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A new documentary set to premiere at this year’sTribeca Film Festival brings legendary club owner, Peter Gatien back into the spotlight, as the film highlights the fascinating, yet dangerous rise and fall of his premier New York City party venue, Limelight.
Opening on September 23, Limelight tells the tale of the eye-patch donning Gatien, who brought new forms of music and celebrities to the feet of hard drugs and rave culture in the 1980’s. The documentary also takes a look into Gatien’s eventual demise and deportation after former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and city officials cracked down on his illicit nightlife business and tax evasion charges. A similar film, American Swing, opened in 2008, and focused on the swinger’s club, Plato’s Retreat.
Billy Corben directs the film, with Gatien’s daughter, Jen Gatien, producing. Corben was also behindCocaine Cowboys, a documentary that delves into Miami’s cocaine heydays in the 1970s and 1980s.
The infamous location, 656 Avenue of the Americas, is also known for its fair share of interesting real estate transformations. The former church erected in 1844, turned nightclub, most recently becameLimelight Marketplace, a shopping center which houses various stores and restaurants in 2010. Palladium, another former Gatien club, also underwent a dramatic change, as it turned into an NYU dorm on East 14th Street.