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international news _ 26th March, 2007

New York's Roxy Closes For Good

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

New York nightlife institution the Roxy held its last party last weekend, some 28 years after the venue first opened. The West Village venue, which started life as a roller disco before being transformed into one of New York's most popular gay clubs of the 90s, is to be demolished in several months and replaced with condominiums, the Voice reported this week.

Skrufff contributor Larry Tee, who regularly DJed at the club in the 90s, lamented the club's closure and celebrated its impact.

"After the horrific first wave of AIDS that devastated New York's gay scene in the mid to late eighties, gay nightlife had been reduced to bars as opposed to huge emporiums and the Roxy was the first major club after that to be bold and gay and fabulous," said Larry.

"However, when John Blair (Saturday night's promoter for the last decade) came to power, Chelsea had risen with its cloney mass of muscle-men and they came to dominate the club. But even though that 'centaurs' look is now outdated, I feel they were probably a reaction to the powerlessness of the AIDS crisis; the boys responded by wanting to look healthy and strong by working out," he said.

#There may never be a muscle emporium like the Roxy again because time has moved on and the boys donít need to prove as much in a gay friendly town like New York City," he added.

D-List social networking site founder/ underground promoter/DJ Daniel Nardicio was less moved telling Skrufff 'it's been dying out for years.'

"I am always sad when any club closes just to make way for more luxury housing, but Roxy has been pretty tired for years now- a tired aesthetic, straight go-go dancers, and pretty tired music," he complained.

Daniel also attacked recent nightlife legislation imposing video cameras at all club entrances, pointing out "itís ridiculous that clubs have cameras, yet many subway platforms do not- lots more people have died on MTA (Manhattan Transit Authority) in the last year than in nightclubs."

"Old people and lesbians- like Christine Quinn-our councilwoman- are actually legislating nightlife- when was the last time (Mayor) Bloomberg was at a nightclub? In the 20's?? When flappers were the rage?" he continued.

"Iíve always contended that nightlife, which I love so much, is so very important to the legend of New York- I feel that Studio 54 is just as historically significant as the MOMA, or the Empire State, or Broadway- I think it's sad that the administration has done everything they can to legislate the life out of it- it's a nanny state," he stormed.

Roxy owner Gene DiNino, who bought the club in 1985, had the final word on the club's closure, in a lengthy tribute published by the Village Voice.

"Most of the people I started with are in jail, deported, or out of business. I don't want to name names. I'm very sad," he said, "A club like the Roxy, it's so well-known, so legendary; it becomes a part of you. It's part of who you are. It's a sense of loss, a loss of self."

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