When I was poking around trying to find a good image to go with the Michael Alig post, I happened across a few items related to the club where Michael and the Club Kids infamously held court, The Limelight. Opened in late 1983 by Canadian businessman Peter Gatien, the Limelight was one of the mega-clubs that followed in the wake of Studio 54. The club operated in a deconsecrated church which had been given historically “preserved” status by the city of New York. It was the scene of some epic debauchery, that club. Believe me when I tell you because I worked there for a little less than a year (when I was still three years shy of legal drinking age, I might add) during 1985.
But now, the legendary magnet for sinners is… a retail outlet? Yup, the site of some seriously fucked up shit—and many memories of my own ill-spent youth—now houses 50 small retailers including handmade chocolatiers, Le Sportsac and shoe stores. There is even a food court. Oh my, oh my.
The other news is that the one-time mega-promoter of gay NYC nightlife, Marc Berkley passed away in April. Marc got his career started at the Limelight with his Sunday night parties and went on to become one of the most powerful club promoters in New York. I recall him fondly, a quick-witted, sharp-tongued James Coco-type, who always seemed right out of a sitcom to me. The manager of the club, a tall, taciturn fellow named Tom Buckley, also recently passed away.
Photo: Marc Berkley and friends.