The European Health Spa in Niskayuna opened with Brolin — but without Atlas.
The exercise franchise celebrated its first day in business on Balltown Road on March 7, 1974. The spa owners had submitted plans for a statue of Greek mythology’s Atlas — complete with a model of the world on his shoulders — for the grounds. Niskayuna zoning board members nixed the idea for commercial and artistic reasons.
Town officials had no problem with actor James Brolin showing up to celebrate the opening. Brolin was a rising movie star at the time, thanks to his role as motorcycle-riding Dr. Steven Kiley in ABC’s “Marcus Welby, M.D.” He would star in 1970s movies such as “Westworld” and “Capricorn One.”