New Port Richey, Fla.

Back before New Port Richey Florida was the “Oxycontin capital of the world” Or known as “New Port Roxy,”  it was a thriving town on the gulf coast, and known as the “Hollywood of the East.”

By the 1920’s celebrities, screenwriters, artists, actors and actress of all types were flooding to the tiny town. From Thomas Meighan to Gloria Swanson, New Port Richey was quickly becoming the tinsel town of the south. (New Port Richey- New Hollywood)

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According to the St. Petersburg times, by 1925 construction of the basic foundation for a new hotel began.

By 1926, the plans had been finalized for a 50 bedroom hotel done in a Spanish revival style designed by architect Thomas Reed  Martin.  The hotel was going to be called “The Hacienda.” The land for the hotel was donated by James Meighan, brother of Thomas Meighan who was one of the biggest silent film stars of all time and became a huge influence in the town even having the local theatre  named after him (now the Richey Suncoast theatre) (Hacienda history)

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By 1927, the hotel was opened and catering to the rich and the famous.

In the 1930’s when the Great depression hit, it hit New Port Richey the hardest.  Much of the money in town dried up,  and all plans of turning the gulf coast town into a new Hollywood went belly up. (New Port Richey history )

The Richey Suncoast theatre and The Hacienda hotel are the last relics of New Port Richey’s glamorous beginning.

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The Hacienda remained as a hotel (although changing hands many times) until the 1970’s when it fell into foreclosure and opened into an assisted living facility in the 1980’s . It stayed that way until 2003 when the city bought the hotel. It’s been abandoned ever since. (Hacienda History)

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In 2013 the city called for community involvement to clean up the hotel and give it a few new coats of paint. Although the city wishes to restore the hotel, the city doesn’t currently have the money for repair and there are no plans for restoration. (September 17, 2013 )

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