While in the Los Angeles area, I recently visited Slimmons, the Beverly Hills exercise studio of fitness guru Richard Simmons. He opened the studio in 1974 and not only still operates it, but he also still teaches classes there (his classes fill up quickly and squeeze in 80+ fans). I stopped by on a Saturday morning in the hopes of sweating with Richard but, unfortunately for me, he had cancelled (so that he could film his new DVD). Instead, I bought a “Richard Simmons Kicked My Butt” t-shirt and worked out with the studio’s friendly manager Sherry (and a small group of fun ladies). I had a great time and will be back. Next time, I hope to really work out with Richard, so that I will ‘earn’ my t-shirt. Here’s a gallery of images I took during my visit.
The year was 1974. My dream was to open up an exercise studio that was fun. I had taken classes all over the city of Los Angeles. Most of the classes were very serious. Everyone looked like they were pouting while they worked out. That is when I decided that I needed to open up a place where people smiled when they sweat and danced to the music. So in the summer of 1974 I opened my doors to Slimmons.
And from the time I opened it, people came. Yes the word spread about this little , kind studio that was filled with unconditional love and happiness. The studio is where my whole career started. I began doing local shows in the city. And then I got my big break to play myself on General Hospital.
Slimmons is located at 9306 Civic Center Drive in Beverly Hills, California. Learn more about the studio’s hours, prices and fitness class schedule at the Slimmons site.
Here’s me, in a shirt that should read “Sherry Kicked My Butt”:
photos by Rusty Blazenhoff, except the last one, which is by Sherry of Slimmons