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From its relaxed attitude and its unassuming exterior to the always-interesting assortment of characters who frequent it, the Spotlight is a reminder of what Hollywood was like before the hot spots took over. Cahuenga Boulevard is a bustling cluster for upscale clubbin', but Spotlight continues to offer a divey alternative, particularly for area gays. (Its blue awning reads "Established in 1963," with a rainbow flag under it, letting all know it's a queer-friendly hangout.) Standing strong on the street's liveliest corner (at Selma Avenue), Spotlight takes up some prime real estate, but as long as 80-year-old owner Don Samuels - perched on a stool next to the bar's front door most nights - has his way, it will stay a "delightfully crummy place," as his own business card reads. Cocktails run about $4-$6.

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    Established in 1963, the Spotlight Room, or just the Spotlight, is one of the oldest gay bars in L.A. Located on Cahuenga Boulevard a block south of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with its huge sign out front, it’s an old-fashioned dive bar for mostly gay men, with a regular...

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