#Throwback Thursdays: New York City in the Eighties


CC Photo: Uogsjohns22

Two clubs that I didn’t care much for were the Limelight on West 20th Street, and Studio 54. I’ll start with Studio. One of my friends, who went there almost every night including weeknights, took me there for some sort of party. There were long lines stretching down the block, but we got let in by the bouncer (velvet ropes and all) because my pal was on the list. A long metal cage-like contraption in which people were standing was hung from the ceiling, and it moved from one side of the room to the other. The people on it waved to the crowd below. I remember dancing to “Start Me Up” which had just been released in 1980, and looking up at the cage, hoping it wouldn’t come crashing down on everyone. That was one of the few times I went there and soon after my friend was heartsick that it was going out of business due to tax issues.

Limelight opened in 1983 in a former Episcopal church on Sixth Avenue and 20th Street. I didn’t go there until 1988 or so, and I didn’t care for the décor which was faux goth/exorcist or the music, which was largely techno.  Later in the 1990s they had post-punk bands like Gang of Four and New Model Army. It closed several times in the later 90s, eventually for good.


Leslie Wells has edited forty-nine New York Times bestsellers in her thirty-year publishing career. She is the author of Come Dancing, a novel about publishing and rock and roll set in New York City in the 1980s. Visit her at www.lesliewellsbooks.com

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