Wednesday, April 27, 1977

Discotheque Opens Despite Its Leaking Waterfall

The waterfall was leaking almost up to the last minute; the final furniture delivery was made with just three hours to go, and for a while it appeared that the camera crew from the Italian Vogue might never find a place to plug in its lights.

“We have to be careful,” said Mr. Rubell, one of the three young entrepreneurs who have risked what one spokesman estimated to be $1.1 million on the proposition that a sizeable segment of the city’s avant-garde disco-goers can be lured to the West Side by a megawatt light show worthy of a Broadway theater.

The music had been blaring for most of an hour before an appreciable number of patrons, many bearing special invitations, managed to make their way past the gate checks.

A surprisingly large number of patrons milling around the entrance chose to wait, apparently on the theory that any place that hard to get into must be worth waiting for.

The result was that from West 54th Street, where several dozen patrons were blocking off half the street, the theater appeared to be packed to its 2500 capacity.

Inside, where Mr. Rubell was pointing out yet another combination of mirrored strobe lights, there were no more than a few hundred viewers to appreciate them.

“I think we have a winner,” he said.

excerpt from Robert McG. Thomas Jr NYT 4/27/77

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