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Mount Sinai Obituaries and Services » Richard Thorne
June 17, 1926 - December 14, 2015
Service Information Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills - TaNaCH Chapel
Service Date: Sunday December 20th, 2015
Service Time: 3:00 pm
Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills - TaNaCH Chapel
5950 Forest Lawn Drive
Los Angeles, California 90068
LATIN MAMBO KINGS MUSIC BOOKER, PROMOTER AND NIGHTCLUB IMPRESARIO DIES
Richard Thorne, who in the ‘50s and ‘60s opened his Virginia’s Latin nightclub in Downtown Los Angeles when the Latin band scene was emerging on the West Coast, died Monday evening in Cherry Valley, California. He was 89.
Virginia’s was a live performance and dance nightclub and hotbed of emerging Latin artists of the era, including Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Tito Rodriguez, Pete Bonet and Joe Loco. Thorne with his first wife Jacqueline actively booked and promoted these and other Latin music artists at venues up and down the West Coast and nationally, showcasing them regularly as headliners at Virginia’s on their respective Southern California tours.
A native of Tacoma, Washington, who served honorably in the United States Navy, Thorne, who made his homes in Banning, California and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and enjoyed flying and boating, also made his career as a general contractor for residential and commercial construction and a construction supervisor in the Los Angeles area, San Diego County and throughout the West Coast. In addition to his wife of 40 years Sonja Thorne, Thorne is survived by his sister Dorothy Thorne; sister-in-law Gina Farmer; daughter Gail Shelly; son Robert Thorne, daughter-in-law Isabel Thorne and her parents Claudia and Chris Munoz; stepdaughter Kelly Whittaker; stepson Bob Farmer; granddaughter Erin Shapiro; grandsons Griffen Thorne, Harrison Thorne, Joe Shelly and Ben Shapiro; step granddaughter Dana Tao; and great grandson Max Motel. Memorial services will be held Sunday, December 20, 3:00 pm at Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries, Los Angeles.