Although the Boom closed on Labor Day of 2007, despite immense efforts to keep it open, Keitel said the film still conveys an important message to this day.
“My objective was not just to save the Boom, but to make a film about a place that played a significant role in people’s lives, including my own, and to touch those people,” he said. “So little is known about gay history, so this gave me an opportunity to talk with people in the gay and lesbian community about their own stories, and to see what history is there and how we should honor it.”
The documentary follows Save the Boom leader Fred Karger and his volunteer group during their year-and-a-half effort to raise awareness and prevent the Boom from closing its doors after 60 years of service.
Interviews include those with former Laguna mayor Bob Gentry — one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S. — who’s served as a role model to so many who followed him, and current city council member and Boom supporter, Kelly Boyd, now the city’s mayor.
The establishment, originally named The South Seas, was purchased by business tycoon Steven Udvar-Hazy (ranked by Forbes in 2009 as the world’s 305th richest person), who planned to turn the corner building on South Coast Highway and Mountain Road into a boutique hotel and five-star restaurant.
Keitel and his crew document Save the Boom’s civil rights movement, through their march on Century City and upon Udvar-Hazy, collection of petitions to present to city council, and even to the movie premiere of “Ocean’s Thirteen,” where they protested to Brad Pitt and George Clooney, who had been rumored to be silent partners of Hazy’s and the Boom.