Thursday, May 30, 2024

Yes, there’s (another) free disco party aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach (costume contest included)


500 people reveled and boogied aboard The Queen Mary back in March with a free disco dance event—and once again, in conjunction with Longbeachize and Visit Long Beach, will allow Long Beach denizens to get down with a free disco’n’funk party inside the ship’s famed Art Deco masterpiece that is the Observation Observation Bar on Thursday, April 18 from 8PM to 11PM.

And yes, there is a costume contest party after so many of you dressed up. And yes, there will be prizes for it.

While the event is free, an RSVP is required. To reserve your free ticket, click here.

So what prompted the disco party in the first place on The Queen Mary?

The Queen Mary already does many an old-school brass instruments parties, especially its wildly popular Meet Me at The Mary weekly event on Tuesdays, where hundreds turn up to hear big band and swing dance the night away. For this year’s inaugural Long Beach Last Call celebration, we wanted to offer something different.

long beach last call
Ask and you shall receive, Dustin.

Dubbed “Studio 534″—a nod to the famed Studio 54 and The Queen Mary’s working title, “Project 534” before she was christened—we wanted to take a cue from Netflix’s “Griselda” (in which every club scene was shot aboard the ship) by turning the ship’s famed Observation Bar over to the late 1970s and early 1980s to get down in a way that might have offend the Queen’s original guests.

DJ Tomas De Los Reyes will be spinning all night yet again, returning as the jockey with the tunes while the bar will be open for small bites and plenty of libations.

While the event is free, an RSVP is required. To reserve your free ticket, click here.

The history behind The Queen Mary’s Observation Bar

The Observation Bar, which reopened in May of last year for the first time since the pandemic, has been a staple for tourists and local visitors alike: With construction finished in the mid-1930s—highlighted by an imperialist-loving mural over the crescent sweep of the bar by A.R. Thomson dubbed “The Royal Jubilee Week,” a depiction of the 25th anniversary of the reign of King George V and Queen Mary—the bar is rife with art deco details that make guests genuinely feel like they’ve escaped to the past.

While the bar has certainly been cleaned up, perhaps of boldest note is the fact that the observation deck attached to the bar, along with the gun deck below it, have had its teak flooring restored entirely.

The bar was not always an “art deco masterpiece:” It acted as a dormitory when the ship was used as a troopship during World War II and then was briefly returned to its art deco glory—albeit with a linoleum floor—up until the 1960s. When it arrived in Long Beach, the new owners opted to go thematic over classic, applying a theme dubbed “Ye Olde English Age of Sail” to the Observation Bar (which coincided with that odd hodgepodge of old English architecture buildings in the parking lot as part of the attraction to the ship itself).

It wasn’t until 2007—after Disney sold the ship and the bar had undergone multiple iterations—that the space was returned to its art deco model (though not also met with its criticism: a botched paint job nearly destroyed the Thomson mural while guests would photograph drips of paint everywhere).

The bar’s new menu includes of-the-time classics—like Derbys and Grasshoppers—along with updated things like a gin-basil smash and espresso martinis, as well as some small bites plates that include buffalo pork ribs with whipped gorgonzola dolce and corned beef sliders.

Sir Winston’s, the equally-cherished fine dining space toward the rear of the ship, is rumored to be opening up later this year.

This marks a warmly-welcomed news bite of positivity following the ship’s disastrous handling across the past decade: The cherished icon has been a challenge to operate—and that is putting it lightly, with a 2017 study recommending renovations and upgrades stacking up to $289 million. According to a trove of court documents and inspection reports released in 2021, the Queen Mary needed $23 million in immediate repairs to prevent it from potentially capsizing.

While the event is free, an RSVP is required. To reserve your free ticket, click here.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.


  1. I tried the RSVP but it already specifies, Sold Out! 😟
    With that said, is that the only way to join? Or would it be possible to show up in case there is last minute
    Thank you.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe to The Insider

Get weekly updates on Long Beach's evolving culture, urban development, and food scene. Become a Longbeachize Insider today

By clicking "Subscribe," you agree to receive weekly newsletters from Longbeachize and accept our Privacy Policy posted on our website.

Read more

Popular Tags

More From Long Beach