“I sensed early on that disco, in its own extravagant way, was a very progressive, democratic scene. It was on that first night at Studio 54, though, that Bernstein found his subject. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. Take a trip down memory lane that’ll make you feel nostalgia AF. 0–9. So I went there and shot what I needed to, including a photo of her and Andy Warhol talking together.”, As Bernstein was packing up his camera equipment, though, the regulars started to arrive. That February, Forbes magazine commissioned street photographer Patrick D. Pagnano to document the scene. A group of people get down on a mirrored dance floor, circa 1978. At the roller discos out in Brooklyn, you’d see some white kids, but it was mainly a black scene and one in which everyone seemed to know each other. Left: A man blowing a whistle in a sparkling purple outfit dances at Studio 54, 1979. Right: A man in a leather thong and sparkling glitter dances at Electric Circus in New York City, 1979. ‘There was no violence here, just fun.’ A group of older men and women relax on the sidelines of a disco club in New York City in 1978. Brooklyn's legendary Empire Roller Skating Center shut its doors for the final time after 60 years in operation back in 2007, but Patrick D. Pagnano's photographs capture the rink in its glorious heyday. Left: A disco DJ smokes a cigarette while spinning a record at a club in New York City, 1979. People traveled from far and wide just to be part of the scene, whether to attend children’s birthday parties, join dance crews, or battle other skaters. Bill Bernstein’s photographs of disco’s glory years capture the energy and glamour of New York’s 1970s nightspots. Obsessed with travel? Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York City. Right: A woman enters the dance floor at Studio 54, 1977. This is what I choose to capture and hold on to. There was a real acceptance of people, no matter who or what they were, and an incredible tolerance of diversity. “I completely forgot about the photo until looking through my archives for the book,” she says. Three decades before the Club Kids ruled New York City’s wild underground parties, there was disco and its blinged-out, flare-pant inhabitants. A crowd of dancers at the disco club in New York City, 1978. Right: A woman dances amid other partygoers at Studio 54, 1977. Jive Guy on Williamsburg Subway, Brooklyn, NY. ‘It held over a thousand skaters,’ says Bill Bernstein. My family in the context of 1960s Brooklyn.This is the old school's, old school. Brooklyn’s Empire Roller Disco in 1979. Posted May. 29 Pictures That Show Just How Crazy 1970s Disco Really Was. The Village People perform live as the audience dance the "YMCA" at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, circa 1970. This was the epicenter of disco in the 1970s and 1980s, the 2001 Odyssey disco* at 8th Avenue and 64th Street featured in Saturday Night Fever. Self care and ideas to help you live a healthier, happier life. 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Roseland was mostly Hispanic, while places like the Loft in Manhattan or the Ice Palace 57 were gay discos.”, GG’s Barnum Room, which billed itself as “the different disco”, was, in Bernstein’s words, “a transgender haven – I met people who were pre-op and people who who were post-op and they loved being there mixing with the straights. Last modified on Thu 26 Mar 2020 10.41 EDT, It was President Jimmy Carter’s mother, Lillian, who first brought photographer Bill Bernstein to the legendary Studio 54 nightclub in New York one evening in the late 1970s.