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Paradise Garage

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Former discotheque notable in the history of dance, LGBT, and nightclub cultures

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Greenwich Village
Industrial, Arts and Entertainment, Play

Place Matters Profile

Written by Greg Ferguson for Place Matters and Professor Gwynneth Malins Fall 2019 NYU Local and Public History Course

The Paradise Garage (also known simply as “the Garage”) was a nightclub founded in 1977, when proprietor Michael Brody took out a lease on a disused parking garage in downtown Manhattan with the intention of turning it into a disco on a scale not yet seen. When completed, its main room held two thousand dancers and housed a massive sound system, but the club’s enduring reputation is not based primarily on its size. Instead, the Paradise Garage’s legacies remain both its radically pluralistic ethos and the musical and emotional connection that the resident DJ Larry Levan established with the club’s primarily gay, black and Hispanic audience.

The Paradise Garage’s roots lie in The Loft and The Sanctuary, the racially and sexually mixed underground venues where Manhattan DJs and party goers created...

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Broughton, Frank and Bill Brewster. Larry Levan Live at the Paradise Garage liner notes.

London: Strut Records; New York: West End Records, 2000. Compact disc.

Cheren, Mel. My Life and the Paradise Garage: Keep On Dancin’. New York: 24 Hours For Life, 2000.

Cruz-Malavé, Arnaldo. Queer Latino Testimonio, Keith Haring, and Juanito Xtravanza: Hard Tails. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Lawrence, Tim. Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983. Durham: Duke, 2016.

Lawrence, Tim. Love Saves The Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture. Durham: Duke, 2003.

Rosen, Miss. “Paradise Garage’s Final Nights: Crying and Dancing at the Definitive Rager of ’80s NYC.” Last modified August 16, 2019. 08/paradise-garages-final-nights-crying- and-dancing-at-the-definitive-rager-of-80s-nyc/.

Schapiro, Peter. Turn The Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco. New York: Faber and Faber, 2005.

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