‘Dirty Dancing’ turns 30, and town celebrates near abandoned Catskills resort that inspired film

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HURLEYVILLE, N.Y. — The 30th anniversary of the release of “Dirty Dancing” is being celebrated near the former Catskills resort that inspired the film.

The Hurleyville Arts Centre is having a “Dirty Dancing”-themed Saturday. The events including a fashion show set to the 1987 film’s soundtrack, a talk by former resort dance instructor Jackie Horner and a screening of the movie.

Horner taught dance lessons to guests and entertainers at nearby Grossinger’s, now abandoned. The famous Catskills hotel served as the inspiration for Brooklyn native Eleanor Bergstein’s screenplay about a Jewish girl nicknamed Baby who spends the summer of 1963 at an upstate resort and falls in love with dance instructor Johnny Castle.

Bergstein’s family vacationed at Grossinger’s in the 1950s, when Horner was the dance instructor. Many of Horner’s experiences wound up being part of the film.

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