Saturday Night Fever | 1977
Nik Cohn’s account of social rituals (which itself turned out to be fictitious) is transformed into the disco hit of the Seventies. Tougher and more foul-mouthed than you might remember, it also launched the career of John Travolta, as Tony Manero, the blue-collar kid from Brooklyn whose dancing opens up a new world over the East River in Manhattan.
Manero’s neighbourhood is Bay Ridge, southwest Brooklyn. The opening scene of Manero swaggering down the street is on 86th Street at Bay 20th Street in Bensonhurst. Tony buys a double-decker pizza at Lenny's Pizza, 1969 86th Street at 20th Avenue. You can still get pizza there today.
The hardware store at which Tony works – and to which he's carrying the pot of paint – is Bay Ridge Home Center, 7305 Fifth Avenue at 73rd Street. It's changed hands and been renovated but is still a hardware store.
Tony meets up with new dancing partner Stephanie Mangano (Karen Lynn Gorney) while rehearsing at Phillips School of Dancing, 1301 West Seventh Street at Bay Parkway, Bensonhurst – another business still in operation after all these years.
Two locations which are gone are the White Castle burger joint, patronised by Tony and his mates, which stood on 92nd Street between Third and Fourth Avenues in Bay Ridge; and the coffee bar which Tony and Stephanie visit. It's now a Mazda car dealership on Fifth Avenue at 94th Street, overlooking the tiny park in Bay Ridge. You can still, though, visit the Kelly's Tavern, 9259 Fourth Avenue, past which the couple walk afterwards.
The Manero home is 221 79th Street, Bay Ridge, in a smart middle class area of the borough. It was recognisable for years but has recently been given a thorough makeover. Trust me, this is the same house.
Not far away is the disco where white-suited Tony Manero provided the iconic image of seventies dance culture. In 1978 it was 2001 Odyssey. It kept the illuminated floor (which was installed specially for the film) and became Spectrum, a gay men’s dance club. Sadly, it’s since closed and was recently demolished. It stood at 802 64th Street at Eighth Avenue, Bay Ridge.
The kids display macho bravado on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, where I-278 crosses New York Bay to Staten Island, south of Bay Ridge.