's filing of numerous bankruptcies, sadly, Bryan Kestner's shares were worthless and he had to file bankruptcy as well. Kestner still receives no money from the restaurant or corporation.
In 1994, Planet Hollywood founded the Official All Star Café restaurant chain, which aimed to use the same concept of branding and memorabilia in the world of sports. However - As with Planet Hollywood - All Star Café defunked & deflated - thus beginning the closing of maanny of them... UNlike Planet Hollywood's however, they eventually ALL closed! The last Official All Star Cafe, (at Disney's Wide World of Sports), closed on September 23, 2007.
Anyhoo - In Planet Hollywood's heyday - numerous celebs jumped onto the bandwagon.. MANY! Including Further celebrity endorsement included actress Whoopi Goldberg (who was often seen in the kitchen), LEGEND Jean-Claude Van Damme, LEGEND Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith (that was when life was great, they were together, and daughter Dakota was manufactured), comedian Roseanne Barr, and LEGEND Tom Arnold (who was usually seen in the bar area), LEGEND & IRS target, Wesley Snipes, and Danny Glover. However - with the bankruptcy's happening - most (didn't 'GET' off, but,) JUMPED off the bandwagon - selling their stocks, and fast...
Then? In early 2000 - Earl had an idea hisself for a hotel in Vegas called - 'Planet Hollywood.' This idea went waaay beyond the restaurant factor. This would be a (CASINO hotel - o'course).. & like the restaurant chain with movie props & memorabilia in the dining area - would move into folks rooms. With any given room rental - your 'more than likely' to see items/props in your hotel room - that were used in your favorite film.. oor ONE of your favorite films. Like 'Titanic', 'Indiana Jones', 'Back to the Future', Planet Hollywood International partnered with Westgate Resorts on the new Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.. Formerly the Aladdin Hotel & Casino.. Just REMODELED.. had its grand opening the weekend of November 16, 2007.. The most expensive?? The steel glass casings for holding the props in the rooms, I'm eventually gonna get over there folks - and get some good video.. The stuff on YouTube - is not very impressive! It's all here & there (or the shooter is drunk!) So - I'll be going myself soon & staying there to get some usable video up on here.
Now, as of 2017?? Planet Hollywood ONLY has 9 locales currently open.. (6 are restaurants & merchandise stores, 2 are resorts, & sadly - now just ONE is a merch only & no restaurant.)
RESTURANTS & MERCHANDISE:
Las Vegas (Caesar's Palace/in the shop's forum)
Los Angeles, Cali
New York, NY
Walt Disney World (Orlando - complete with PH observatory - this is also the world PH headquarters)
MERCHANDISE STORE ONLY:
Walt Disney Land (Hollywood, California)
Planet Hollywood Beach Resort (Goa, India) (aka Paradise on Earth)
Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Las Vegas Strip (Las Vegas, Nevada)
In September 2008, Planet Hollywood International Inc. acquired Buca, Inc., the owner of the Buca di Beppo national restaurant chain. From ALL angles - Planet Hollywood is back upon its feet and doing well.. IMO - opening store after store, with a goal of one in EVERY large city - was almost entirely what put them in the bankruptcy bracket.. Long as they stay the way they are? (Maybe bringing the Atlanta one back ;) Hint hint nudge nudge.. Planet Hollywood is a slice of the film world that folks will continue to enjoy for MANY, MANY, MANY years to come!! FoSho'Nuff!
Planet Hollywood Official Website..
Some of my favorite Planet Hollywood props:
Beetlejuice & this one from Beetlejuice (wank wank)
The flattened judge (Chris Lloyd) from 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'
the Delorean 'with train wheels' from Back to the Future 3 (here is another angle)
John Malkovitch's costume from the film 'Con Air'
Jack (Leo DiCaprio's) costume from 'Titanic' - just to name a few!!
& Kane Hodder's costume he wore in 'Friday the 13th' films V and VI