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Ice Palace 57

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57 West 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019


Ice Palace Disco New York City

Jimmy Merry

Jimmy Merry

Bobby "DJ" Guttadaro
Frank Houlihan
Roy Thode

(The following description from bozzylou)
ICE PALACE-57 was the iconic and hugely popular gay disco/nightclub that ran from 1977 to 1985. It was located at 57 West 57th Street (and 6th Ave.), and was downstairs one flight at this location. It was perhaps most well known for its "Tea Dances" every Sunday afternoon. Long lines of people would often be seen in every season forming queues on W. 57th St. moving East towards 5th Ave. waiting to gain entry into the fabled nightspot.

It existed in a far less tolerant time for gays, and hence, club goers and regulars almost felt as if they were part of a "secret" and "clandestine" society back then when they entered it to dance, socialize and enjoy cocktails. It sported a comfortable lounge area, two bars, huge dance floor, loads of mirrors, and a state of the art sound and lighting system for its day.

For the gay community and their friends, this was the "STUDIO-54" of the day. It is long gone now, but the memories will linger a lifetime for those that remember it and frequented this very special place way back when.

Photo below submitted by Jauers
Ad for Ice Palace 57 from Feb 1978 issue of Mandate
Ice Palace 57

Photos below submitted by Chase Connery.
Description: Back in the day... YUP, I'm in there!
Ice Palace 57
Ice Palace 57

Photos below sent in by Chase Connery
Description: Three interior photos and then article and pictures of the interior of the Ice Palace 57 in the March 1978, Lighting Design and Application pub.

Photos below from Bobby Gurecki
First two photos from an ad from, "Michael's Thing" Dated: June 30--July 6, 1980.
Third photo is of Joe Ruffino and Bobby Gurecki Front Bar Ice Palace 1978.

Photo below from Francesca.
Francesca as "Carmen Miranda" in IP-57 (1980).

Photo below submitted by Jauers
Description: Ad for Ice Palace in January issue of Christopher Street
Ice Palace 57

Photo below from Chris R
Description: Chris R. 1981 I was still going to the Ice Palace..Does anyone recognize me?
Chris R

Please note that in the interest of fairness, the names of DJs and staff are listed in alphabetical order.

Click to Add Your Photos to this Page!

Added by Bernard Lopez


Your Comments

Wonda |

I sure do ! It was one of those "seedy" places that you were ashamed to tell people you went to.....but loved ! It was quirky and kinky and gay and the thing I remember most about "THE TOILET BOWL" was that odor of fresh piss that seemed to permeate every inch of the place. It seemed to smell of cat piss and some people actually believed the scent was purposely sprayed around to give the club a unique allure and scent .....hence, it's name: "THE TOILET BOWL !" However, it was in a run down and ramshackle old factory building in a bad and deserted part of town, on the upper West Side....way back then ! The roof leaked when it rained, the heat did not work in Winter, the windows were all boarded up in the back and drafty and the plumbing was in severe disrepair. The pipes leaked, toilets would not flush and that is why it stunk the place up with an unmistakable piss odor; mixed perpetually with that fake Renuzit pine air-freshener stench.....YULK ! I heard the club owner was back on his rent for months and had so many safety and fire violations. The club was later forced to close by Giuliani and the building was slated to be torn down. Eventually they gutted it completely to the bare bones to make way for high-end condos and Hell's Kitchen became a trendy and very expensive residential neighborhood in the early 1990's. Who knew ?

Zorba Ayorba |

Does anyone out there remember the club "THE TOILET BOWL ?" It was located at: 578 11-th Avenue (at W.44-th Street) NY NY 10036 in Hells Kitchen (c.1977 to 1980) and was a disco/club back in the gay ! For sure it was a seedy and filthy dive....and attracted a weird mix of gays, transvestites, bi-sexuals, hustlers, hookers and crazed disco club goers....back in the gay ! It was notorious for drugs and sex on premises and later became the infamous "Club Edelweiss" , a transvestite and trans-gender hangout. It had a big wooden dance floor in the back of the run down and dilapidated space with two bars in front on each side and a pitch-black grope room downstairs where anything goes....and did ! They had a lounge area and three restrooms, and people were always having sex and doing drugs in there ! It was the late 70's and you could get away with that stuff way back then. Today the building was totally renovated and is high-end condos. I posted an ad for it on this site....but it was not published. I guess they thought my true depictions of it were too outrageous or the place never existed......but it sure did !


To: Richie-Chase....KOOL ! You know the count of states that now will permit same-sex marriage went from 18 to 30 literally overnight after the Supreme Court refused to hear the arguments of states that contested the right to marry for same-sex couples. I just heard this morning on Meet The Press that an additional 3 will now likely move forward to allow Marriage-Equality, since the appeals have been rendered meritless. That leaves only 17 states in the union that forbid it ! Of course, it is inevitable and at this rate, all "50" states will have it in only a few years. Your point was well taken,...states like Texas, and Florida not to mention Alabama, Mississippi, North & South Carolina, et al ,will be the ones to put up a BIG stink....on grounds of "religious freedom", for sure ! In the deep South, the Bible belt and where ignorance and isolation and religion will play a lingering role in prohibiting it. I do believe that by that time, the Supreme Court will intervene and mandate the few remaining states where homophobia and bigotry appear to be a legal right ,and make it law in the entire U.S. that banning same-gender marriage is unconstitutional. That is exactly what happened in 1967 when stubborn Southern states refused to abolish interracial marriage laws that prohibited it. Keep up the good fight, my friend ! We have come along way from the DISCO days of IP-57 circa 1977 to 1984.

Chase /AKA Richie Ice Palace Busboy |

Point well taken and thoughtfully laid out. I guess I was a minority within a minority having always lived in big cities and worked in a field where I traveled the world of cities and educated people. As far as whats happening recently. I think its going to get worse before it gets better. As I sit and watch our right to marry and the 300 plus other rights finally come our way state by state I just keep thinking " OMG just get me some popcorn and a HUGE slurpee when the battle starts to fall apart in Florida and Texas! Now THATS gonna be like a bad musical but you cant look away!

Fredweena Juliano |

What I think most gay people are trying to convey about the homophobia of the 1970's and 80's and the DISCO era was about the greater world at large back then when they say gay life was much more closeted and hush, hush ! NOT the club world, the disco's, our cliques of friends or the gay scenes in the village ,Fire Island and around Manhattan. People surely were not OUT in the way it exists today. There were no openly gay and positive role models in the media or on TV. Gays could not be open and honest at work or where they lived. We hid our sexuality from family and straight friends for the most part. Homosexuality was still "closeted" and frowned upon then. In fact, society and the Church were very hostile towards gays back in the day.Much the way it is in Russia today. Violence towards gays was not prevalent, because our overt visibility did not really exist as it does now. Gay men would not even think of holding hands or kissing in public and marriage equality was not even a serious thought. By "hiding" we remained safe. Today, all that has changed....and dramatically in only ten years or so. The LGBT made it a point to become visible and let people see who and what we are ! Literally everywhere and just like everyone else. Straight America has finally got it and feels more comfortable and tolerant knowing gay people are out there and not looking to kidnap and recruit their children and destroy the family and their way of life. The young generation today has no idea how it was for us, and even worse for those that were of age in the decades before, like the oppressive 1950's and 1960's. The 70's and 80's were not much better either. Then came the ravages of AIDS in the mid 1980's that decimated our community and killed so many in their prime. Things began to change in the 1990's with ACT-UP and all. These activists were literally fighting for their lives ! Today, you can be openly gay....(here, at least) and if someone does not like it; too bad,.....it's their problem !

Chase /AKA Richie Ice Palace Busboy |

Richie ,Original Ice Palace Busboy here and I just have to say . Im reading a lot of comments about how back in the day it was all "hush, hush" and " In the closet n stuff" and Im a little perplexed by those comments as that was not my experience at ALL! Maybe its because I moved into NYC in 1976 at 17 into a railroad apartment on 9th street between 1st and 2nd for $150 a month ( I know, I know) But I NEVER experienced ANY homophobia at all in New York City at all and I lived there until 1990 ending up living on Central Park West between 73rd and 74th.Maybe there was more homophobia out in the outskirts or long island ( where I grew up but honestly I see and hear more about it today than I did in the 70s .I sometimes wish for those days again.I never saw anyone get hurt or beat or harassed. In the clubs ( And I worked and went to only the best) Everyone just danced with everyone else . There was no time or they wouldn't put up with any crappy behavior of any type.They put you out! People were there for the music and to have a good time..

Christopher Duquette |

I use to take my college girlfriend to the Ice Palace 57 after we realized I was gay (I had been dancing at the Gaiety Burlesque my first two years of college while we still slept together, pre-AIDS), and then she became my best club partner (she could dress swanky, dance uninhibited, and watched me cruise men unadulterated by her jealousy until I came out). We loved the summer of "Push Push in the Bush". I will always remember the trippy curved and carpeted curved wall to the bath/coke rooms, they way the music would funnel down and up in volume as you walked closely along it. I wrote about my club experiences at Ice Palace 57 in detail, in addition to other places I danced in from 1976 - 2004: the Gaiety, the Gallery, the Anvil, Crisco Disco, Hurrah, Studio 54, Paradise Garage, 12 West, Flamingo, Sound Factory, the World,...in my book, Homo GoGo Man, a fairytale about a boy who grew up in discoland. The title is a play on words of the species 'homo spapien', a tale about a gay man trying to avoid extinction from too many clubs (25 years!), drugs and boyfriends.

Bob Wormer |

To Richie- the fabulous bus boy at IP-57. Those words are true and hold much significance ! For you see, we were young, and in your youth, everything does seem "magical", "new" and exciting ! The pre-Aids era of disco, from the mid to late 1970's and even much of the 1980's was a special time of sexual freedom and expression for both gays and straights. Gay people back then were like part of a "Secret & Clandestine Club !" There was no such thing as the concept of being "OUT" ,as it exists today. Everything was hush, hush ! In the media, on TV, in social circles, with our friends and families, at work, etc. Very little had changed since the prior decade of the 1060's here. Our clubs were often non-descript, secluded and certainly did not advertise themselves as gay to the greater world. That is the way it was....always looking over your shoulder, watching what you would gay in mixed company and afraid someone would find out....OH NO ! Today, it is quite different and human-sexuality is far more understand and differences in it more accepting and tolerated. However, a true measure of loss for the younger generation today surely is the down-side in that they will never know how truly exciting it was to be gay, and living in a world that was unaccepting and often hostile to it. We had to literally "sneak-around" in closed circles and IP-57 was one of those places where gay men and women and their friends flocked to be free and be themselves ! Much like Greenwich Village was the Mecca for gays to walk around and feel this was their safe place and neighborhood get-away on Christopher Street and vicinity. We are still trying to form an ICE PALACE-57 reunion of sorts. This far, no real luck or any tangible interest though. Any ideas and suggestions ?

Chase /AKA Richie Ice Palace Busboy |

As one of the original staff members of the Ice Palace 57 I think I can speak for all of my remaining living co workers that it brings a smile to all our faces to read these comments and see that our efforts back in that magical time brought so much joy to so many of you. Before Aids and the horror to come of the 1980s we had those few years of true freedom where there seem to be no prejudice (at least in my innocent 18 year old eyes) in New York City and we could go, do and be anything we wanted. We, as a staff worked HARD let me tell you! And Jimmy Merry our fearless leader made sure we worked like a well oiled machine to make sure that each of you was treated in special way where we always said "thank you" everytime we served you. Im proud to look back now and know that we were part of such happiness and who knew we were going to be part of history? we certainly didn't. We were just happy to be proud to be part of the number 1 gay club for a time and the home of the world famous Sunday Tea dance. At 55 I can look back and say that it certainly shaped that man I became in later years as Jimmy always taught us " Don't ever take a customer for granted. Always say "Thank you" They have a million places they could go. Make them feel special and they'll always come back. And you did. Good life lessons.
Im writing about those days now and people who have read my rough drafts look at me and say "No! your making this up" and I just smile and say " It really was like that. After Stone wall and before Aids there was a magic time and I was there"......as were all of you. Embrace your memories and share them with the newer generations as it our duty as the older citizens to pass along our histories and stories.


OH YES...I remember Fran vividly from back in the day at IP-57 ! She was there....she was queer....and she refused to live in fear ! She was originally from Union. N.J. and lived with her mother on Wolbert Terrace . Sadly, her dear mother is now deceased. She was a celebrity of sorts on the gay bar scene ! Everyone knew her...and loved her ! She had a turquoise dress and matching shoes that was fabulous ! She would wear the outfit to Tea Dance at the infamous Ice Palace-57 tea dances on Sunday afternoons....and you could see her from 5-th Avenue, walking towards IP-57 on 6-th ! She was a big lezbo.....and proud of it ! Back then, the concept of "OUT", as today, did not exist. However, our beloved Frannie was not afraid to declare her gayness and danced until the sun came up !


WOW !...a blast from the past ! I sure do remember "Francesca" from back in the disco day ! She was better known as "Frannie" or "Kinky Fran !" She came from Union, N.J. later moved to Brooklyn and lived on Coney Island Avenue with her crazy husband Danny DeVito from Ditmas Blvd. Her best friends were Lennie and Kevin from Jersey and they went to the Ice Palace almost every Sunday afternoon for their famous tea dances from 1978 to around 1982. She was also close to Fredweena from Cropsey Ave. (he is deceased) and Liz, the transsexual man-lady that lived on Ralph Ave. in Georgetown, Brooklyn. These memories are bring back so much of the late 1970's and early 80's ! We all were so young and just coming OUT ! Disco was in and we were like members of a "secret society" being gay and all way back then ! We went to STYX on W. 38-th Street a lot on Saturday nights and Rhythm's on New Utrecht Ave. in Brooklyn and SAL'S in the promenade on Pineapple St. and Flavor's in Kew Gardens, Queens and even Club Brazil once in a while out on Staten Island in South Beach. We were a clique....all gay, hot and handsome...Frankie Turado, Little Frankie, Baby James, Geno, Michael, Ariel, Fredweena, Richie, Pinkie and the gang ! I lived on 6-th Ave. in Bensonhurst (tel .745-3249) no area codes in those days and (212) was all of N.Y.C. Fran was "Carmen Miranda" and dressed like that when we all went to Cherry Grove in 1982. We went to the Donna Summer concert by limo in 1980 and had some blast ! And I can never forget Riis Park and Bay-One, the nude and gay section. It was queer, it was kinky and it was fabulous ! Frannie, if you read this, contact me on this blog, my puppy ! I want an IP-57 reunion, and you should be part of it !


Does anyone remember Fran Lorlola that dressed-up as Carmen Miranda and went under the name "Francesca" back in the day ? Her photo is on this site and her best friends were Lennie and Kevin from Union, N.J. She would go to IP-57 almost every Sunday afternoon for Tea Dance (circa 1978 to 82). She also went out to Cherry Grove on Fire Island in that costume and was famous around the poolside in the Disco days as sort of an icon. Everyone knew her and loved her so ! She was a lesbian and so fabulous ! Later she went "straight" and married a krazy man named Danny. She also had a good friend named Fredweena that lived at 1835 Cropsey Avenue in Brooklyn. They were a gang of friends and always went to Riis Park in the day and then dressed up all in white to show-off their tans and went to IP-57 or Styx-Disco on Saturday nights, too ! If you know where she is.....let me know ! We want to put together an IP-57 still this Autumn, and it would not be the same without her ! You can contact me via e-mail at: CRR59@AOL.COM

Chris |

I was wondering if anyone remembers a very very handsome (alright, hot) server by the name of Ron. I used to get all in knots, I couldn't even speak to give him a drink order, he just looked at me and I was ready to swoon. Chris (itrytobegoodtoo@yahoo.com) Please let me know.

Joey |

to all of you who remember the stage in the back of the club ,I was the cute shirtless hairy-chested long-haired kid who tried to dance everyone off the stage & usually did .my "lover" at the time was Ozzie we would hang out on the stage area almost every night.i was my second home there will never be a club like The Ice Palace it was surreal

Kris Fuhn |

Anyone still interested in an IP-57 reunion this Summer ? ....We can still do it ! I am seeking interested people to form a list and we can all meet in my home in Manhattan and have a DISCO-ball ! If you want to partake, contact me with any input, suggestions, memorabilia, etc. E-mail me at: funpignyc@gmail.com

Madge Merman |

I sure do remember IP-57 from 1978-79...It was a different era....I also fondly remember "The Hay Market" on 8-th Avenue, near the Fire Station, near Times Sq. It was a well-known gay "Hustler's Bar." TIMES SQUARE in the 1970's was an exciting and "taboo" destination and was a famous red-light district and truly an iconic N.Y. neighborhood. Today, it is nothing more than a mall without a roof ! What's there ? The Disney Store, McDonalds, some restaurants and souvenir shops.....nothing more ! It is little more than any mall U.S.A.-outside ! All the classic,iconic movie theatres are gone and all the porno shops, too ! The city, in the mid 1990's, under Giuliani, decided they had to "clean it up." What they created is characterless and definitely not what Times Square was once famous for. If "prudes" and religious nuts do not like a vibrant "red-light district" , do not go there ! New York City today is at a severe disadvantage...no real "porno-district" for consenting adults that want to patronize such a place to go ! Does anyone remember the real "old" Times Square, and do you agree with me ?

Mark Meskarow |

OH YES....I sure do remember the DISCO group "GALAXY CLITORISENORMIS" from 1977 -to-1979. They were a disco-dance band from Staten Island and performed in CLUB BRAZIL and RHYHM'S in Brooklyn back in the day ! While they were never mainstream, famous or of the BIG TIME, they were popular locally, and mostly on Staten Island. They performed in "CLUB BRAZIL" at 86 Mills Road in South Beach with Freddie, the drag-show performer the bar in the 1970's. He gave extravagant shows with elaborate drag costumes back in the good old disco days ! Joann was the lesbian bar owner with her friend Carole and their friend Barbara. They all worked in the bar and were all fixtures in Staten Island's infamous gay club in the 1970's. They sold it in the late 1980's to Billy Roder and he renamed it "ABBRCADABRA." In the early 1990's he sold it to Denise Demian and she named it "The Sand Castle." They lost their liquor license in the late 1990's and eventually the building was sold, torn down, and now it is a line of row houses. This is bringing back loads of good old memories....it's like the ICE PALACE-57 logo says: "The songs is over....but the memories linger on !"


WOW ! ...I do not recognize you...but you look like a generic "Guido" from Bensonhurst....from back in the day ! Do you still have all your hair, baby ? Do you remember the DISCO group: "GALAXY CLITORISENORMIS" from 1977 ?


Jay makes sense....and Chris Ruocco seems to have resigned himself to the simple fact that an official ICE PALACE-57 reunion is NOT going to happen ! So, let's get a list of people interested in a simple "cocktail party" or nice dinner in a restaurant in Manhattan and have our own night out ! We can dance, socialize, reminisce and just have a great time under the "imaginary" DISCO ball of IP-57,.....WOW, it's 1979, again ! Let's do this....

Chris R |

I'm with you Jay!


Well,....it looks like another big FLOP ! There either is not enough interest coupled with not enough organization and resources to actually pull this ICE PALACE-57 reunion off....EVER ! So sad ! The truth is, too much time has passed since the old glory days of our youth and the late 1970's. The DISCO era was 35 years ago-plus. IP-57 ran from 1977 to 1985, and that was decades ago ! Many of us, sadly, perished in the AIDS crisis that started in the late 1980's and took its devastating toll primarily in the early to mid 1990's. There are still many survivors, most of us approaching the big 60 ! Way older than our parents were back in the day ! We are a diverse group today, spread all over the country and involved in our daily lives as senior citizens. That's right...AARP designates you a senior citizen at 50. Many other organizations at 55 and Social Security at 60 for retirement age, but still too young to collect. That is 62. This is a fact of life most of us do not want to confront...we're old ! However, those of us that are still "with-it" and like to party now and then still want to dance, socialize and reminisce. If we cannot have an official IP-57 reunion, we need to get as many of us together that are interested and say, go out to dinner, cocktails and just be together ! Contact Chris Ruocco at: CRR59@AOL.COM and show an interest. Let's do this around GAY PRIDE 2014 in late June, long after all this crazy snow is only a memory, baby !

Chris R |

Just wanted to update everyone.The latest head count interested in going to the reunion is 5.There are 2 weeks left to reply which is Feb 21.After that someone else will have to pick up the ball if they still want this to happen.

Louie Salso |

It's me....Louie Salso from the Bronx ! I am trying to reach several old "gang" members from IP-57 ,and am looking for a Connie from Staten Island to help organize this IP-57 reunion. She was a great dancer, had such a wonderful personality and went to ICE PALACE almost every Sunday around 1979-82 for their tea dances. She also was a regular at STYX and SAL'S DISCO in Brooklyn Heights back in the day ! We went out in groups often back then and had wonderful times ! She would be a great asset in helping remember peoples names, the music, photos, and the history of IP-57 in those fabulous disco days ! If she reads this blog, please tell her to get in touch with Chris R. from this site at: (646) 244-6153. He is trying to organize this event and is the one to contact with input, suggestions, etc. We want to hear from her and as many of our old friends as we can find !Hey, for all I know she is married with three grown kids and living in Florida retired now....who knows ?Let's get this thing rolling in 2014, baby !

Chris R |

If anyone needs to contact me for any reason concerning the reunion,please email me directly at CRR59@AOL.COM You may also text me at 646-244-6153.I actually would like to get an idea of how many people are seriously interested in going to the reunion.Please email me and let me know asap,so I can put a list together by no later FEB 21..The sooner the better.If we want this to happen in the early spring,we need to start now!! If I don't hear from at least 7-8 people by FEB 21,I'll consider a closed subject,and will forget about the whole idea.

wen |

As far as IP57 footage, perhaps the GCN (gay cable network) archive might have something. I don't know if GCN still exists or if they turned their archives over to The Center.

Chris R |

To my fellow IP 57 fans..I have a woman who could DJ,her name is Sherdina Straughn.I met her randomly while shopping in Marshall's in the city on 18th st and 6th.She is from "our era"as far as music is concerned.She told me it would cost around $300-$350 for a 3 hour set.I have to meet with her in about a week to hear her mixes at her place,just to make sure it's the kind of music and mixing I feel would be up to par for a IP 57 reunion.The place I have in mind for the space would be the LGBT Center on 13th street in the village.Perhaps we could all split the cost of the room rental and DJ.The center needs advance notice for this due to the fact there are few rooms available due to renovations going on.I'm thinking maybe in the spring,like maybe March or April.If a reservation request is put in now,that's about when it might be available realistically.If anyone has another location in mind,let me know.All who are interested,please let me hear your comments,suggestions or feedback.Thanks.Chris R

Tommy Lopez |

Does anyone out there actually have live video footage from inside IP-57 back in the day ? Video Camcorders were brand new 1n 1980....but existed ! They were big, bulky and super expensive new technology. However, in the days ICE PALACE-57 ran, from 1977 to 1984, surely someone took live video images inside the club and of the dance floor and all the action under the "Disco-Heat" back in the day. These videos exist of STUDIO-54 from the same years....why not IP-57 ? This would be some treasure trove and surely exists on some old and dusty VCR tape in a box in some attic somewhere. I am sure of it ! Get the word out....we are looking for this type of nostalgic coverage to post on YOUTUBE and use in our IP-57 reunion in 2014, if this concept ever flies !


I am up from Inverness, Florida and past our "Old Haunt" last night at 57 W. 57-th St. where IP-57 once was. The doors are still there, however, it is a corridor of brownish marble now that leads to an elevator bank. It is probably an office building. No more stairs leading down to the immortalized disco. However, if you move a few steps West and look in the Capital-One bank window, there is a clear glass service elevator and you can see down to the basement level. This is probably the vault-area and where the club was downstairs. It has all changed and is so different ! However, what is not after 37 years ?

Cindy Eckster |

Wen-a few of us are working diligently to try and pull this off in 2014. An "ICE PALACE-57" reunion at The Stonewall Inn is a real possibility. Some other smaller-sized in clubs in the village were possibilities, like PIECES. However, they do not seem interested in hosting such an event. See if you can also contact them directly via e-mail, and get in touch with Chris R. at: CRR59@AOL.COM from this site to help assist us all interested in this idea to get it rolling !

wen |

Looks like I'm missing IP/Fire Is night at The Stonewall; why not have a IP57 reunion there?

Paul |

Does anyone have any photos of inside 54?

Carmelo |

Does Francine remember "SAL'S DISCO" in Brooklyn ? It was a small gay disco/club near the promenade at 10 Pineapple Walk, located in a court yard of stores on the corner ? It was a very popular night spot back in the day....from around 1978-1981. I remember Louie, Tommy and Willie ! These were all Puerto Rican bi guys that sure could dance up a storm ! It was packed to capacity on Saturday nights and was the heartthrob and pulse of the gay disco scene in downtown Brooklyn in those glory days !

Paul |

Granted, the Stponewall party is not an ICE P{a lace reunion but they're calling it an Ice Palace Party. Somehow, it caught my attention and brought back a lot of memories. I've downloaded all the music of that moment in time as to never forget the ball I had coming out in the club years in New York. Hate to say it but I laugh at the days when I had a 29" waist and wore 501 jeans were so tight with lots of Tenax in my hair, spent all my money on clothes, clubs and haircuts. knew the words to every song on KTU and BLS., but I would do it all again in a minute!

J.W. |

I thought of the bar "PIECES" at 8 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village to sponsor such an event. Though rather small, I am not sure exactly what kind of turnover this event might garner ? ICE PALACE-57 was hugely popular in its day; (1977-85), and if we advertise and promote it well, it should be a big hit ! We need to contact PIECES and see if they would ponder the idea. It might be cool to hold it in Summer on Sunday, as to recreate the infamous "Tea Dances" held at IP-57 back in the glory days of disco ! Let me know what you think.....let's make this thing finally happen for us !

Chris R |

I would be totally interested in an IP57 reunion.I also realize it takes alot of planning,as in getting a DJ(I have a contact for a female DJ who played during that time period in NYC),finding a space,and getting enough people interested in going to make it worth the planning..I am willing to get involved with this,but would need some input and help.My email is CRR59@AOL.COM

Louie Salso |

To: Konstantina and all the old IP-57 "gang"....Hey, it's me Louie Salso from Brooklyn back in 1978 ! We were all regulars at ICE PALACE-57 back in the day and I remember you clearly. Warm & happy smile, beautiful chestnut brown hair, nice, bubbly personality and a great dancer ! Please .go to this site and join the IP-57 club to help organize a real IP-57 reunion in 2014 at a great Manhattan venue. We need your input and suggestions to revive those good old disco days from the late 70's and early 80's that we just can't seem to ever forget ! Go to: icepalace57@yahoo.com

Mike Dyno |


Chris Ruocco |

This message is to Fran Loriola.My name is Chris and I met you at the IP probably in 1977.I recognized you in the Carmen Miranda pic.I think a guy I was dating knew you and your friends Lenny and Kevin.Feel free to contact me at CRR59@aol.com so we can talk further.Thanks!

Rodger |

I'm also a West Coast person and I'll be on a cruise until the 20th! Damn. I would have loved to be there, I guess I will in spirit. I hope this happens again soon and we all get advance notice.
Have a great time and Disco all night!!

Chase Connery aka Richie |

DAMN YOU!!!!!! Could you give us a little more notice time for us west coasters????? As one of the last remaining original Bus boys from IP 57 I would love to attend but please let me know when the next one is with a little more notice and I'll be there with bells on and I'll even see if I can still spin a tray!!! at 55 I'd still give it a whirl although I don't know if id still fit into my Ice palace 57 T shirt (still got it ) lol (s*** that thing is TINY)

Rodger |

OHH Konstantina,
How true. "We were all young, carefree, gay and in love with Disco and IP-57. Actually a tear comes to my eyes when I think about that time and how wonderful all of the memories are. I guess (I'm 62 now) as we get older these memories become more and more precious. I feel lucky and blessed that I had these wonderful times. I'd go back again if it were possible.

Konstantina |

This bitter cold weather reminds me of a Sunday night in 1979 when I went to IP-57 with my friends Jamie, Phil and Jim. We traveled there by ferry and subway and it was a bitter cold night. We danced all night and drank like booze-hounds and came home on the Staten Island ferry well after midnight. The huge billboard in St. George said it was a frigid and Arctic 6-degrees. We were all so cold, but the booze kept us a little warm ! We went to an apartment in St. George and all slept on the floor near the radiator ! My toes and fingertips were frostbitten ! We were all so young.....in our early 20's, carefree, gay and in love with DISCO and ICE PALACE-57 !


It seems this idea never gets off the ground ! There are several posts and blogs on the internet from as far back as 2004, showing a real interest in the "concept" and stating "ICE PALACE-57 REUNION IN THE WORKS." However, to the best of my knowledge, and I am still living in New York and never left, this event never took place-ever ! While many of us perished in the AIDS crisis during the 1990's, there are still enough of us "old-timers" that survived. Not to mention all the women that would partake. Sadly, nothing concrete ever develops to get this thing on the road.......We must get a blog going for people to comment and really put something together in a space in Manhattan...perhaps it will happen in 2014. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL !

Rodger |

OH an Ice Palace 57 Reunion! That would be totally wild. I live in LA, but if possible I'd go if this ever really happens! I left NYC at the beginning of 1979, but have fond memories of IP 57, the era and the vibe! Only if I could go back one more time!!! :)

Maddy |

Absolutely love the latest photo up-loaded to site of the front door of IP-57 and guys passing by and "cruising !" Does anyone know the exact year ? It looks like circa 1979 to me. Why has no one ever put together a real "reunion" of IP-57 that really comes together ? Would love to be part of it...and help organize it !

wen |

Wonda- Cindy was 17 in '79. Personally, I try to stay away from citing last names unless they worked @IP57. So if anyone happens to recall my last name, please do not type it here; thank you! Actually, my times @IP57 were from '77-'79, as in late '79, i got involved with someone in the village and she only wanted to go to downtown clubs.

Vinnie |

WOW, BABY.....KOOL ! I sure do remember ICE PALACE-57 back in the day ! I would go there from Staten Island on Sunday afternoon's for their infamous Tea Dance with my then "friend" Anthony the...Sooooooo's ! We were kinda lovers, but back then in our 20's and so closeted, we did not label ourselves GAY....yet we were together all the time ! Today, I am married to my husband Bozzy and we live both in N.Y. and Florida. IP-57 was the gay STUDIO-54 and we loved it ! Back then, it was as if being gay meant you belonged to a "private" and "secret" club...covering up every move and never admitting it ! Today, these young kids are totally OUT and proud of their gay identity. It's WONDERFUL ! I am 55 now and will always remember and cherish those memories of dancing, disco, our youth and all my gay friends that were in the closet,too-some still are ! ...PITY !lov


WEN-I think I remember you from IP-57 and the lounge area. Was Cindy Ekster a short and cute little blonde haired girl that hung out with her friend Nicole and a guy named Maddy that wore more make-up than me and you combined ? Oh boy...those were the days ! Cindy may have been 20 in 1978 and I was 21. We would go there by subway on Sunday afternoon almost every weekend in 1978-79 for their fabulous "Tea Dance" and dance for hours to the non-stop disco beat !

Francesca Lorlola |

I have an old photo from 1980 of "Lady Francesca" dressed as Carmen Miranda with the famous fruit-salad hat from Ice Palace-57 that I would like to share ! I was only 21 and went there almost every Sunday afternoon from Union, N.J. with my two best friends Lennie and Kevin. Can you post it to the site for IP-57 in N.Y. under the title: "LADY FRANCESCA AS CARMEN MIRANDA" ? Thanks so much !

Mike Dyno |

I sure do remember so well IP-57 from 1978-79 ! We used to load up the old Cadillac with a bunch of us from Staten Island and drive to the city on Sunday afternoons for their infamous Tea Dance ! Me and my lover Jimmy W., Jay Byrd,and Marko Mollika, Konstantina and Little Sal ! It sure was the place to be for gays back then on weekends and Saturday nights were hot, too ! That non-stop DISCO dance party, the cocktails ,the cruising and just the whole fabulous scene brings back a flood of memories of our youth and that era that can never be replaced-ever, and IP-57 was such an integral part of it !

Chase Connery |

The last 6 pictures of the interior of the ice palace and the article on the lighting design of the Ice Palace 57 were provided by Bobby Gurecki one of the original bartenders from his private collection. Thank's Bobby! Im sure you made a lot of people smile when they were able to gaze upon the rooms that provided so much happiness to so many of us decades ago in a different time!

wen |

what happened w/my last 2 posts? the 2nd one appears with the unfinished 1st post that i thought vanished -oh, well. As I left off, Cindy was underage, Lucy looked like Cindy's twin, but was 18+, Joannie(a stunning italian; married and high as a kite), Vicky was Prez of a gay organization. Alicia; a well dressed white woman in the music biz. Wendy & Vickie were fashion students. Elizabeth from San Antonio, Texas was a tall, beautiful, white woman, and I recall dancing with her to USA-European Connection's. "Come into my Heart" album in '78. Happy Easter & Passover peoples!!!

wen |

most women I met at ip57 was in the women's lounge. the 2 i met on the dance floor was Kali (elegant + greek), and Pearla (a lovely, black woman who hung out with Bob K). Cindy was underage,

Dear host: Thank you for running these disco/club forums for nearly 10 years. Glad it is its own entity and not on FB tracking users. Hope your forums go on for years to come.

Paul |

I haven't stopped dancing yet, since we met at Ice Palace.
I havent stopped loving you yet. That's alll right, that's all right, that's all right.

Chase AKA Richard Connery |

Its Richie! I was a busboy when we first opened . Went on to be a waitier, bartender and lighting guy.Im SOOOOOO glad your still around.Joe Ruffino??? OMG Give him a hello for me. so few of us are. Patrick and Jimmy are living in kentucky and fine. They recently traveled to Ohio and got married! Im still in touch with them. Life changed drastically for me after those days for the better.clean and sober 30 + years . Happy, Healthy, legally married to my husband who I've been with 20 years and semi retired in California.
Who knew we would be part of history? Such amazing times and people. Fond memories and also sad for those we lost. Please touch base with me. chasecc@yahoo.com

Bobby Gurecki |

I was there for previews when we opened--I think it was a Thursday night, Dec. 1977. We had a party
for the Islanders Club and the place was not quite ready. I remember I light boards being on the side of the dance floor by the lobby. I, also, remember when they first put on all the neon lighting it was way too bright so they had to paint all the neon black and then etch a fine line down the middle to get the desired effect. I'm still living in NYC and in the same apartment. I worked the front bar with Carlos, Jimmy Pisano and Joe Ruffino Sunday through Wed. and the back bar on Sat w/Patrick Ameche, Out of that group Joe Ruffino and myself are the only ones left-not sure about Patrick. I can say, as I look back, that my life has been good and that I have been blessed to have known all of you.

Rick |

Julie, Late reply to your 2008 msg regarding Russel Spinelli & his brother Tony. Really great guys, both and loved both dearly. I was part of the "Family" of friends that included Jimmy "Merry", Donald Armenti, etc., etc. I worked at Harry's Back East, Fall 1980-82, Ice Palace FI, Summer 82, Red Parrot Fall 82-Summer 83, Waverly, Waverly with Jim Bozart, Johnny Pool & Johnny Savoy until Fall 1984. Thanks to Carlos' inspiration, played the Afuce/Cabassa quite well, Still do if the occasion should arise. I Moved to South Fl during openning of Club 21 in Hallandale (just between Ft. Laud & Miame) and stayed there till winter 1986. I Worked briefly with Russell at Club Shadow in Ft. Lauderdale around 1985-1986. He lived in S. Florida with his wife young daughter. Lost contact when I moved back up to NY late 1986. Russell was doing well at that time. Hadn't seen or heard about Tony prior to leaving NY. Club Shadow was the last club I worked at in a bartending capacity. All were and still are thought of with extremely fond memories. As many have said; That era is over but will never, ever be forgotten. My blood pressure still rises when I hear some of the old songs and would love to have some of the old mixes. Yo, Willie, Lightman....I used to work up in Yonkers with Bernie @ the Playroom. Met you all through him and came to love all at IP FI, 57, & Red Parrot. I still live in Westchester-Hartsdale actually. Not far from the Bronx!!

Tom Carlo |

No doubt about it, Ice Palace 57 was the best place and my favorite place to dance the whole night away. What a wonderful time full of great memories.What I would give to go back in time and be there again !


WOW-KINKY ! I so do remember clearly IP and all the fun and crazy times of the late 70's to mid 80's. I went there with Lady Lana,a pre-op transexual from Hoboken almost every Sunday afternoon for their infamous Tea-Dance.We would dance like kraz-eee and party like it was 1999 ! Sadly, Lana is long gone,but I am 56 and still going strong !!!

wen |

Carefree indeed. 77-79 was really when i went to IP57 the most, and in the 80s; very infrequent. I lost so many friends to HIV/ARC. Loved the late 70s, dancing at Sunday-T@ IP w/my brother, then when we got hungry, walked to The Magic Pan for crepes, then went back to IP.

Richard B. |

OMG - The Ice Palace! I adored that place. It was an important part of coming out for this good little Catholic Archbishop Molloy HS grad. First went when it was new, & continued until about 1982. God, the music, the guys, the booze, the drugs - it was heaven to be young & gay & dancing at the Ice Palace in that pre-AIDS time. I had no money and lived in a miniscule place on W. 80th which look out on an airshaft, but I did not miss a Sunday tea dance - they were the best in the city. Now I'm in my 50's with a successful career and a lovely place overlooking San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge...in other words, the life I badly wanted but thought I'd never have back when I was so young. It's ironic: I got it all, but boy, I miss those Ice Palace days.


Fran-HI,It's Petuna from Hoboken.I just found my old IP-VIP card from IP-57 in an old box.It brings back a flood of old DISCO memories!I am the Cuban gal that always stood at the foot of the stairs to check-out everyone coming in for Tea Dance on Sunday early evenings.I had jet black short hair and big brown doe eyes with the Disco glitter of the day!I,too remember folks,both men and women would "DO-IT" on the dance floor.Usually in the corner near the back bar amidst the wild crowds dancing like kraz-eee,and once while dancing,I tripped on a jumbo dildo thrown on the floor after the "dancers" finished using it while hi as kites on ludes,pot,booze and youth !Tell me your stories,too !

Fran Lorlola |

This is Fran,previously from Union,(N.J.) I remember IP so well and went there religiously with my best friends Lennie and Kevin.We were a group back then and hung out with Fredweena of Brooklyn, and Danny (my ex-husband).Sadly,most are long gone now. I remember Konstantina,too. She was a DISCO nut-job and loved to dance! Remember STYX ?We all hung out there on weekend nights. However,IP was the ultimate in the late 70's through 1983 when it closed. Those were the days !Hit me with your experiences there, too!

Dorothy |

Does anyone out there remember CLUB BRAZIL ?It was on Staten Island near the bridge in South Beach at 86 Mills Rd.Back in the day,it was the Mecca of gay life for islanders,and quite a few Brooklyn boys would show up,too.I was a regular and remember Konstantina vividly and her boyfriend Phil.I went almost every weekend with my best pal Jean,and we would go there either before or on the way to the city to IP-57,Rhythms in Brooklyn or Flavors in Queens.Oh those were the good old disco days!Clubs today just can't compare.The internet has ruined so much,not to mention the AIDS epidemic that decimated the gay community from the late 80's through the 90's.Let me know...

Konstantina |

WEN-I went there religiously in 80 and 81.I was young then,only 23 and hung out in the lounge at the foot of the stairs by the mirrors,in the back by the dance floor.Everywhere-I was a real bar fly back then! I am short (heavy set)-still am.With BIG hair,(auburn)loads of make-up and verybubbly.Half Irish,Half Italian and bi-sexual.I loved going in the pitch-black "Grope" room in Sal's on Pineapple St.in Brooklyn on the way home from the city at IP-57 to get laid! I was sex-obsessed back then.Have calmed down tremendously now at 55.But still have desires,baby !

wen |

Konstantina, you just reminded me of how I used to glue metallic, colored paper stars in my hair (blue, red, green, gold and silver) when I went out dancing. I'm trying to recall you/your outfit, but I cannot. I went to the tea dance mostly 77-79; occasionally in 80/81. Perhaps you arrived after I left as I would not be there all eve.

Konstantina |

I was such a part of IP-57 back then in the disco era.I would get all dolled up and put make-up and sparkles on my face like a disco-clown and go there Sunday for tea-dance.I would pack a pint of scotch in my purse and ask for free ice from the bar all night long and mix my own drinks in the toilet.I would dance for hours and pull my bloomas and bra off because I was sweating and so hot!Afterwards,I could never find them and went home with no undergarments.It was so much fun !!!

Bob |

It's funny how things appear in retrospect...who we were, the lives we lived and what we did to amuse ourselves. Would you go back there for one day? I guess we were lucky to be there then and here now to remember those magical times.

Lonny Cape' |

Hello George no it was Tony Vasquez that i was talking about as far i can remember he was the only Tony i knew in those days he was also my best friend...sorry i wish i could help more.
however if you need to get in touch with me just e-mail me at lonny.cape@yahoo.com
talk soon my friends i only wish there was more of us boys that worked the Ice Palace,Crisco Disco,B


Ice Palace, wow. I would go every week, I was 17. It was the peak, so sorry those days are gone. Now I'm 54!

george hughes |

I was at the ice palace every Thursday friday and saturday. Lonnie, did u know tony maganna? If so, I was the person calling u for child support.

osuardo hernandez |

Hey Richie/ Chase
I misplaced your number, we MUST TALK, call me asap plzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
or anyone hows to talk about the good old days

IcePalace57LightMan |

I also tryed to post that Pic of the Doors, but it was blocked, it's a kool Pic you can see in the top left corner what you get for $10.00 LOL

IcePalace57LightMan |

hey, when you are ready to come to New York, I have an extra room for you & your Hubby, Richie

IcePalace57LightMan |

Hi, All
I too sent you my # Richie

Lonny Cape' |

Hey Richie i can't believed that we have all found each other after all this years.....
hey i just send you e-mail with my # on it use it please i love to talk to you.....
yes the stories we could tell and half the people do not believed that they are true....
anyone else form the Ice Palace,Crisco days i love to hear from you as well.....

Richie (Chase) |

Im always so thrilled when another of us staff boys is found. GAWD we could tell some stories about the VIP room at Crisco's too huh? LOL . People wouldnt believe half the stuff that happened! Hope your life has been happy and joyful and you've found love in all the right places.Write me if ya want chasecc@yahoo.com Hugs!

Danny |

Loved it when Rollerrenia came to the IP and skated around that was a hoot!

Lonny Cape' |

Hello everyone my name is Lonny and i worked at The Ice Palace as a waiter and bust boy for a few month before i went to work at Crisco's as the VIP host...their is much of those days that i loved...i remember i would meet Tony from Crisco's there on my night off have a drink there get in a cab going to 54 and after to Crisco's where Hank was already there having his on party that's how i ended up at Crisco's....
Boy they were the day's the night never ended and at times i had to go in on Sunday's for tea dance hung over but that did not make a diff to me i was just 19 at the time and i also was working the night that Devine was there to perform her hit "I Like Them Big And Stupid" and i said to myself WOW! that's really her i was told to make sure she got what ever she wanted and she also so nice she was not grand or anything like that....well its been great to share after all this year's.........
their will never be another Ice Palace,Crisco's,Barefoot Boy or a Studio 54 but we all have some good memories......
from Miami
Lonny Cape'

wen |

You're doing a film or musical? I have to get to the leslie lohman gallery for the photo exhib of the piers, which also transpired the same time as IP (at least my knowledge of them happened during my IP days).


Chase Connery |

LOL workin on it..... who told you ?

wen |

Regarding the grey, industrial, carpeted platforms that surrounded the dance floor, anyone recall a guy named Raphael who danced shirtless and gave out a Tarzan-like yell periodically while he danced? I think he was Italian or Hispanic, always tan looking with dark hair and dark eyes.

My friends and I initially heard the Village People albums there years before they became mainstream.

Old, gay NYC is dwindling away, with the closing of Oscar Wilde's Bookshop, and other stores, clubs. So who's the filmmaker or writer who will take on IP57 as a broadway musical or indy film?


Oh yes...those were the good old disco days,bank in the late 70's and ....early 80's.I remember getting all dolled up and putting a bottle of cheap booze in my purse to mix drinks myself in the om therestroom with free ice from the bar !

chase |

Life has been wonderful to me! Happily married to my husband (legally 4 years ago) who Ive been with for 17 years and loving semi retirement in California. Hope life has also been good for all of you.

Linda |

Chase- I can just see you coming over to us... I remember your adorable face.... blond or silver- thanks for all the great fun- You were an important part of our experience at IP... and I sure wish we could take a time machine back just one more time... hope life has been good to you and that all is well.... Linda (one of your best fans)

Chase Connery |

Hey Linda
Um......the blonde hair is now silver BUT I still have a full head of hair

Linda |

My friends and I stood on line every Sunday along 57th st waiting for the Ice Palace to open for tea dance. Out of towners would pass us by and look at us, wondering where we were going. It was just the greatest place in the city. As you walked down the steps, the music got louder, the light became darker and you knew the party was about to begin. The ladies room was the place to hang out- the "front" was chairs and mirrors and lots of ladies (male and female)... I loved to stand on the cubes and look out on the dance floor. i remember Sylvester singing there one night. And our favorite cute waiter, Richie, with the blond hair, always greeting us- I remember talking with him about Evita, which had just opened. What a sweet guy... I wish I could go back in time, just for one more tea.....

IcePalace57LightMan |

Love You, Richie

Tony Luis |

I miss this place. I was married to Alina and we would go there and we met all of these insane people from West NY, NJ who were shoplifters and drug addicts. Juan Iglesias and Isabel and Martin and I don't even know who. FUN times.

Chase Connery |

TOO FUNNY!!!! do you know I still have one of my t shirts (tiny little thing ) and a book of matches! i look at them every once in a while and think how lucky we all were to be in NYC without a care in the world and we just couldnt wait till the sun went down and the dancing began. I think in many ways that times are more "restrictive " these days for our youth in our community. I look in the mirror some times at this silver haired man with wrinkles around my eyes and think " how the hell did that happen? I was just 18 yesterday and working at the Ice Palace!
God we all had fun. I do mourn for those days in a way. Maybe the freedom of it all before we had major careers or morgages or major responsibilitys.Im at a point in my life now semi retired where my husband and I are looking at retirement property LOL Who would of thought!
We are the lucky ones, the survivors and its our duty to share the stories and whether we like it or not realize that we are now our communities history . Its our job to "school the children" and let them know of the days before that awful plague took so many of our friends and lovers and the days of hope, good music and just dancing the night away.
When ever I have the chance I talk to our youth, I share the stories, the history of it all.What itwas like to be at the gay pride parades in the early days , NYC Gay life in the 70s and 80s. you'd be surprised how many of them know nothing about our history,Jimmy Merry and the development of Fire Island.I tell them all and Ianswer their questions. So many of them know nothing of these things and its our duty to " pass it on"
SO! Keep the stories coming. I so wish any other of the original staff that is left would chime in. Willie, I love that your here to talk and to share. we need more! Keep em coming kids!

IcePalace57LightMan |


Bob |

Yea, it is kinda funny now :-).....and,of course I went right back downstairs and started dancing.

IcePalace57LightMan |

CAN'T SAY THAT ANY LONGER: "gimme some of what he's got". ROFLMAO

Bob |

Great to read all of the memories guys. IP was historic. I too, feel sorry in a way for the younger guys today. They really haven't a clue what the club life back then was like. I was 20 when I first went to IP. We used to take the subway in from queens and walk up to 57th st. for Sunday tea dance. The music, the dancing, it was unbelievable. I actually passed out one night inside due to an overindulgence of something and the next thing I remember was coming to outside with some guy saying"gimme some of what he's got". Glad I experienced it and grateful I survived it too.

Henry |

HI Everyone:It is so nice to hear about the Ice Palace oh my God, it was the best time in my life. It was innocent, friendly and carefree. I came out in the Ice-palace when I was 19 years old and I am turning 50 next month, it is unbelieveable how time has pass.But even though time has pass people don't forget the early years, if only those walls could talk. I was a bad boy back than. It was an era of Quaaludes, boy did I get into trouble, but good trouble. I had fun, lets put it this way. Yes I remember the lights and the music and the beautiful bartenders, GOD they were beautiful. I do remember Bobby who used a headband and no shirt. I also remember Paul and his twin brother at the coat check. Oh I wish those days would come back. If only we can turn back time?.

Paul |

Lucky me to have been 20 during the 54, IP,Xenon days. Young guys today will never know how much fun we had.

IcePalace57LightMan |

Kavin Cahill has past on sorry to say, like most of my Co-workers, but thanks for asking

TWAtony |

I am trying to remember when the IP closed. Had lots of good memories there. Does anyone remember the cute blonde bartender Kevin. He was a real sweetie and really gorgeous as well.

Chase Connery |

Katie Bull and her girfriend Sharon ran the coat consession for years. To alot of people she came of as kinda rough and threatening(they didnt call her the bull for nothing) You didnt mess with Katie! but to those of us that worked there and got to know her she was a sweetheart. Very caring of her co workers and a wealth of knowledge about the early days of the LGBT History.
I remember clearly the stories she would tell us of the late 50s and early 60s of bar raids, arrests and the absolute horror our community was faced with. She used to tell us how lucky we were to be young and to enjoy the rights we had at that time. this was in the late 70s.I was 18 at the time. I can only imagine how happy she would be with the current marraige rights we are slowly getting state by state. She holds a dear place in my heart.

Bill Woodier |

Studio 54 used to be closed on Monday night and the Ice Palace was always PACKED as a result. Nobody mentioned the woman who ran the coat check, Katie Bull. She was the unofficial security there.

Antony |

I LOVE that I happened to stumble upon this site while browsing the internet. Reading your stories has made me sooo happy this afternoon!!

I was born in 1983 - much to my disapointment! I have ALWAYS loved hearing stories about the 70's disco area in gay culture. I just know I BELONGED in that time, instead of now. I'm a good looking gay guy and occasionally do head out to the gay clubs, but there's something missing now! I'm not sure how I can put my finger on it as I wasn't even alive back in the day, but I just know its not the same. Your stories confirm this. The magic is gone now.

I just wanted to thank you all for posting - its much more interesting hearing stories first hand! If anyone would like to get in touch just to go over some of their memories for me, that would be awesome! I'd looove to see some pictures from back in those times! Believe-you-me - I would have kept up with the best of you and danced until the early morning!!

Your envious friend - Antony

Danny |

Sorry to say there will never be another IP57 ever again. Those days were sweet, innocent,c arefree and just a good time was to be had by everybody. Nothing ever compared to the Ice Palace not Studio 54, Xenon...

Tea dance was always the best with the best music, lights, the crowd was so friendly and everybody knew each other if not by name then by your face. Unfortunately a lot of those guys had left us with the AIDS epidemic that had began during the last years of IP. Everyone went to have a good time and we had not only a good time, but a GREAT time.

Forever in my memory. ICE PALACE 57.

IcePalace57LightMan |

^5-Everybody- Willie here
I was the Light Man at IP57, I am not much of a blogger, so Ill get right to the point,
I MISS "THE D.J. BOOTH" and my "LIGHTS" the neon pole and all, lol, I have not been to a nite club in years outside of one (Saint at large party) at Roseland, Anyway;
I will be 53yo old the 16 of December. I would love no more then to go out dancing to a club and chat with people that went to the Ice Palace OMG tears are running down my face right now, I would KILL to live another night from 10pm to 5am dancing and running lights like I use to when I was young happy and carefree, WOW I can't go on, I have to stop..................
Sorry Ill have to try this another year I can't even talk right now, my heart bleeds for one of those nights again, sorry.

Rodger |

Yes Bob, I too remember those sofas AND the pedestals where we used to dance and hope not to fall off of! haha. I used to go with my BF at the time. Those wonderful carefree days are over and IP57 is no more, however somehow he and I made it thru and are still together now living in Los Angeles.

Yes we may no longer young and beautiful, but those and other memories will live with me forever and ever. I cannot even begin to describe those days to the young people of today. I was 25 when I moved to NYC from Honolulu. I had only planned on visiting NYC. Well I came out about 2 weeks after arriving at La Guardia on 7-7-77. Coincidence? Perhaps not. Soon after we had that blackout a week or so later. If I could go back in a time machine, I just might! Disco will live forever and we may be around to see, at least the music, come back around again.

Bob Schuhlein |

I was really happy when I stumbled upon this page! I used to LOVE the Ice Palace. The dj's were the best, the bartenders were hot and friendly and really knew how to make a drink! The atmosphere in the late 70's and early 80'w was so carefree and happy. You knew the minute you descended those stairs a great time was in store. Met many nice people there and had alot of good times on the sofas! The music is the music I still enjoy hearing, it brings me back to such an innocent time full of laughter and fun. We were all gorgeous back then! (What the hell happened?). Too bad this will never, ever be duplicated again in our lifetimes. Everything now has changed, and not for the better. Well at least we have our great memories at IP 57 to look back upon. I now live in Florida in Ft. Lauderdale and NOTHING can hold a candle to Ice Palace 57 or any of the great clubs of that time!

wen |

IP tea dances; loved them! i was there every sunday. if anyone remembers an unfashionable, white gal with a bowl-style haircut (who looked about 12) that was me. i went there a lot with my friend, billy. occasionally, a section of the dance floor would clear when billy and i danced, as we would do that travolta thing with the jumps and the bendy-knees. (billy is not with us anymore). we'd stop at the local magic pan for crepes and/or their mandarin orange & almond salad, then go to IP for T. it was the best, although when guys began using poppers on the dance floor in '79, it stunk up the floor and made the air quality there unpleasant- for not just me. i recall going there from 1977 thru 1982, though less frequent in 80s. groups of women would pack the women's lounge. when billy stepped into the woman's lounge he was jealous that the men's room was not as decorative. does anyone know if don vettor is still alive? i also liked the gay restaurants back in those days too. anyone ever dine at uncle charlie's restaurant on 36th st/3rd ave? great burgers and wonderful peach melba for dessert. i like to cite more names of people i met at IP, but am afraid violating other's privacy.

LARodger |

You are right most if them now have no idea. However there is a club in Studio City, CA that has retro disco on Saturdays. Where in CA are you?
In "the day", I just liked to go out and enjoy the fabulous music that had meaningful lyrics and rhythm, you just could not stay off the dance floor and dance, dance.
I never thought of it as exercise, like I do now! haha...Oh back when we were all young, it went so fast.... It sad that we lost so many wonderful guys...

Chase Connery |

There's very few of us left unfortunatly. Like everyone else from that time our staff was not immune to what happened to thegeneral public. I've looked as much as I can and have only bee able to find about 5 of the original 33 in staff. I know of personelly over 20 who died early on but the others either moved, or have yet to be found. I was in touch with Joe untill probably the late 80 when he worked at the Stonewall and lost touch with him after that. A real sweetheart I try to see If I can find him and others everytime Im in NYC. these days I live in California but mywork takes me to NYC 3 to 4 times a year so Ill just keep looking.
It was a magical time had by all! TOTALLY different than the bars ro clubs of today.these kids just stand around and pose and know nothing of dancing the night away!

LARodger |

Unfortunately I left NYC in December of 1978 and moved to Los Angeles. I went to IP57 in the day, but never really knew any of the people who worked there.

Danny |

Do you or anyone know anything about Joe these days?Hope he is well.

Chase Connery |

EVERYBODY Loved Joe the waiter! He is /was Joe Ruffino one ofthe kindest sweetest men I've ever met

LARodger |

Yes Danny, those were the days and it is still fresh in my memory. I came out at the best time ever, although it was not planned, it was just time I suppose. I remember waiting patiently each week for the weekend. I had never really "lived" nor had a social life until I moved to NYC. The younger generation will never know what it was like to dance all night and still want more.

Danny |

What a memory of those days,Icepalace,Crisco Disco,Barefoot Boys,c*** Ring,Flavors,Bread Stix,Flavors,Friends,12 West,Rythems,Uncle Charlies,Danny's of Brooklyn hts,The Anvil,The Monster,Magic touch,Spectrums,Limelight,A few I forgot the name for the moment but those were the Best days,the youth of today don't know what they missed but we must remind them of those good ole days.

Danny |

i had the nerve (balls) in my youth to one time check my clothes at the coat check and danced in a jock strap boots and a vest all night on a sundat tea dance,made plenty of friends.

Danny |

I loved joe the waiter

paulfromNYC |

What a great time to be coming out in New York! There was Studio, The Roxie,Ice Palace, Area andand Xenon. Blomingdales was Bloomingdales. Shoulder pads were everywhere. The music was so great. It was a great time in my life.

David |

What fond memories I had of the IP. My friends and I would go to the Fountain at Central Park before going to the IP Sunday Tea Dance. I was one of the guys who danced hustle in the back of the club. How packed it used to get. And it wasn't a big club! There were many friends I had from the IP that are no longer with us. It definitely was a time when you could be carefee. It seems like another lifetime, but they were fond memories that I'll never forget. Those were the days!

Carlos from Bronx High School of Science, if you ever read this, you're a hard person to locate since you have a very common name. Hope you're still with us. Please contact me.

Michael |

I was visiting from out of town and found The Ice Palace in the summer of 1981 a few months before I moved to SF, CA. I was there one night when Candi Staton appeared live - who would have known she'd be singing gospel years later? My main memory however was dancing to great music and meeting a guy named David who was studying theater in NYC. He was a beautiful blonde and we had a great time at a friend's apartment in Columbus Circle into the early morning hours. How I wish I knew his fate...but The Ice Palace, the memories of Candi signing, the music of a great DJ, and David will last forever.

LARodger |

Hi Chase,
Thank you for sharing! You put it so well. We were all young, beautiful and all we wanted to do was to dance and to love each other!! I have such fond and vivid memories of those days. I actually came out in NYC the 2nd week after I arrived for what was suppose to be a 2 week visit in 1977. I landed at La Guardia on 7-7-77. I wound up living there for almost 2 years. It was all meant to be, that's for sure. In April, 1978 I was fortunate enough to meet the man of my dreams. We moved to LA and began out lives together. We have been together ever since. I miss those wonderful days and still love disco music, it was and still is the best!

Chase |

OMG WILLIE AKA Icepalace57Lightman!! so good to see another face from back in the day!Your work back then was ASTONISHING and what a magical time we all had.I was one of the original bus boys back then known as Richie( I think I was the youngest) employee.I can honestly say that none of us realized at the time that we were part of the magic that was NYC at the time.What life lessons Jimmy Murrey taught all of us.That man taught me more about being a business man than any other person in my whole life.Im in New york 3 to 4 times a year these days on business and I always think of Jimmy and the days of the Ice Palace and all my friends who are no longer with us.I felt the need several years ago to put pen to paper and to write about those times as everything I had read so far made it all seem so tacky.NONE of it was tacky. In fact it was magic. We were young,we were beautiful and all we wanted to do was dance and love each other.we had a blast.Thanks to everyone for all the memories. this has been great to read.

wen |

the bouncer, don vettor, loved my artwork, i gave him a laminated copy of an art deco painting i did while in art college, and he raved about it for years! i hope he is still alive and doing well. so many great guys from 'our generation' were taken by aids/hiv.

IcePalace57LightMan |

Yes, Rodger I do stll live in New York (Bronx) where was the biggest place you use to go 2, "ath" what is that, lol You can call me Willie everyone at IP57 & at Ice Palace fier Island did, lol

LARodger |

For me I had only come out a matter of months before and this place was fabulous! I remember so many of the other NYC clubs/bars I used to go to ath that time. It was the biggest place I used to go to. By the way 57Lightman, do you still live in NYC? I moved back to LA in 1979.

IcePalace57LightMan |

LOL, funny it could of well been, "DON" LOL,
he use to say only 30% can come in per nite LOL,
jimmy (owner) use to get real MAD at Don when he use to say 30% LOL, Jimmy alway said this place is for everyone, but more so for my GAY FAMILY

LARodger |

He must be the doorman I remember who was hasseling a str8 couple( I think it was something about her open toes shoes maybe) when my BF and I arrived haha. He only said something like "You can go right in"! It was at one of those Sunday tea dances. How I miss those times and the music of that time.

IcePalace57LightMan |

There was only 1 gay doorman "Don Vetor"

LARodger |

I wonder if that was the doorman I remember from 1978? :)

richard |

i use to sleep with the doorman

wen |

wasn't there once an 'ice palace 57' social meet up group? i remember joining one in 2002 or so, but it never happened (as far as i know). even if it is just a dozen of us who can meet here in nyc, we should arrange to do so.

IcePalace57LightMan |

Gram Smith & Chris Harmes
of Gram Smith Associates were the only two designers of the Ice Palace, I know this cuz I worked for them and was the lightman at IP57

Jeff C |

This is to Patrick...Litelab's president was Paul Gregory...I tho am one of the designers with Litelab that did the Ice Palace. Jeff C.

Rodger |

I too remember those Sunday afternoon Tea Dances. I went with my then, new BF, next month will be out 32nd anniversary!! I know, can you believe it? I remember the first time we went and upon arriving at the entrance, we saw the doorman hassle a str8 couple, he took one look at us and said "please go in"! I knew we were home!! haha. I loved my coming out and my gay days in NYC, back in "the day"! Wish it had gone on forever....

bob |

i will never forget tea dance on sunday afternoon. thank you all.



Mona |

I sure do remember ICE PALACE-57 in Manhattan back in the DISCO DAYS of the late 70's.I went there almosy every Sunday afternoon in the Summertime for Tea Dances.I also remember well CLUB BRAZIL,it was located at 86 Mills Ave.in South Beach (Staten Island)and was the only gay bar on the island.Everyone always wound up there,before or after coming from the city or Brooklyn.Those days were fabulous!

Violet |

I was a 20 year old (straight female) college student doing an internship for fashion design in NYC the spring of 1981. One of our (gay, we suspected guy) friends came to visit for a week and promised to take us girls to a super hot disco. We'd been to the "Peppermint" and a few others often walking for miles 'cause we were afraid of the subway at night and couldn't afford a cab.

Our friend's name was Dino and he had quite the rep as a party boy with all the best party "favors". He told us to meet him and his friend there.
We found the door and proceeded down the stairs to a reception stand. We couldn't see inside at the point and paid our $5.00 cover charge. $5.00 was huge for us, but we got two free drinks!

As soon as we went inside, we knew it was a gay bar. We sheltered young ladies were shocked at men openly kissing and making out on the sofas around the room, but determined to get the free drinks we had paid for.

It was my first exposure to the gay culture. Even though we knew Dino liked guys, I'd never seen two guys together. Funny, now, how I celebrate same sex weddings and welcome love in any combination of humans.

I always wondered how long the Ice Palace was open. I often also wonder if Dino is still with us. He led a fast life and any number of things could have taken him, but in my mind he will always be the young and fun life of the party.

If anyone knows a "Dino" that went to school in Wisconsin in the early 80's let me know. I'm not even sure if that was his real name.

Joe M |

I was a regular at Ice Palace 57. I remember the Sunday T's, which were absolutely FANTASTIC (an understatement). I remember meeting Ethel Mermon there, when she signed copies of her disco 12 inch. I remember the music......oh my God the music.....Frankie Hulihan was the best DJ the world has ever seen. One mix I remember he did, was with the song "Push Push In The Bush"...he took a verse and multiplied it with the three turntables, and made itsound like Eagles screaming...GOD HE WAS FANTASTIC. (Anybody have chills going down your spine yet??) Anyway, when I learned that he passed away, I was very, very saddened, indeed. Rest in peace, Frankie and thank you for putting so much joy in peoples lives.

Patrick |

For as much as I loved the music and thought the sound was great. I am guilty of overlooking the lighting guy myself. But, being a dj I know the importance of this relationship. I was in awe of the lights in the Ice Palace. It really didnt matter if I was using drugs. I could'nt believe how many lights were crammed up in that low ceiling. The walls of tinted mirrors were a mind-trip. The black-outs. and strobes, and the neon, (which unfortunately you dont see in clubs anymore)the constant moving of the slow scanners in the walkways and against the walls. There was mood lighting for slow/r&b disco like...You'll never know- by High Gloss or Night Room- by The McCrary's
or crazy high energy ala Native Love by Divine.

Even if the club was slow the lights looked amazing!

I know the design was by Lite-lab and I used to have a catalog from them with a great photo of the Ice Palace 57 showing the stainless steel risers with the led lights outlining the seating. There was really not a bad spot to be in the entire club. It looked amazing from anywhere you were dancing or lounging. It was very well thought out and executed. There is nothing like it anywhere today.
I only wish that some of us had pictures we could post. How about you lightman did you get any photos of our fabulous work. If I use the Ice Palace as a comparison to any clubs that followed I have only set up myself for dissapointment. I think the Ice Palace should be re created in a virtual reality world. Imagine... a $6.00 cover with two complimentary cocktails to one of the chicest gay clubs of all time.

The craft of the light persons at the Ice Palace 57 were amazing. It was an integral part of why we loved it so much, Your work was incredible. I actually remember what the lights were doing on certain songs. I didnt know what happened the night I fist heard Diana Ross " I'm coming out" . The entire club went dark and everytime the drum roll came up on the intro the strobes would flash from all around you on the floor. I just still cant believe there were strobes at your feet.
It was the best!

By the way, The owner of the original Lite Lab has a design company in NY I believe, I can't remember his name.


IcePalace57LightMan |

It's wonderful to see so many people remembering the Ice Palace and the stories of their friends and the new friends they met, how fabulous Frank Hullihan was. But, let me stop you guys there and take you to the beginning.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>THE ICE PALACE 57 <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
was named after the fab ICE PALACE in Fire Island both by >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>JAMES J MURRAY<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The first DJ to play at the Ice Palace was ROY THODE. The first lightman was WILLIE HERNANDEZ. The second night was ROY THODE and the lightman was JORGE VELADEZ. we 3 were also working at Ice palace in Fier island for many, many years, anyways, LOL From that point on, it was Roy for the first three years before him & jorge started working for the Saint and then sadly Roy passed away. Shortly thereafter George the lightman as well passed on. Trying to fill Roy's shoes came a series of wonderful DJs (the likes of Howard Merritt, Sharon White, Kevin Burke, Tony from Hulas in PA and the list goes on). Then Frank came along from the Limelight on Christophers Street. So this is just to polish peoples memory a little. Frank was not the first DJ but, the last, him and Kevin Daily were the two to close the Ice Palace after a ten year run, may they both rest in peace. What people fail to remember is, that though the music took you on a wonderous journey, everyone overlooks the decor and LIGHTSHOW played a large impact on the atmosphere and the groove to the music. Those lights going on at high density speeds as you shimmered on the dance floor to the pumping base sound of Casablanca's music or Preludes Music and the incredible sounds of Disconet who made some of the most incredible remixes. Then all of a sudden you STOP, you open your eyes, the lights are flashing, the beautiful orange neon collumb in the middle of the dance floor spun you like the tornado in the wizard of Oz. Who gave you all these effects? The LIGHTMAN standing next to those wonderful DJs for ten years, from the first night it open til the last night, That person was me.((B4 going to the Ice Palace maybe you guys may remember me from the bearfoot boys on 39st & 2nd ave, LOL, wait you all are to young LOL))

As for me, Iam still alive and living comfortably in the Bronx. Please feel free to reply, still today I dream of the nights and wish I could lived them all over again.............

Wonda |

Those were the good old disco days.....and ICE PALACE-57 sure was a part of it!

Ariel |

This is Ariel (Glickberg) from Israel.I live and work on Haifa now but used to live in Brooklyn and came across this web-site today and do recognize some of these names and places from way back when. WOW...I remember James Pantytaygis and Fredweena and John Krysaaly,and Frankie and LIZ,too.Sadly,I do believe some of them have passed away.Me and my brother hosted pool parties from the gay crowd from Rhythms and IP-57 back in the 70's-with Donna Summer Disco music blasting and all!It was great to reminisce so about the old days when we were in our 20's and struggling with coming out and partying and all.Thankfully, it is better today.However,here in Israel it is still not as out in the open as the U.S.,Yyou know.

Ralph |

I beg to differ my high school friend because I also went to Studio when it was studio in 1978, 1979, also Xenon's and before all that Infinity's down on bleeker the best club ever.

and yes I am also lucky if I stay up past midnight,
but I still am a weekend warrior, its in my union city blood, I can not help it....lol.....
Ralph H. the architect of sound

Mannyforty |

No I think it's another Manny,but I'm sure we ran into each other.Alina sounds familiar also,not Pedro or Juan.Hey in any case we are definitely survivors.
Those were good days we were young and didn't give a you know what.I just burned a CD of some great music from back in the day.Franky Houlihan would have been proud.I found some rare stuff I really don't hear anymore."For your Love" by Chilly "Revenge"by Revanche."Have a Cigar" by Rosebud,"Sentimentally is you" by Theo Vaness,"Tripin on the Moon" by Cerrone.
That was dance music not that techno crap that all sounds the same.Anyway good to hear from you pal be well.P.S I went to Union Hill in Union City.Only guy from town to get into Studio when it was Studio. Now I'm lucky if I stay up pass midnight.lol..

Mannyforty |

I just past the site today, were Ice Palace 57 stood, seems to be ages ago. It's a vacant lot now they tore the building down. Like Joe Franklyn use to say it got me started “down memory lane”. When I got home I turned my computer on and started playing from my Disco collection. Then I searched for others with similar memories. I found this website and read some of these and knew I was in the right place.

My first recollection of having been at the Ice Palace 57 was late 1977 early 1978. I got there from jersey with a couple of friends. We were all so young then, I was 15 or 16, but a seasoned veteran of the New York night scene.It was a Sunday afternoon and we stopped in Central Park first to Drink some beers and smoke some grass. We came up to the door as they were opening. The doorman Brian gave me the third degree about my age then let us in. I remember he use to ride a motorcycle in the summers. Sadly years later I heard about him dying of a heart attack jogging in central park. Price of admission was three $ per person and we each got a free drink ticket.

We stayed from opening till closing that night, about 10 hours or so. Great being that young, if I'm up past eleven now, it's a miracle. The great memories of that night are flooding my mind right now. However if there was one distinct memory that transcends all the others was the Music. My god! What an unbelievable experience. He played Tripping on the Moon by Cerrone he played the sh*t out of Supernature too.

I thought I was in heaven, by then I had been too many clubs in the city but this was amazing what Frankie was doing on those Technick turntables. Funny thing about that night was. Paul Lynn the comedic actor was there. Famous then from being the center square on Hollywood squares. I saw him at the Ice Palace for the next few years on and off. Use to come in Rolls with different young guys each time. In the winters he wore a Fur coat to die for.

In addition to my weekly Sunday Tea Dance Visits. I was there for three New Years Eve Parties and three Halloween bashes. I’ll never forget the new years when Frankie as the clock was ticking midnight. He played the song Countdown and when it got to zero it all got quiet and he slipped Donna Summer's "Last Dance" on to start the Year. Wow! Ok gang like the poet said it's ok to visit the past, just don't bring a suitcase. Those are some of my memories of a great era in New York and very magical club Ice Palace 57. I think that magic will never be duplicated in New York again. When we were young and didn't give a you know what except dancing the night away. Ciao!

mark |

I loved the Ice Palace Days!!! I was a coatcheck boy there and my brother Sid was a barback/tender at the one on the island also. Those were Great times in NY on 57th street, not far from Studio and all the other places. Anyone who was there during those times was a part of history and dicotegueing in the world greatest city. Nothing but good times and Beautiful people of All types. :-))))))

Terrell T. |

The Ice Palace was the very first gay bar I went to the very first time I went to New York. I believe it was the summer of '82 and I was fresh from Yazoo City, MS on a college art school trip! I remember dancing with the "Human League" and having the time of my life. It was during my "I'm so glad I'm gay that I don't know how to act" stage of my life so THANK GOD for the Ice Palace! Once I entered those doors, I KNEW how to act! Thanks for the memories!

Alisa malavenda |

This message is for the post by James D on June 4th.
I am Lou Malavenda's niece. I just wanted to let you know that he did pass away many years ago
( early 80's ) after he went to atlantic city. He was a wonderful man and the family misses him dearly. I would love to visit him in NY, but my fondest memory of him was when he would come to visit and take me to McDonalds or pick me up from school in his limo ( lol ) soooo Uncle Louie!
Thanks for asking

wen |

someone wrote that ice palace 57 was at 57 west 57. if you go by there, that's an office building. i recall glass doors and having to go downstairs to get to the club. i think it was at 49 west 57, not 57 w57. i recall don vetter (the bouncer at the door) what a fun guy, and one of the DJs there created/produced the 12" disco single "workin' and slavin'". i loved that place! loved tea dances on sunday. made many friends there, everyone that went there (in the 70s) was very friendly. it was like everyone was your friend while you were there. i wonder what happened to the spanish guy named "raphael" who'd gave out a tarzan-like yell atop one of the carpeted platforms alongside the dance-floor.

JamesD |

I was told the Lou Malavenda passed away but I have been unable to confirm
this. Lou was a good friend in the 70's
but I lost track of him when he worked in Altantic City. I only visited the Ice Palace once and it was an exper-ience I won't forget. Lou was like an "auntie" but he worked hard knew the business inside and out. I met Jimmy Murray only once when he moved to East Hampto for the winter and hated it.
Any news of Lou or memories would be appreciated.

itwasfun |

As a young and straight teenager from Union City, I went ot IP on the regular on Sundays. It was a great place to hear top music and meet plenty of women tagging along as hags. For the record, between 80-82, the price was $6 and two free drinks which made it a deal. Back then, the drink in vogue was "White Russian".

discodevil |

Wow! they need to do a movie on this place.
It would be much more interesting than the 54 movie.

juie |

Wanted where is Russell Spinelli and his brother Tony. Does anybody remember them?

juie |

omg I was at ice palace 3 to 4 times a week. Me and my friend Pam were the ultimate f** hags. If you were really a person who hung out there you would know the hotest guy there Russell. He was a amazing dancer and danced all night usually doing the hustle. He also had a hot brother. We also hung out with paulie and I heard hes no longer with us. Its unfortunate he was a beautiful man who I had a huge crush on. nothing was better than New Years eve there and because we were regulars we didnt have to wait on line. Tony at the door had the hots for me. He was hot but at the time he was to old for me.But I must correct somebody who said it was $20 dollars to get in it was $10 and yes 2 free drink tickets. They were the best years of my life at that club. The music was the best in the city. Who needed to work out them days going to icepalace and dancing 3 to 4 times a week made for a great body. I will forever be gratefull to the many beautiful men there and there friendship. They were always generous and made a girl feel at home. especially when you just wanted to dance and have people make you feel special. I miss that club so much. Great people Great fun

artydude |

I also have another memory of being there the year that Babs Streisand's movie 'the main event' was released and the title song was playing.....man what a trip it was to hear that song on such a great sound system. During that song I have a memory of a couple dancing together, a big body builder in a tank top and his girlfriend, who was very small. However, during the song one of her mules slipped off her feet and he bent down to right it so she could slip her foot back into it. I know, it is such a trivial moment, but that memory still sticks with me to this day, over 26 years later. What a place it was.... I will never forget it.
You're right alex, club music today is not the same and real dj'ing is a lost art. It sucks going out now, and remembering what used to be,at least in toronto anyway.

artydude |

I think that I must have been around 18 when I went to the Ice Palace for the first time and they were having a pomotion or contest for Blueboy mag.
Yes, that discreet entrance, the sign and that mirrored stairway(at least i think it was mirrored) just added to the anticipation and excitement. Coming from a small town in Ontario it was a pretty 'heady' experience, speaking of which not to mention the same on the dance floor!!!

Alex Garcia |

The Ice Palace on 57th Street was a magical place.........Saturday nights, originally Bobby DJ and Frank Hulihan were the main attractions.....On Sundays, Frank Hulihan was the resident DJ, however, you could certainly hear Wayne Scott, Scott Blackwell, Henry Winslow and a slew of other "old school" maestros that were FIERCE............

Sunday's had a mixture of pure gay and pure straight folks who co-mingled in perfect HARMONY.............There was a guy at the door Dominic who looked like BIGFOOT from the Six Million Dollar Man TV series.........

The place was totally fierce! It had strobe lights flashing from the floor so when they flashed, YOU FLASHED....

The first time I went to the Ice Palace, Syvia's Automatic Lover was playing and Frank Hulihan mixed it into Boris Midney's "Baby Love (I'm Gonna Love you baby, I'm Gonna Dance with you tonight....Baby Love...........)

Totally off the wall......You could hear songs like, Paul Parker's "Right On Target," BB Band, "All Night Long....", Lisa's Disconet Mix of Jump Shout.....Eloise Whittaker's "Don't Turn Your Back On Love," "Time Bandits" "You've Got To Live It Up," Patrick Cowley's Disconet Mix of "Thank God For Music..." ah, the list goes on and on...............................

This was a magical place...I use to go on Sundays (The Tea Dance) for the last 4 years it was open and I never missed a Sunday..........You could hear, "Laura Branigan's Solatiare...."Oh Romeo's THESE MeMORIES, haunting me.....!!! Irene Cara's Flashdance....It's Raining Men played back and forth to enlongate the intro to screams on the dance floor.....

Those magical Pina Coladas.......So much to say about this magical "long lost" club.....

The Ice Palace closed and became a Black Club called "The Silver Shadow" owned by the folks who owned Bentleys and the Red Parrot......Originally the owners of the Ice Palace also opened The Red Parrot, however, they probably sold them both to new owners who were prime providers of Black R&B type clubs.....

The last night at the Ice Palace Frank Hulihan tore that club up..........He mixed like he never mixed in his entire life......He did a mix with Love & Kisses, You'll Never Know How Much I Love You and Sharon Redd's In The Name Of Love that you had to be there to hear...I don't have the proper language to to it justice, however, it was one for the record books...

You see, DJs back then, mixed for musical content, musical drama and an obvious collaboration of musical integrity....They did not have to think about all these stipulations, them came to them by osmosis....Djs knew what they knew...

Today being a DJ is totally BORING......You mix beats and at the end of the night, you could swear all you heard for 14 hours (if you stay that long) was one DAMM LONG SONG.............

Back then, you almost wanted to make a song list everytime you went to hear Robbie Leslie play at the Saint....You wanted to go to Vinylmania and Rock & Soul and buy all the records you heard because you could actually say you heard that song or this song...

Today, you don't have a clue what to say about what you heard..................

I am glad to have lived during the Ice Palace, Underground, Xenon, Studio 54, Palladium, The Saint, River Club, The Monster (in its hey day..) The original LIme LIght.....etc..................


I have Frank Hulihan live performances if you are interested ARCHITECH!


Hey Ralph the Architech.....Folks one of the best DJs ever, Ralph the Architech......Tremendous talent and a damm good PING PONG player at that....Hey, contact me, agarcia9@nj.rr.com.....

Ralph H. Architech of Sound |

The Sunday Tea Dance @ Ice Palace.
6 bucks & 2 drink tickets before 6pm.
what a deal then one of the best DJ's in the city Frank H. (RIP). I Know because I was there every Sunday with my girlfriend at that time Cathy Allen,and then later Janet La flaca
and my friends from Jersey, Carlos, Silvio, Raul, Alex, Oscar,Ricky, Bonzie, Zebo, Nanze, Tony DJ(Socio),Ronnie his nephew, and Julio the other nephew, El Soca, Rene, The beaners from Jersey as Tony Smith From Xenon's babtize'd us with.
yes that was the great days.
And I had the great Honor to fill in for Frankie at Chippadales years later when he went to that great big disco heaven in the sky in 1986.
I wonder where you all are at these days. God bless you all

Bill |

I was 15 when I visited the Ice Palace in 1982...it cost $20 to get in and they gave you two coupons for any drink you wanted....i partied in the back, lying on a sofa, in the "rear room" until the place closed, which seems like it was after the sun came up...what a trip..Memories of the Ice Palace, 57 West 57th Street, NY NY

Miss Dorothy |

I too remember Constance from New Dorp. She also hung out at SAL'S DISCO on Pineapple Street in Brooklyn Heights in the late 70's. She has some hot Puerto Rican friends named Alex,Louie,and Willy.They often went to apartment of a heavy-set fellow named Carmelo in the neighborhood after the bar scene. It was outrageous !!!!

Paul |

When I was 19, I worked in a NJ department store with a bunch of gay guys who I thought were "old" -- they were probably about 24. They somehow figured out that I was "curious" -- and they all thought I was a "butch number."

One night I got drunk with them at a str8 bar in NJ and the next thing I know I was on 57th street and going into a door, paying a guy $10.00, going down some steps and walking into an envelope of sound -- ABBA -- Lay All Your Love On Me. It was my first gay moment and I will NEVER forget it.

I became very popular there because back then (1980) I had Teen Beat cute looks and a nice body -- now I'm an old fart but I loved it.



Wasn't Roy Thode one of the DJ's there as well??? I remembered him. He also DJed at the Ice Palace in Fire Island in Cheery Grove. I remeber he od'ed on drugs there.....way back when.

jimurban |

Does anyone know what happened to Lou?

chase |

One other thought, I dont see any mention of the D.J. Howard Merritt and his Boyfriend Jorge on lights. AMAZING work . Also lets not forget D.J.Sharon White also another amazing spinner. On a sadder note these are the names of Staff that I have heard passed that were not noted earlier:
Kevin Cahill(head busboy . later manager)
Carlos ( front bar)
Jeff (front Bar)
Jimmy Pisano( front bar)
Max Morales(coat check , waiter )
Jody (waiter)
Thought you'd all want to know

later, Chase

chase |

Hey Guys! Wow this is a hoot ! I stumbled upon this Completly by accident. I too was one of the original busboys. I started working at the Ice palace at the age of 17 ( I lied ) What an experience.I was known as Richie and Ice PAlace Staffers were like family Jim Merry was an amazing and VERY colorful boss to say the least but he treated his staff in ways that have stayed with me for years. Spinner! I have all the same memories and then some. ( cleaning those damn mirrors night after night ...ugh , finding all kinds of interesting things after closing, Drinks and other stiff with the boss after closing and the Bonuses ... nuff said ... ( grin) working till 4 going to the after hours and then getting up to go to classes . Where did we get the energy! Hey Scarlet Gypsey ( mary ann ) I too have fond memories of Louie (lol )God ! we were young.Id love to hear from staffers and regulars that are still here.Sadly, many of my best memories are of people that are no longer with us . As far as Klaus. He's living in LA and retired last I heard. Most every one else Ive lost contact with . Im a bay area resident these days but I get to NYC on business at least 2 to 3 times a year and every time I go I pass the old place and I smile. Good times where had by all . Feel free to write. Id enjoy the reunion Chase Connery
Aka Richie

scarlet gypsy |

I was beginning to worry no one was interested in an Ice Palace reunion. The first step is to make a guest list, and notify everyone that this is in the planning stages. This is where networking will be most important. We just need to spread the word...
As I said in my Forum post, I planned a very successful reunion for Great Aunt Fanny's, (a theatrical restaurant in NYC), and I am willing to devote time and energy to this idea.
Post your ideas at the Forum on this site so we can all stay in the loop.


Well, it's a great idea and since I have never used the Forum, I would like to peek around and see what and how it is done....I am all ready to make this come true and certainly have all the records (the key records, I might add) of that wonderful glorious era that are ready for use......

spinner333 |

Well it seems that a lot of interest has developed during the past few days in actually having an Ice Palace reunion! Thanks for now moving the idea to the Forum as it would be more appropriate and indeed should maximize exposure. Anyway a dream conceived can be achieved! The Ice Palace was the hottest club in New York and it would be wonderful to have a party in its honor. It would truly be a beautiful event!

JudyDoggie |

Just moved this topic to FORUM under Promotions, .... Events & Parties etc. under new topic ICE PALACE REUNION. Please either post your ideas there or utilize my email address (above). Lookin' forward to hearing from you -- AlexGARCIA pls. email me. Thanks.


Sounds great! Who wants to spherehead this effort...............I can make some CDs as prototypes for the music we want and we can start the contacting people efforts! sounds like fun........Maybe someone can contact LIGHTWOMAN (she made comments on Xenon) as she was the last light person for Frank........

scarlet gypsy |

I can feel the excitement brewing!
Is it possible to move this idea to the Forum? I think the more exposure the better. If we are serious, people will have to be aware this could be a possibility, and also voice their interest.


Wow! I feel like the "origins" of something huge is taking place........Let's plan to plan this wonderful reunion! Sounds like we can make this a reality..........Maybe a "reality show" like a group of people planning a reunion....Ok, stop, let me pinch myself and come back to life.........for one, I hATE reality shows, but LoVe the reality that something like this could actually materialize, an ICE PALACE reunion.......

JudyDoggie |

I'm game. I have a place, a sound system and great accommodations nearby (although not in NYC; 1 hr 45 min away) www.asianfusion.net/szetok for venue details -- how many of you are out there?

scarlet gypsy |

Food for thought...
Why can't there be the ultimate reunion? A tribute to the Ice Palace...
Certainly, there are so many left in our family, we could make this a reality.
It might take some effort, but I think it could really be a possibility. It would just take some serious organization. This could be an entrepreneur's dream.
Every journey starts with the first step...
I'm ready.


Well, I must tell you all......I was Frank Hulihan's backup DJ for 2 years at the place he last spun, Chippendales on 61st and 1st Ave in NYC........Frankie was the resident DJ, Thursday's through Saturdays and after he got done playing we would all go to Tories.........Remember Tories! (Good ol' Morty...........Then on Sunday's we would wind up at Studio for John Blair's parties w/Robbie Leslie spinning...........Who was that drummer that used to play along in those days???? Anyway, I played very much in the Frank Hulihan style.......Remember that tribal percussion acetate that only Frankie use to play "Oleska..." Wow! great pre-tribal tribal song....Anyway, I would love to spin an evening of music dedicated to Frank Hulihan, since I knew him well and knew how, what and when he played what he played..................You folks are so generous with your fond and loving memories..........I treasure our threads and look forward to many more in the future and OF COURSE, boy what fun a REUNION would be...........................Who can remember Ice Palace songs, like Laura Branigan's "Solataire," Paul Parker's "Right ON Target..." Erotic Drum Band's "Touch Me Where It's Hot..." "Disco Circus' "Love Me, Over and Over again....." Bobby Thurston's "You Got What It Takes...." Carol Jiani's cover of "Ask Me..." Sinnanmon's "Thanks To You...." B&B Band's "All Night Long..." MBO & Klein's "Dirty Talk..." US/European Connection's "I'm Gonna Love You Baby, I'm Gonna Dance With You Tonight....BaBY Love..." Chaz Jankel's "Glad To Know You..."....Viola Wills' "Up On The Roof and If You Could Read My Mind....." Sharon Redd's "In The Name Of Love," and Frank Hulihan's FABULOSO mix with Love & Kisses' "You'll Never Know How Much I Love You...." A, the list goes on and on and I COULD SPIN all those SONGS in a REUNION with PLEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAsureeeeeeeeee.

Ciao beautiful friends!!!

spinner333 |

Oh what a night that would be... Thanks for the acknowledgement regarding waiters at the Ice Palace. Lou would be happy to hear that you remember him after all these years. I worked the back half of the room with Jody near the DJ booth where we would often keep Frank company as he spun the best music mix in town. Maybe some innovative entrepeneur will arrange the ultimate disco reunion that you imagine! Best wishes to everyone. -Michael

scarlet gypsy |

This is just wonderful!!! What a pleasure to come upon this site, and to see that many of us remain, all sharing these wonderful memories. We are all part of a very special family. By never forgetting those days we keep alive all those who are no longer with us. It certainly was an age of innocence...before AIDS, terrorism, and the harsh reality of life. Back then, in my wildest dreams, I would never have imagined I would be growing older without most of my sweet friends. I love them, and miss them every day.
If I could make a wish, I think I would plan a giant party, and EVERYBODY would be there. We'd all start out with dinner at Cowboys, (for some of Carlotta's incredible burgers), move on to the Ice Palace (with Frank Houlihan spinning), and end up at Crisco's until what I used to call the "Blue Hour". That was the special time of the early morning when the sky was a beautiful shade of indigo.
Wouldn't it be great to experience one more night like that? And to see everyone again?
And by the way...the waiters at the Ice Palace were the hottest in town! I always had a special place in my heart for Louie!
Love to you all,


It's so lovely to see that after all these years, we hang onto special "magic moments" ala "the Erasure cover song" that make our lives twinkle at the thought of those glorious/glam days when such fusion of music, beauty, love and most of all FUN carried us through the days and nights...........Very dear and fond memories.........At the end, what we have and what we will take are those MEMORIES....................Ciao!

spinner333 |

Thank you, Mary-Ann aka Scarlet Gypsy for the touching tribute to the Ice Palace and the wonderful memories you inspired. You mentioned hot bartenders and busboys, well I was one of the waiters (two out of three ain't bad). I also worked at the Cowboy on East 53rd Street for Jim Merry. I replaced Dante who was the dark good looking guy who returned to Italy. When Jim opened the Ice Palace he chose me to come with him as one of the original crew who were all really great guys. Roger the other waiter at the Cowboy also came to the Ice Palace as did Dennis, Steve, and Klaus. Carlotta stayed on as the chef at Cowboy making the best burgers in New York City. I was recently informed in reply to my first post here that Jim Merry died at his home in Florida in 1988 and after being in touch with the source was told that Carlotta and others continued in the business. We were all dear friends and shared fabulous times together at the Ice Palace and other clubs like the Red Parrot through the decade. I now live in California and have met others of the staff in Malibu some years ago. We were like a family and I will always be grateful to have had the chance to work with such a beautiful group of friends. I loved them.

scarlet gypsy |

I worked two blocks from Cowboys, and was in there all the time. Do you remember Dennis, Dean, or Carlotta?
I also worked at The Ritz in the early 80's. I would love to know if any of that old gang is still around. Billy Brusca, Michael Morante, Mel (he later worked at Red Parrot). If you ever feel like reminiscing, feel free to email me.
Mary-Ann (Scarlet Gypsy)


Well, I could not have written more "precious" words than "scarlet gypsy" has shared w/us..............Kudos for your touching story and for what it's worth.........."I share your memories, your affection, your detailed recollections and most of all, the spirit of those long gone beautiful club days!!!!!!!

Love and Kisses!


scarlet gypsy |

From the time of its debut, my friend Rikki and I were regulars at the Ice Palace. During those years, we probably danced at every club in NY, but none held the promise of magic and excitement like the Ice Palace, (although Criscos certainly held some of the excitement)! Even Les Mouches, which was a members/guest only club, paled in comparison.

The Ice Palace was made up of the perfect ingredientsgreat location, incredible ambience, hot men and women, even hotter bartenders and bus boys, but the music was paramount. Frank Houlihan was a god among DJs, and could do no wrong. You knew it was Frank spinning, even before seeing who was in the booth. He just had a distinctive, extremely innovative style.

One of my favorite memories was the night of a Mardi Gras costume contest. With the help of some friends from Eves costumes, Rikki and I masqueraded as King Tut and Cleopatra. Although we lost first prize to an act with several costume changes, we were thrilled to have participated, and to some were the hit of the night. The framed pictures on my mantle are a wonderful reminder of that part of my life.

I no longer live in Manhattan, but am only an hour north. Each time I visit the city, whether consciously or not, I seem to pass 57th and 6th. Several years ago, I went into 57 West 57th Street, and asked if I could be taken downstairs. The only thing recognizable was the stairway. A sheet-rocked wall had taken the place of the dance floor, and the space was being converted into several small businesses. At first, it made me want to cry. But, if you draw on your memories, you can almost hear that fabulous music, as you walk down the stairs, and feel the anticipation of the excitement just before turning that corner to the dance floor.
I learned about life at the Ice Palace, made wonderful friends there, fell madly in love, and wished it would all go on forever.
For me, nothing since has had quite the impact on my life as this special club. Most of my friends are gone now, and I miss them every day. But whenever I feel blue, I put on the music and try and relive some of those nights, and think how lucky I was to have been a part of that time and the Ice Palace.


That is very sweet and unfortunately we did indeed lose an angel.........Frank Hulihan was a doll! I miss and thinkof him often..


just want to say i did not no that frank
passed away, he gave me the oportunity to play at the ice palace and i became a regular dj for a while untill the oportunity at crisco came up.frank were ever you are thank you, your friend DANNY RODRIGUEZ.


If Robbie L is (Robbie Leslie) than yes, Robbie Leslie is still working and doing very, very WELL with his Djing...............Robbie did work many times at the Red Parrot....Especially one particular NEW YEARs EVE!~

JudyDoggie |

Apologies to Alex (and to Frank Houlihan). I read "Frank H" but SAW "Robbie L." Robbie worked for Jimmy a bit at Ice Palace 57 but more at Red Parrot than anywhere else. Spinner 333 feel free to contact me. Info on my profile herein.


Frank H (if referring to Frankie Hulihan) is in business in HEAVEN, however, he of course also passed on and has left us with his memories..

spinner333 |

Jimmy Merry was a dear friend and in many ways my first mentor in New York. May he rest in peace. When I wrote my previous post entry I had thought that indeed after all these years Jim may have passed away. The last communication I had with him was when he had moved to Florida. I was surprised to receive the answer regarding his death moments after sending mine. Thank you, Paul

JudyDoggie |

For Michael and those who might pass by but don't have the time to post: Jim M -- the "Old Man" passed suddenly and painlessly in 1988 in his home in Florida. George Sardi (also, sadly, now deceased) let me know of his passing. I don't know about Lou or Klaus. As far as I know, Kevin C.'s fine (I still think fondly of little Michael - R.I.P. - when I think of Kevin); Frank H. is still in business; Jimmy P. is, I believe, still in NYC, as is Jim B. (of Ice Palace Fire Island). Funny you'd mentioned High Rollers 'cause I'd forgotten all about THAT. I never skated. -Paul.

spinner333 |

I love New York City and the disco decade. While pursuing an acting career in the city I worked nights in the clubs. I worked at exclusive private parties at Studio 54 yet my primary position was at the Ice Palace 57 since it's opening night through almost its closing. I had worked for the owner before at The Cowboy and Jimmy chose me to work at Ice Palace. Wonderful memories of many friends and the wildest non stop party in NYC which at the time was best in the world! I also enjoyed other fabulous clubs such as Red Parrot and High Rollers which were owned by the same innovative enterprising man while they were open. The DJ's were the best in the city and the entire crew was like family. Best regards to Jimmy, Lou, Klaus, Kevin, Jodi, Carlos, Frank, Steve, John, and the guys that made it happen at the Ice Palace. I moved to Los Angeles and I now live in San Diego. -Michael

JudyDoggie |

I laughed out loud and almost fell off my chair when reading x's memories about "mom at the Ice Palace." My mother, a tea-totaller, visited the Red Parrot with a group of us, just as curious as x's mom about NYC night life. Well, she didn't want the scotch I was having, so I had the bartender make her a brandy alexander. Before I knew it, she was dancing away with all sorts. Back to the Ice Palace: there was a very tall transvestite (who was very, very beautiful and quite convincing) by the name of Dixie who was a habitue of both clubs, and 54 as well. Mom was in the ladies john with Dixie and mentioned she was a friend of mine. One thing led to another and Dixie said, "Can I show you something, Betty?" In a nutshell, she ended up showing my mother her "big ten inch." A week later, at Sunday Tea at the Ice Palace, Dixie came up to me with a big grin on her face (and I swear that I'd believe anything this girl/guy would tell me, we were that close) and told me that not only did mom look, but she "touched the merchandise" to make sure it was real. There was nothing like the mayhem going on at the Ice Palace. I recall going in there early one Saturday morning on business, and I searched and searched around for Kevin, the manager at the time. Upon entering the kitchen, I noticed a small latin boy, buck naked, sitting in one of the huge stainless-steel sinks in the kitchen, where they'd rinse the glasses before they'd go in the dishwasher. He was fast asleep. I woke him, and told him, "you better not let Kevin see you like this. What happened?" He replied: "I don't give a f**k. He's the piece of sh*t that locked me in here last night and I gotta take a shower."

christopher9 |

It was definitely called Ice Palace 57, at 57 West 57th Street, in NYC. It was one of the first gay discos I went to in New York when I lived there for the Summer of '81; I was 20 and it was my first summer in New York from Buffalo. I have a couple of matchbooks from there, too, along with some from Studio 54, and Area. I had a sublet apartment in a building on 54th on a short block between Broadway and Seventh. I don't know if the building is even there or not any more. It was kind of wild the way there was just the entrance on 57th Street - one of my favorite streets in New York - to the Ice Palace but you walked downstairs into this huge, great club. I'm pretty sure the disco at the Fire Island Pines was named the Ice Palace, too.
Great Memories, thanks,

eventidenyc |

My favorite disco. Ever. And the first one I stepped into in NYC. The most inspired and inspiring dj spinning I have ever heard in my whole music, dj, club life, (quite a while )
Frank Houlihan. God rest your soul.
You changed the way I listened to and thought about music. I grew so much after walking into the Ice Palace and been blessed to share in your talents while I was mostly on the dancefloor.
I only hoped we could have become friends.
I have never forgotten what an impact you and that fabulous disco had on my life.
Arriving from Kansas to the big apple. The Ice Palace was the first club I walked into. It was a Thursday and a Tribute to Donna Summer was happening. You couldn't tell how many Donna Summer look-a- ikes were there because all the walls were smoked glass mirrors (talk about a fairy tale high) I only thought I knew every Donna Summer record; Frank phased, phrased, re re mixed,extended, dropped out, and programmed like digital software would do on a powemac today. He made it look effortless. The crowd and staff were sexy hot (mostly, with the exception of some seniors working in the cashier window) an eclectic mix of cultures, young, mature, drag, some real women, Everybody could and would be excited and talk about the music and artists everytime I went there. It was important to know these things. It was an ice breaker if you wanted to start a conversation or really if you wanted to ask someone to dance.
I had to come back to New York at least twice a year from 1980 just to hear what Frank was playing. Of course I went to every other disco and punk club and heard all the legends. I always left a little early so I could end my night at the Ice Palace 57. Thats where it was at for me.


I also have the match book.......Maybe I will sell it on eBay one day.

discodevil |

The Ice Palace was the very first Disco I had been to in New York the four of us Aussie guys went there in June 1982 We had a great time!. I remember the "jagged neon" decor. This is the match book cover I picked up there.

x |

Well then. . . You're just gonna LOVE this story, entitled. . .

"Mom's Night at the
Ice Palace"

I first went to the Ice Palace in December of 1977. I had just come out in the gay life a month before-at 20 years old.

The first club I wound up in is also long gone-Gables on 7th Avenue South. People there were excited about a brand new club on 57th Street. It sounded great, & one week later wasted no time in getting there the following Friday or Saturday. Of course it was early (couldn't wait!) & was able to see the whole spanking new place before it got crowded. To this day, I remember that the then new "Close Encounters" theme (Meco disco version) was playing. From that point on, that became my main place-even during the big snowstorm of January 1978 (Remember throwing up into a snowdrift on 57th Street in front of Boltons!)

But the night I remember most took place one year later, in December of 1978. My Mom, always the life of the party, had taken to disco music quite well. I had also just told my parents I was gay. My mom was curious about the places I went to (especially when she heard me enthusiastically talking about them on the phone) so what better way to have her experience all this once and for all at none other than the good ol' Ice Palace!

She bought a new dress for the occasion (She was also 56 at the time), & we took the train in from Brooklyn. It had started to snow, & she started getting nervous. I told her she'd love it-and love it she did-say, a little too much.

We went down the stairs as The Salsoul Orchestra's "Christmas Jollies" album was playing. She too, thought the place looked great, & within an hour I introduced her my new friends. (She still remembers a guy named Bernie (from Staten Island) who was more than eager to hold her purse while she danced!

At some point during the night, she said "Why don't you go dance with your friend Bill. I'll stay here & talk to the others." OK, I thought. I went out on the floor, & after about a half an hour I told Bill I was a little worried, & that we should head back to look for her. We started crossing the floor, when all of a sudden Bill put his arm out in front of me & said, "Uh-you don't want to go over there right now. Let's dance again." Knowing that he obviously WANTED me to see what was going on, I proceeded towards the main entry point of the dancefloor. What my eyes beheld I wasn't prepared for.

There, standing up on the built in seating, was my Mother. She had her eyes closed, gyrating to the music-with something burning in her hand! She never even smoked cigarettes! There was a crowd of people encircling her, looking up & clapping to the music. At this point, Maw sees me, and, while still gyrating, says: "That's right Jay, that's right-your mother's high, baby, your mother's high!!! I just took a. . . .I just took a. . . . " (She then bends down to ask some guy what she just took) "Oh, yeah, yeah, that's right. I just a toke, man.. . .a toke!!!!!"

I was dumbstruck. The crowd went hysterical as I tried to coax her down from her little stage. Baby Jane was never like this, I thought. Then everyone started laughing-it had all been a joke! Nonetheless, I told her that I think we both had enough & we should head home. Her reaction? "How old are you, anyway? If you want to go, then GO." This I couldn't believe. We ended up staying until closing, took the train & got home at around 5AM. My father, sitting up in bed looking like Walter Matthau, asked my Mom, "So, did you make a fool out of yourself?" She snapped back, "I had a GREAT time. It's a damn shame YOU didn't take me to places like this!!!!!!"

As recently as maybe 4 years ago, someone came up to me at Splash & asked me how my mother was. My mother? I thought. I don't even know this guy. "Don't you remember?" he asked, "I was there that night at THE ICE PALACE!!!!!!!" Evidently, it was quite a famous night!

I will absolutely NEVER forget that night, as well as all the others I had in that fantastic place.

François |

I attended the Ice Palace once, in March of 1982. I remember the "jagged neon" decor and there was a Magician, with a drag-queen "assistant", who came out during a break in the music.

I think this one, on 57th, was actually called the "Ice Palace 57" as there was another "original" Ice Palace--on Fire Island, perhaps?


and..............DJ Frank Hulihan...........Frank Hulihan closed the Ice Palace on a Sunday night back in 82.....or 83 not sure...


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