Iconic club Paradise Garage will be taking its story to the silver screen as plans for an upcoming movie based on the pioneering DIY space and its ingenious house DJ, the late Larry Levan, are announced.
According to the official website, the film will follow the history of the celebrated club from its humble beginnings in the late ’70s, to its immediate rise as a cult phenomenon and through to the late ’80s which saw the AIDs epidemic result in its untimely closure.
The film will also focus predominantly on the life of renowned DJ, Larry Levan and his complicated relationship with Paradise Garage owner, Michael Brody. According to the film’s director, Jonathan Ullman, Larry Levan’s story was long overdue to be told.
“Larry took the role of the DJ and elevated it to an art form,” says Ullman. “Twenty-three years after his untimely death people are still discovering him, still celebrating him, still feeling the influence of his vast body of work.”
Since closing in 1987, Paradise Garage has become more and more celebrated by the people who grew up with it, as well as those only now just learning about the famed history of the space described as a “sanctuary” and “Saturday mass” by long-time devotees.
In promotion for the film, a video shot on the day of a celebratory block party held at the club’s original site in SoHo was released. It’s utterly mesmerising in the unity it conveys, and just how much this club and its “high priest” in Levan meant to its original revellers.
“This is like a reunion here,” says one attendee. “Everybody grew up here; we bonded. Gay, straight, black, or white.”
The elation resonating from the legacy of Paradise Garage is even felt by those too young to have experienced it in person. “I missed the garage by a few years,” says one young reveller. “But I feel I still live the garage every time I go out.”
There’s been no word yet on when the film will be released, but judging by the video clearly there’s enough excitement and celebration remaining to make the wait worthwhile. If you’re having a shitty day or an even shittier week, watch the video in the above gallery and feel inspired by people from all walks of life bonding over music and the DJ who, every Saturday, was their saviour from a world still ignorant to the fruits of joy and unity.
To learn more about the film, visit the official website here.
- Words: Vincent Dwyer