With photos of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. adorning the walls of its lounge, and high-definition screens showing their classic movies, the recently remodeled Qualicum Beach Inn and Resorts has the look and feel of a 1960s-era showroom.
Next week it will have the sound, as well.
In its first foray into live entertainment, the Qualicum Beach Inn will host the Dean-O-Holics, a premier Rat Pack tribute act from Las Vegas, next Wednesday, Sept. 30.
The hotel will get a live run-through one night earlier, when the Dean-O-Holics play a private affair for officials and clients of a local bank, who are footing the bill for the visit. But the group, including a full band and a Marilyn Monroe impersonator, will return the following day for two shows, at 6 and 8:30 p.m., that will be open to the public.
“It’s a bit of a pilot situation,” said Laurent, general manager of the resort, which opened under new ownership in May, 2014, following extensive renovations. “We’re going to try to create some synergy for the 30th. It’s really a test run.”
Weather permitting, the public performances will be held outside on the inn’s terrace. In the event of inclement conditions, the show will move into the lounge and dining area, where there is seating for up to 90 people for each performance.
Beginning next spring, live entertainment may be a regular occurrence at the Qualicum Beach Inn. But don’t expect a steady dose of big touring acts.
“What I would like to do is bring in local artists and Vancouver Island artists,” said Laurent. “We’ll be looking at a bit of jazz and classical entertainment. We’re looking into getting a piano.”
If all goes well, the resort will begin presenting acts in April of 2016, just in time for the tourist season.
The inn’s new look is a black-and-white motif that harkens to the 1950s and 60s. In addition to the displays of Rat Pack memorabilia, including a signed gold record and signed photos, the lounge boasts additional displays for artists including Audrey Hepburn and Miles Davis.
In one corner is a bank of seven large, flat-screen televisions, on which guests might have a choice of live baseball or a classic 1960s Rat Pack movie like Oceans 11, Robin and the 7 Hoods, or Some Came Running.
The Dean-O-Holics, formed by former disc jockey Bob Caudle (Dino) perform many of the principals’ hit songs, interspersed with the same kind of skits and gags — much of it unscripted.
But they depart from many Rat Pack acts, which focus on the original gang’s 1961 Las Vegas period, by covering the years of the Rat Pack and even incorporating updated jokes and modern references into the routines.
“We try to be retro and current at the same time,” Caudle said in a 2012 interview with Sacramento, California’s National Public Radio affiliate. “I like to think, ‘What would these guys be doing today?’”
Mid-Island audiences can find out themselves next week. Tickets are $30 per person, available at the Qualicum Beach Inn and Resort or by calling 250-752-6914. The resort is located at 2690 Island Highway West at the corner of Memorial Parkway.