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The Palladium

When Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell were forced to sell Studio 54 in 1985, The Palladium became their next successful venture. The building had been a famous punk venue where The Ramones recorded a live album. The club's transformation from concert hall to dance club and DJ venue signaled an important transition in the music industry. Rock bands had become onerous for club owners who were asked to deal with high production costs and the persnickety contracts that would outline things like sorted...

When Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell were forced to sell Studio 54 in 1985, The Palladium became their next successful venture. The building had been a famous punk venue where The Ramones recorded a live album. The club's transformation from concert hall to dance club and DJ venue signaled an important transition in the music industry. Rock bands had become onerous for club owners who were asked to deal with high production costs and the persnickety contracts that would outline things like sorted m&ms and filtered water. The days of seeing famous rock bands at reasonable prices were coming to an end. In the new Palladium, Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell borrowed the DJ from Danceteria, who saw in the huge space a chance to explore the possibilities of house music and new wave. Thus, the punk scene was conquered by an aestheticized version of nightlife, which provided a highly curated experience. The Michael Todd VIP room, for example, was decorated with murals by Francesco Clemente, Kenny Scharf, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Themed parties with dress-up opportunities ruled the night. And the main dance floor featured rows of video monitors that would play music videos.

Junior Vasquez, the DJ who produced singles for Madonna, Janet Jackson, Prince and MC Hammer, hosted a popular Saturday night/Sunday morning party called Arena. Ostensibly gay-oriented, Arena would bring an eclectic mix of people at a time when the elitism of nightworld was breaking down in favor of a creative democracy. In contrast to Studio 54, the celebrities of Palladium were not attractive actors, powerful executives or privileged prep schoolers, but simply the most flamboyant or "outrageous" as historically accurate diction would have it. But after the scandalous demise of The Club Kids and aided by constant pressure from Mayor Guiliani, the space was sold to NYU and converted to a dorm, a transaction which was heralded by club-goers as the new, true end of the New York club scene.

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Address:
3rd Avenue and 14th Street
New York, NY 10003
Directions:
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Artie
October 11, 2010
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