Soap Factory Disco
Ray and Allen Reduce
Pete and Joe Rotolo
The Soap Factory Disco in Palisades Park, New Jersey (just outside New York City) helped put disco on the national map. It was the location of a weekly disco television show of the same name in the mid and late 1970s. DJ Lou Capurso was also the music co-ordinator for the show from 1977-1979.
The Soap Factory was not generally frequented by celebrities, but a fun place. Then, one night at the close of the 1970s, management made the decision to go from disco to rock and cater to a college crowd. It was a sign of the times.
The following photos of Soap Factory items submitted by Rafael Martel:
1) Soap Factory Bumper Sticker 1977-78
2) Soap Factory Logo
3) Soap Factory Schedule Card, January 1979
4) Soap Factory Schedule Card, February 1979
Photo below submitted by the Soap Factory show stage manager, John Nadrowski:
Various photos below of Lou Capurso at Soap Factory, Chicago's... submitted by Lou Capurso.
Photos below submitted by Mark Griffith.
1. Bobbi Frasca, Millie (Milagros) Lora, Mark Griffith- Soap Factory Disco circa 1977.
2. Bobbi Frasca, Millie (Milagros) Lora, Mark Griffith- Soap Factory Taping
3. Mark Griffith & Debbie Juarbe- Soap Factory Taping 1977.
4. Mark Griffith, Millie Lora, SFD taping 1977.
5. Debbie J, Mark, Unknown, & Millie 1977 taping Soap Factory Disco Show.
Let's take a trip back to the late 1970s with these rare videos shot at the Soap Factory Disco in Palisades Park, New Jersey:
Jeff & Donna Shelley Soap Factory:
Donna Shelley "Soap Factory Disco Show:"
Hustle Champion Miguel Marrero First place winner on Soap Factory T. V Disco Show 1977
Jeff & Donna Shelley "Soap Factory Disco Show"
Karen Young performing Hot Shot (1978) live at the Soap Factory Disco:
Christina and Billy dancing to Cerrone's "Je Suis Music" at the Soap Factory Disco:
Jeff and Donna Shelley dancing to "Love Insurance" by Front Page at the Soap Factory Discotheque in Palisades Park, New Jersey:
Photos of White Tiger, who performed at Soap Factory Disco by Gary Attardo
Great times, Great memories at the SOAP.
Photos below from Joe Carmona.
Description: 1. The group Chunky performing at Soap Factory back in the 1970s. 2. Chunky band picture at the dinner table with Loris Holland who has gone on to write and produce for stars like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. 3. A publicity band photo for Chunky.
Photo below from Patrick Tatulli.
Description: Actual bar of hand soap from the Soap Factory.
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 dcaprio
Was there also every Saturday night from 77 to 81 . Great memory's !
I do remember having pictures of the dance floor. I will have to take a day and just go through the thousands of pix I have from around that time. It WAS cool living directly across the street. ;-)
Ted Find the pix!! lol we all need them!! Plzzz?
Hey Ted (or anyone) - any chance that you have photos of the lighted dance floor that used to be on the lower level? I'd really like to have a picture of that floor when lit, and that room. I only see pictures of the upper floor. The pictures posted of the lower floor don't show it in its "glory".
Wow, found this by accident. To Carol, who is looking for DJ Larry La Spina, he is in Florida and is my dad!
Message me back or leave an email address or at least a last name and I will pass the info to him
I worked outside security there 80 to 81. One of my favorite memories is when Aerosmith played the crowd was so thick they had to come outside to the back door to get on stage and I had to help the reserve officer hold the crowd back the his baton. I also liked going next door to the sports bar next door for a taylor ham burger
Sad to say the Butch DeMercurio passed away this week. Butch was head bouncer and a mainstay at the Soap. He always wore is trademark handlebar mustache. I worked with Butch for many years there. Always tried to talk his way though any situation but if push came to shove he had some of the fastest hand around. He never once backed down from anyone. He was a classic. Rest in peace my friend.
Those were good times indeed... every Sunday Night, 1980 (I believe-some of that is a blur).
We made our debut there... pitting our buttoned-to-the-neck, spiked hair brand of pop/punk/wave against the
Bare chested, long haired Zepplin wanna bees... didn't think it would catch... but it did... great memories of that place. what a compla, a compla, a complicated game!
Wow!...What memories! The Soap Factory! I lived RIGHT across the street!...was in there all the time. Helped them set up sound system (don't remember if it was the first owner) The Good Rats. Crazy fights. Line dancing. Lighted dance floor with smoke! Plenty of cool stories. I have photos somewhere....even when they were building the place. Just gotta look through thousands of pix as I have them boxed. It's all digital now...
ahhhh...good old Dancin'! brings back great memories. i was the DJ there from December 1986 until my departure(ok, Firing....lol) in July, 1989. i had a great time working there, and sometimes too much of a great time(hence, my abrupt departure...lol). my only regret is not having any pictures or videos from back then. it would be great to be able to show my son what Daddy did and was really good at back in the day. there was nothing better than seeing 1500 people on a saturday night filling up the place like a sardine can!
holy crap... how did i come upon this page? (one of my co-workers was going through "old" R&B, etc, and I told him to google Gamble& Huff, which led to disco, which led to......I was the tech guy after Warren "Stevie Strobelight" left....a couple of comments below I distinctly remember....I actually wound up working w/ one of the bouncers many years down the road...we both wound up in the television biz in Manhattan....any employees remember the night we sorta' accidentally locked the passed out patron (stealthily hidden under a table in the game room) and he finally came to life, setting off the alarm by exiting the stage door) (I'll stop here) ...Jimmy had words w/ us the next day....
Are there any tapes of the band "Quazar" playing there. I think they performed the song "Funk'N'Roll" and "Saving My Love For A Rainy Day" on a 1978 episode. If there are any tapes of them around, can someone send me some info on how to purchase them.
Does anybody remember bouncer Rick or Ricky Brandly? Big guy. 6'5". May have been there early 80s or late 70s. I worked with Rick and he talked about bouncing at a club, and I thought he said it was the Soap Factory. He said something about the bouncers dressing a certain way for either disco or punk night.
Such fond memories of seeing Twisted Sister here many times. I remember Dee Snider encouraging the crowd to destroy the disco balls and strobe lights that were still left from the disco days.
I did the grand opening of the Soap Factory..Was the resident dj for about 2 years..Wish I had Pictures
Jeff, Sure I rember them. I also bounced with Butch DeMecurio for a long time. Butchy was one best bouncers ever to work a club. Always had his tradmark handlebar mustache.
Remember seeing Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge in 1975, a much different time then.
Rosco, Do you remember bartenders Ron Dykeman .. Dawn .. Bouncer "Nicky Casbah", Happy 2013 to you.
Carol, Nutley NJ, Did Larry La Spina dj @ MICKEY's. I was a regular there during 1983 when Mark's brothers operated this. I knew Mark from working for the same employer at the time. Don't remember his last name, as we nicknamed his last name as being friendly among all & himself as "Oberdink." This may possibly be his last name.
To Tommy, Bouncer back in early 1970s in NJ who went to Joey Harrisons in Clifton etc...do you remember a DJ by name of Larry La Spina?...He played all around north jersey incl small clubs in Nutley, Clifton, Passac, Wayne etc...heard he opened a huge club in NYC..Manhattan but then got arrested for IBM equipment theft etc but now out of Prison after few yrs in there & moved to FL ..opened another business.....
Some of your names here from the 80s I remember as staff. I'm a regular from 80s - early 90s. Does anyone remember bartender Ronnie Dykeman? Had grreat times seeing Back Streets Band, Yasgurs Farm, The Good Rats, Flossie, more.
I'm told by friends E Walker Band gave some great concerts, I was too young to enter.
Twisted Sister 1983, great concert. Walking past the crew unloading the truck asked if they needed a hand, they reluctantly said yes and that got me in to help them from setup -to- breakdown & load.
We used to go on rock nights, saw white tiger and a band from miami called wowii, does anyone remember the airplane hanging from the ceiling and the legendary soap bubbles relased on to the dance floor!!!! GREAT TIMES MY FRIENDS
This is a great site, boy im glad i found it.
Brings back so many memories, we used to go on rock nights to see White Tiger, i remember the Lead Singer had perfect hair, my favorite song was "Locomotive Breath" where he performed the part with the flute twirling it to the strobe lights, what a show! We also saw there an underated band from Miami called WOWII... Maybe some of you out there can relate... from the Airplane in the ceiling to the legendary "soap bubbles" my friends these were special times, and... we were there!!!
anyone remember other local DJs in Mid-North Jersey Disco Clubs from mid 1970s to early 1980s during height of Disco like Larry LaSpina who DJ'd at couple different clubs in the Nutley, Passaic, Wayne, Ledgewood & other areas?....
visited Soap Factory couple of times late 1970s'80s...GREAT Club...but anyone remember "The Castle"..think in Wayne..it was shaped like a Castle..DUH..LOL:) Seriously..huge place & packed every wk-end. Another club think in Nutley was hot place but not that big & really small dance floor but packed a lot too...There was a really hot place in or near Lake Hopatcong, NJ...anyone remember that? I loved Disco then and still my very fav music...bought Time Lilfe's full collection of Disco songs-hits and OMG...the memories that flash back...:))) Highly recommend this collection...don't have to buy lots of cd's with other songs from each group that aren't that great just to hear their 1 or 2 great hits...I MiSS DISCO!!!!! They make fun of our "Polyester" Dresses-Pantsuits and the guys very tight poly bell-bottom pants, Guido Poly shirt buttoned down to waist w/lots of gold & cologne.. but I say..at least everyone took the time to get dressed up like girls & guys and looking awesome instead of slouchy clothes incl jean that hang down to your knees..OMG that's horrible...and the dancing..wow so many talented people...love love love DISCO!!
Anyone have video of White Tiger at the Soap Factory, or any other club from 1978-80. Nelly's, Towpath, Mothers, Jersey Shore, etc. Please share your memories. Thanks firstname.lastname@example.org
Went there every Friday and Saturday night in ’75-’76. Wore my tight sports shirt, tighter bell bottoms, and shiny dancing shoes. Remember walking out of the place in the dead of winter, soaked in sweat. Remember the sunken dance floor with all the epileptic inducing strobe lights. Remember seeing people I knew as young as 14 who somehow got into the place. Stopped going there after I attended a few Zeppelin concerts; knew Disco just wasn’t my thing. But I enjoyed it while it lasted.
If you would like to have your photos of the Soap Factory added to this page simply upload them by going to http://www.discomusic.com/uploads/index.php
I'll check for any photos of the dance floor, although your probably right in that they may not exist unless they were snapped from the DJ booth. that would have been the best angle.
I definitely have some staff photos from the Dancin' era (Jimmy Terzini, Joey Batts and others. Just let me know if there is any interest and where to send them.
The Soap Factory was an incredible club for us to play music at. It really was a honor to be invited. Memories were great. though I was not into the Disco area, the club was unique, and professionally managed. When our rock Band played the Soap, we were always treated great. Two of my good friends have passed, Rhett and Walter from Rachel Band, but I have the good memories. If I could only turn back time. I loved New Jersey and New York, visiting New York frequently. Mainly to see Baseball Games with my son, and shop. Thanks for everything. Gary, White Tiger, Keyboards.
Is there any chance that anyone has a photo of the downstairs dance floor with the colored chase lights? It seems almost like an impossibility (any flash would have wiped out the image - the floor would have just looked white). But perhaps a professional photographer made shots of it - maybe Lou Capurso has some examples?
Wow, can't believe I stumbled on this site by accident. I grew up in Palisades Park and worked at the "Soap" over a 14 year period starting in '76. As a senior in High School I started in parking lot with Joel and John Esposito. Then became a bouncer in '77 and then started bartending when it changed over to Dancin'. Jimmy Terzini was the best manager ever. The coolest of the cool. Nobody ran a club better than him.
I worked some of the greats in the club business like DJ's Louie Capurso & Joey Batts. Some of the old bartenders were Ronnie Shingelo, Tommy "Abo" Abatello, Bobby Dowling, Tina, Diane Carlucci, Sal. The bouncing staff was top notch. I worked with guys like Regis, Big Alfie at the door, Sean McNerney, Larry Bernet, Big Artie Sopelsa, Sergio Delgado, Larry Rue, Billy Horowitz, Eddie Ford, Gary Presslaff, Lenny Introna, Eugene Introna, Ralph Introna, Sal Restifo, Tommy Martucci, Mark Jackson, Billy Cleary, John Carroll, Frank Sokolich and many, many more over the years.
Stevie "Strobelight" was the sound and lighting technician.
The best part about work was partying after hours until the sun came up!
I was on stage when Aerosmith played and man was it crazy especially when he jumped into the crowd. From a bouncing standpoint that was definitely craziest night ever. The bouncers probably dragged a good 75 - 80 people out that night.
I was there for Blondie, the Traamps, the Good Rats and then some. I was there when Twisted Sister played the first night of Rock and yes the crowd was ripping the John Travolta wallpaper off the walls in the lobby.
The "Airplane" room was the best. Lots of good memories down there after hours.
Anyone who wants to reminiss can come see met at Dinallo's in River Edge, where I still bartend every Friday and Saturday night.
Hope everyone had as much fun as me at the "Soap". They'll never be another club like it.
Hey GForce, there is Youtube Video of White Tiger. Just an FYI back about 15 years ago Eugene Introna who Managed the Soap Factory at one time, also owned and ran Chicago's in Lodi and he had a White Tiger Reunion, I'll have to dig out the photos of that gig.
Here's 1 of 2 videos on Youtube.
Does anyone ever remember the Rock White Tiger playing the Soap Factory in the late 1979 and early 1980's. What a cool time. Great Band. Any Video exists?
Donna Summer was our first show when we opened. Don kirscner would show up in his white Rolls with hot women. I helped build the place , managed. Slide shows on the walls weekly, bubble machine that we had to turn off because women complained it ruined their dresses. Gloria Gaynor, buddy Hackett, Alan Alda. Game room, son of Sam pretty people
My Sister, my Friend and I used to go to the "Soap Factory" all the time on that year, before and after 1977 and looking at the pictures here I saw me on a picture on the dance floor doing the line dance...that was so nice to see my picture here dancing!!!
We were a serious dancers and we loved it, we always remember "The Soap Factory" it was a great place to be, definitively a great era, thank you for the great memories!
Hung out there more times than i could remember...alll my friends were either bartenders or bouncers. would anybody have any film from the band Condors.
John Esposito, I remember you dearly, my brother Joel worked for you in the lot for a long time and I would go there to dance all the time. THose were the days ... I can not believe I located this blog by accident today.
Patrick Hernandez performing "Born to Be Alive" at the Soap Factory in '79
Hi Bobbi, It's me Mark Griffith. I've still got my DJ business, now called MusicWorks replacing Music is the Message. Steve wanted me to change the name when he retired. He is still in banking and I have my insurance agency in Pearl River. I'd like to see some of the shows too but they are very limited on YouTube. I'm Mark@MWdjs.com
Or anyone that danced on soap factory
Email me at
In the subject put soap factory, and let's talk.. I have a ton of shows most good quality.
I danced on the Soap Factory TV show for over a year back in the late 1970's. I would love to know how to get copies of these shows. It was the best time of my life. Thanks.
Hello. My girlfriends name is Lucianna Lanza. She was a dancer for this show call the Soap Factory Usa. it was located in Palisades, New Jersey. I was hoping that if anyone could help me find some clips of her. It would be greatly appreciated.
Does anybody remember the name of the sports bar there in the late eighties-early nineties?
I was one of the featured dancers, almost weekly, and would like to know how I can get a copy of any of the tapes. The time period was 1978-1979. My dance partner was Annette Elias Marrero. Thanks.
Oh My God! Blast from the PAST! I worked for 7 summers at Temptations in Seaside Heights as a bartender, owned by Eugene E. and managed by Dennis. Sometimes we would come up and work at Chicago in Lodi if Eugene needed us to. Wow, some of the comments on this site blew me away!
a couple of videos from the Soap Factory:
Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight
Evelyn Champagne King - Shame
Blondie - Heart of Glass
Karen Young - Hot Shot
Fern Kinney - Groove Me
Is there anyone out there who used to work there as a bouncer or bartender, outside security around 1986-1987-1988-89 Roe, Joe, Linda, Dave, Gregg, Lorie, Lorie's sister, anybody- ?????? John Esposito
I saw Eugene from the Soap Factory at Disco Ball Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City 10/16/2010.
Hey Lou, great to hear back from you. Where can I find you?
How are you??? Got the message, look me up....
Hey DJ Lou, what are you up to these days? The Soap Factory was the first disco I ever went to and have many fond memories from there. It was our Saturday night spot. I loved to dance to the music you spun and eventually went on to become a DJ myself and a member of the NJADD in Asbury Park. I hope you are well and hope to hearing back from you soon. I used to hang out with you from time to time in the DJ booth and watch. Rick
Thanks LC. Names have been corrected with your list.
Bernie, Just to state a correction Mike Sinatra was not Frank Sinatra's cousin (Only the same last name)
Owners were: Ray and Allen Reduce, Mike Sinatra, Pete and Joe Rotolo, Rich Hubshman, Erin Topan.
I worked there in the early 80s and it was fun. I remember when Aerosmith played there it was nuts. It was owned by Mike Sinatra Franks Cousin. I also worked at The Hole in The Wall
I remember Tommy Demus. He would "dance" all night. The stories about thr accident and the Palisades were correct. He wasn't a bad guy.I was there around 1980 for 12 years..Hello to all.
Ben Are you the Ben that worked with me outside with Gregg and others??Holly cow..If not, tell me about yourself.Get back to me. John
I remember you,I use to come in and see Nicole Hicks and Jen all the time when they worked there in early 91 AND 92.
I remember the soap factory it was a great time when disco was in i went there every weekend with friends it was good for the time now Fitness Factory is there we farwell to the good times
Great memories for me. I worked as a bouncer in many of those discos back in the early 70's. The Soap was a great place. My buddy, Joey DeFranesco was a bartender, turned manager after Jimmy Tazini left back in 1977/78. I was one of the original bouncers at the Jade Fountain Paramus back in 1975 to 1977, with Johnny Grieco. Johnny later went on to Chicago to work for Mike Sinatra and Eugene. The Jade Fountain was a great place. Chinese food and disco bands. Eddie, the Wild Worm DJ'd. Gary and the Travelers packed the house every Monday night. Women everwhere! We used to score more by accident then on purpose!! By the way, after living out in Los Angeles all these years, I ran into Gary from the Travelers out here by accident. He owned a large, successful hair salon
out here and even had a sound system in his salon and used to sing to his customers. He's really a great guy. Prior to those days, I worked as a bouncer at 18 years old at Fathers in Woodridge, NJ. It was the largest disco in those days. It took the entire basement area of a supermarket on Terhune Ave. It had seven bars! Boy, did I earn my pay in that joint! From there, I worked at Joey Harrisons in Clifton. We would go to Joker II in Passaic, Fire and Ice in Ridgefield, Dimples, Cus from Hoe and on and on. In those days you had somewhere to go 7 days a week and we did! Crazy youth! I have to admit, I loved those days, the music, the dancing, the babes! Too bad we have to get old but, the memories definitely keep us young! Thanks for the memories on this site! Tommy G
I worked at the "Soap Factory" "Dancen" for 12 years. I was outside security during SoapFactory Days and than managed for 1 yr. inside as Dancen, than moved out of the area. Those were great days. I still have 2 "Soap Factory" T-shirts. We played pinball with Twisted Sister till the sun came up. Ugene and Dave were managers. Mike Sinatra was 1 of 5 owners.. I found a 1986 school ring from Lincoln School in Jersey City with NJC A. Zolner JCNJ on the inside.I would love to find the owner. Its a female size. The school could not help. I still have it. Contact me if you can help. John Esposito
Hung out with this really interesting guy that my friends introduced me to. His name was Gene, he bought me a couple of drinks and we laughed all night. Truly a nice guy, it was Gene Simmons. The night Aerosmith played, my friend and I pulled every scarf off of his mic and threw them into the audience behind us. Boy was Tyler mad. Then he dove into the audience during the 'train kept on rollin' encore and parted the audience like the Red Sea. Doesn't anyone remember that night? It was the same night Lou Reed shot heroine at the Bottom Line and was arrested.
who was the entertainer of soap factory contest
Great place!!! I'm from Huson County and I was there for the disco and the rock & roll years. I remember when The Soap Factory changed to Dancin's and they had all these florescent lights and you could NEVER where black because if there was lint on your cloths forget it. Sometimes even if you had mousse in your hair that would glow too. When it went to rock I use to to see a band called White Tiger who were great at that time, not to mention Twisted Sister also. We would go to Fairview first to a bar called Jackie Coopers, drink like crazy as the drinks were cheaper then head to the club. Great memories...
If you should happen to read this post, there is an episode of Soap Factory Disco on which France Joli performed "Come To Me", and should you have that particular show, I would very much be interested in acquiring. Please contact me at email@example.com
Reading these comments brought an ear-to-ear smile to my face, feeling like I was traveling back in time to what really was an incredible time & place. But when I scrolled down an the picture of Dreamer appeared I got chills from head to toe! Friggin'surreal!
Went to the Soap Factory in the late 70's early 80's to see Twisted Sister, great place to see them.
I worked on the soap factory show as a technician.. I didnt get paid but I hung out because I thought at the time the production was really well done and I wanted to be part of it, but it never happened.. I have a ton of soap factory tapes in my closet, some even not edited... If you read this and you were a dance, get in touch with me I probably have you on tape and really good quality. put soap factory in the subject and leave your info.
there wa a show on tv early 1979 called soap factory disco. i wish the shows would be posted on youtube
To DJ Lou Capurso: my name is Alan Gohlke and I believe that I am the first DJ that immediately followed you after you left the Soap Factory. I was doing the Meadowbrook on Friday night, the Soap Factory on Saturday night and Creation on Sunday night at that particular time.
Can you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I would like to ask you a question.
The Soap Factory was a club we (Double Exposure) loved to play. I remember a great sound system, great D.J., great people, and a club full of pretty women.
I went to high school with Tommy "Rat" Demus, St. Cecilia in Englewood at the time, and the story Ray M. mentions is pretty much what happened, except it was St. Patrick's Day, 1974, or '75 when the accident happened. After that, he also had the misfortune of falling of the cliffs on the palisades, where we would all party back in those days. it was truly amazing he survived that, as well.
Re: "He was a real spectacle. Wonder if he's still around and dancing"
I mentioned that guy in my last post (4/23/09).
The story I heard was, he was there one night with a few friends, who all got drunk and were in a bad accident on the way home. He was the only one that survived, and had mental breakdown from the trauma & guilt, and thats why he behaived that way.
I saw him many times. A few times he actually seemed to act normal & talk to people,...but still danced like a nut. Other times he would'nt speak a word to anyone all night.
The last time I saw him there must have been in the mid 90's. He was still around up till then.
I remember during tthe "rock" period there was some nut job that danced by himself all freakin night. Not good dancing. Just dancing like an idiot with arms flailing and bobble-headed jerking about. Bwhatever the music, didn't matter and he never tired. The DJ would announce his name as Tommy Demus ( don't know if that is correct spelling)and that would make Tommy dance even more intense.
I don't know if he was OK mentally but even though he seemed like a nutcase he was basically harmless and just really loved to dance.
He was a real spectacle.
Wonder if he's still around and dancing.
It's Malcolm, one of the regular dancers on the show. as all of you know, I lived at the Soap Factory every night. I would love to hear from everyone who was affiliated with the show. My direct email address is email@example.com Also, I would love to get copies of the show. I look forward to hearing from everyone.
Hey Hedgehog, I was there on Sunday's, and man what at time we had. I can still remember they had these dance contests, and we would always come in the top 3. I remember my dance partner Maria, man was she good we really cut it up out there. Great times, I can't believe how fast it all goes.
Charlie, thanks. I can't figure out how to email people on this forum. When I click on your name the website gives me an error.
My boyfriend (well actually he was a friend then), I was in love with him at the time - was Don Malarick. He and I went and was there to record several sets actually. We were there all night and into the morning. Send me an email please. firstname.lastname@example.org
I tried to email you through this board and no dice. I believe I remember the show you are discussing and (am) trying to figure who the skater boyfriend is, since I was the one that got the skaters on the TV show.
I do have the video...please advise further.
Charlie..... please email me, I would DIE to get copies of the soap factory disco show, and if I only could pick one, it would be the night I was there, stephanie mills performed. Thanks.
Does anyone know where I can view or obtain the shows on video. I attended the night stephanie mills was there, my boyfriend at the time was a roller skater and he was a regular at the show. I would love to see that again. Can anyone advise me. Thanks. Also, that night, an artist sang Harmony, you and me, we're in harmony...don't remember who sang that. Please help. Thanks.
Hey - I just checked this page:
Thanks for posting those - there's not much detail of the lower dance floor, but I *do* recall the DJ booth - that's the view from the lower dancefloor.
Thinking about it, any photo with significant flash is going to wipe out the color of the chase lights in the lower dance floor. But who knows - perhaps you have a professional photo taken in natural light.
Wow that place was so cool - not because it was extremely fancy - but because it was real, and the energy was real.
Looking forward to your reply.
I'd really appreciate, if you still have the information, if you could post a "Teen Sunday" crowd playlist.
I recall hearing songs at "The Soap" that I never heard anywhere else, at least for a while. That was one of the coolest parts of going. (Of course, for a male teen, the female teens were the largest draw.) I bought just about all I can remember, but I can't recall the full list. I would really like to buy the CDs to make a complete "Soap" playlist (the "Sunday" edition, that is).
Let me try to list what I can remember, and you can tell me if I have mis-remembered some. Again, some of these songs I heard first at the Soap:
- Crown Heights Affair: Dreaming a Dream
(Note: I am pretty sure that you played both the purely intrumental version, but you also played the "radio version" - the one with lyrics. I think I heard that on the radio less than a handful of times - heard it way more at the Soap
- Andrea True: More More More
- Crown Heights Affair: Foxy Lady
- Trammps: Disco Inferno (I think that was near the end of the time that the Soap was doing disco)
- Voyage: Souvenirs
- Voyage: Kechak Fantasy
- Voyage: Eastern Trip
- Silver Convention: Fly Robin Fly
I should be able to recall more than this, so I'm hoping that you still have your lists around.
Also, if you have any photos of the lower dance floor - the one with the colored chase lights, that would be simply incredible.
If you'd like to contact me directly by email, let me know.
In response to your posting, I played a little different for the Teen Sunday crowd. It was more top 40 without all artists like James Brown, Temptations etc... that I would usually play for the nite crew. I added some photos I had of the DJ booth etc... I'm still looking for a few more I have. Keep in touch, Thanks, Lou
I remember talking to someone who frequented this club. They remember seeing Blondie, Karen Young, Sugarhill Gang, Evelyn Champagne King, and several others perform.
Ahhh The Soap Factory. It seems there are 2 era's of this famous club, The Disco Era and the Rock Club Era. I never experienced the Disco Era part of the Soap Factory, except for the transition period which from my standpoint was comical. No intention of insulting anyone here or any of the scenes, but the Rock Crowd was totally different than the Disco crowd and when The Soap Factory changed over to a Rock club, the transition was unique and funny. It’s just my view as a 18 year old kid who was totally into hard rock music. It was late 70's Music was going through another turning point. The Glitz, Glam and vibe of Disco started to implode on itself. How ever great the music was, it stopped being about the music and started to become about the dollar. "Disco Duck", Kiss doing "I Was Made For Loving You" The Ethel Merman Disco Album!!!! You had people who wanted to dance and then there were young kids who were growing up on Led Zeppelin, ELP and Black Sabbath that wanted to "Bang thier heads". It seemed that the Dance Clubs were only making money on Friday and Saturday nights and club owners were looking to see how they could extend the flow of money into the club. The drinking age was 18 and there was a large population of kids that didn't dance. The Soap Factory started to bring live Rock Bands in on Wednesday and Thursday nights that drew from this demographic. Word got around about this and pretty soon the club owners and managers started seeing that the Rock crowd drank a lot more than the dance crowd. The Soap Factory with an established live act on a Thursday night could easily bring in 500-800 people drinking beers and Long Island Ice Teas. Twisted Sister was pulling in crowds every where they played. They had been filling up the Soap Factory when they played on Thursdays, then Club Manager Eugene Introna decided to bring the band in on a Friday Night. The combination of Hard Rock and Glam and a intense stage show and interaction with the audience is what made Twisted Sister perfect to play the first Live Rock band on a Friday Night at The Soap Factory
I was there that night, as some of you might remember the walls of the Soap Factory had this wall paper that was basically a sillouette of John Travolta in the Saturday Night Fever pose. As Twisted Sister was half way through their set, someone ripped a piece of the wallpaper down and in the middle of the dance floor in front of the stage took a bic lighter to it and let it burn in his hands, Before you knew what had happened , the whole place was buzzing with chants of "Disco Sucks" and the paper was being ripped off the walls. It was also a very tumultuous time in American History. The Ayatollah Khomeini had just taken American Hostages and when Twisted Sister started singing “I hate The Ayatollah, Cause The Ayatollah Really Sucks” to the tune of Hot Tuna’s “Keep On Truckin Mama” it was the fuel that fired us up. It was the end of the Disco Era and the start of Hard Rock bands playing the Club Circuit era. Besides the Soap Factory, you had clubs like The Towpath in West Paterson, Obsessions in Randolph, Mothers in Wayne, My Fathers Place in Greenwood Lake, Speaks in Port Chester, Gemini's in Yorktown Heights, and Hammerheads out in Long Island, The Fountain Casio in Monmouth County as well as Emmett’s Inn. All of these clubs supported the music that traveled through the area. besides all the local rock acts, you had bands like Zebra from New Orleans, DC Star from the Maryland Area and Jesse Bolt from South Carolina venturing to the Soap Factory, Even Aerosmith sans Joe Perry era, played The Soap Factory as well as The Good Rats, Blue Oyster Cult, Marianne Faithful. It was a great time for me. I met a lot of people and still to this day see Eugene from time to time as well as the many other friends I made while hanging out at The Soap Factory. Enjoy some of the pics I took of the many bands I used to see at The Soap.
Ted Poley on drums in his band Legend, who then went on to the band Danger Danger
Vito Bratta of Dreamer who then went on to be the guitarist in White Lion
Rhett Forrester in the band Rachel, who then went on to sing for the NY based band Riot. He was killed in a drive by shooting in Florida in the early to mid 90's
Copies of Soap Factory Disco TV Show were donated to Historic Films of NY. However, they do not sell for private home use.
Soap Factory was The place to be and be seen. Loved it there! Also, anyone here from North Jersey remember the Jade Fountain in Paramus, on Monday nights, Gary and the Travelers...but the Soap was the best!! Great Memories...
IIRC "Soap Factory Disco" was broadcast on WPIX, channel 11 in New York City. The station is still under the same ownership (Tribune Corp), with the same call letters. But I doubt they saved the videotapes of a long forgotten dance show.
Does anyone remember a guy who was a regular patron,
he would hang-out all alone and dance by himself, sometimes staring into one of the mirrored walls. He acted very strange. People thought he was crazy.
I saw him every single time I was there no matter Rock or Disco.
The rumour was, that one night in the late 70's he was there with a few friends, they all got very drunk and were in a bad accident on the way home.
He was the only one that survived, but he sort of had mental breakdown from the trauma or guilt, and ever since, he went to the Soap Factory EVREY Friday & Saturday nights for many years afterward.
Does anyone know who this guy was, and if the story was true?
HI!!!!!!!!!I stumbled across this site. I was a skater on the TV series for almost the entirety, and brought Joey, Cheryl, Anna, and a few other disco skaters along the way.
I would say I know most of the dancers from the show as well. If you are looking for copies of the series , I have EVERY show taped!
I see a post by the original DJ at the Soap (Lou Capurso). If you are reading this back, could you please post a playlist? Was the playlist the same for the Sunday teen session as it was for the adult session?
This is absolutely unreal. I'm not sure why I thought of searching for this, but I am amazed that the Soap Factory still lives, in some respect, on the internet.
I can't imagine that real people from that time will reply, but I used to go to the Sunday teen-age sessions that are talked about by others. I lived in Hudson County and would get a ride on Sundays. Are there any others teens from those years that went there at that time? It would be a blast to hear anyone else's great memories.
People mentioned the airplane, and the lighted dance floor. But do you really understand what lighted means? The floor had embedded, colored chase lights under a translucent plexiglass-type floor, like the floor in Saturday Night Fever, but better! That had to be the freaking coolest thing back then! I wish that floor could have been preserved some how - too cool! It should be in the Smithsonian.
Of course, I recall the music so well. I knew there was a show for a couple of years, and I know that popular bands played there, but I didn't realize WHAT bands - Blondie, the Trammps, the Crown Heights Affair - never knew! I guess they played in the "adult" sessions. Too bad I wasn't old enough. The Blondie video on YouTube with the big "Soap Factory" sign in the background blows me away! I remember that sign well - although it was on the stage of the upper dance floor, which wasn't really opened on Sunday afternoons.
Actually, the first time I heard the song "Dreaming a Dream" by Crown Heights Affair was at the Soap. I didn't know the group, but knew the song well. It was one of those songs that got the "kids" rushing out on the floor, since they all loved it. Teens who were there know what I mean - like the way the song "Souvenirs" (by Voyage) did many months later.
"Dreaming a Dream" had several versions, including vocal and purely instrumental versions. The Soap used to play both, and I recall the vocal version. I tried finding it on CD, and I finally did, but I had to by an import CD to finally get it. After buying two CDs looking for it but failing to find it, I thought I had gone nuts and that the vocal version didn't exist - but of course, it does. I recall hearing it on AM radio (77 WABC - remember when it had music?) once or twice and that's it. It was very rare to hear on the radio.
I would have never thought back then that in 2009 (30 years ago!!!), I'd be listening to that very song on an MPEG on a home computer (which I'm doing as I write this), while reading a web site about the Soap Factory. It's freaking surreal. I have a bunch of the great songs of that time, and was thinking of making a Soap Factor playlist. Perhaps there's a Soap DJ around that could post his or her playlist? Heck - someone should compile a Soap Factory CD, or collection of CDs.
Hey - if you were there, and know what I'm talking about - write back and tell your best memories!
I danced on the show as a regular dancer. I was discovered in Wildwood New Jersey dancing in the Sundance Disco when some female from the show asked me to come on. I had been dancing in clubs all over New York and New Jersey and people compared me to the fictional character Tony Manero. Cherrys and Uncle Sams in Long Island as well as Strawberrys,Peach Trees,Milky Way,2nd floor,L'amour,New York New York,Studio 54,Copa,Fun House,Lemon Tree,and Eliphas were just some of my favorite discos in N.Y. You see my name is really Tony and I was the same age and Italian. I also won a trophy dancing in one of my discos. I also was pretty good looking and from the Bronx with a DA haircut,gold disco dancers beside St. Anthony on a chain on my neck, which really mimicked the character. But the movie really mimicked me and what was my life back then. I used to have friends like that and when we went to a favorite disco I was like Elvis had just walked in. I also had an ex girlfriend like the character in the movie since her mom worked for TV and was grooming her to be an actress. We met when she was a waitress at Cherrys but would always fight over dancing since she was my partner too and they always had a dance contest. What you saw in the movie was really what I did as soon I was in the disco. After being welcolmed by employees and other dancers I would hit the floor. I would do a solo routine for a few minutes and I just performed. I did the same the first time I came to the show. I did a routine in the background the first night which must of been seen by the Producer, Andrew since the next Monday he said he was trying to get in touch with me. Right there I became a regular dancer. Soon after the few shows I did a solo routine for the show. Musique was performing that night doing Push,Push,in the Bush. I will treasure my time,memmory and short friendships I had with Tony and Sue,Jeff and Donna, Malcolm,some of my dance partners like Cindy and Bobbi and also Joey the disco roller skater. They were great. Cindi was adorable. In fact Joey became a good friend after me and him defended the show from some rowdies who wanted to barge in one Monday night. Soon after he introduced me to his friends in Brooklyn who had become friends of mine and shared many laughs and good times on spring break vacations in Florida and Mexico. Years later Joey and the crew which I called them attended my wedding. Joey who I later gave the nick name "Joey the Book" is now a successful lawyer. The shows taping was something we always looked foward to. I even got hurt on the show doing a split and was away for two months with torn ligaments in my knee. Slipped on those bubbles! The celebrities were fantastic. Melba Moore,Karen Young,A young Stephanie Mills,Anita Ward and even Blondie. Debra Harry really gave Andrew the producer fits when she didn't want to come out of the dressing room. Even more so when she didn't want to be close to me or Malcolm when she had to sing Call Me to both of us. But I also have the say Peaches and Herb were my favorite. They were the nicest and friendliest people I met. I was saddened when the show got cancelled and I went to Fred Astaire for a short time and performed in some competitions. So after 30 years I could look back and say I had a blast and I still dance a little especially at weddings. In fact my relatives would come look for me. Now I live down the Jersey Shore not to far from one of my favorite discos was,Montego Bay, in Belmar. I work for Frito Lay as a driver and mostly in central New Jersey as well as Staten Island. I will always have these fond memmories.
The one negative memory of the era that I have was how so many rock clubs and local establishments were on this "Disco Sucks" campaign. Even as a teenager, I was offended by the small mindedness of the "let's diss someone else to make ourselves feel better" mentality. The couple of times that I was able to go the Soap Factory I did have a nice time.
I remember the Soap Factory!
I started going there about the time of the Disco-to-Rock turnover. I remember the posters and T-shirts that read “Disco died at the Soap Factory – October (or November?) 1979”. BUT, on weekend afternoons they still taped the disco TV show and had a no-alcohol teen-disco in the downstairs room. You only needed to be 18 to drink in NJ back then. So I could get into the teen-disco afternoons, and then come back a few hours later to get back in for Rock & beer! At the time they had the big room with 5 bars, lighted dance floor & main stage, large game room, and bathrooms with the horse-trough urinals. I saw Twisted Sister there just before they became nationally famous, and there was a brawl between singer Dee Snider and one of the patrons who was heckling him while onstage. Downstairs they had the smaller lower-level room with the airplane hanging for the ceiling. In this room they had a DJ who still played some disco or new wave (upstairs was strictly rock), sometimes there would be a lesser-known live band. They also had a great car-show outside once a year.
In the early 80’s it became “Dancin”. It wasn’t classic disco, but more like the 80-90’s Jersey-Guido danceclub scene. The crowd was much younger, a bit stuck-up, and not as friendly as the Disco/NewWave/Rock crowd. I wasn’t into it.
I remember when it became “Dancin-Rocks” Probably to compete with NJ-Roxx which was about a mile away, and it’s main competitor “Mothers” over in Wayne, NJ who was also going through the rock-disco-rock transformation. Soon after they went back to the Soap Factory name, although the lower level had become a sports bar and you couldn’t go back & forth anymore. I went there to see the original Good Rats’ first reunion in 1991. The DJ announced them as “this band, hasn’t played this club, since the decade before last!” A great show.
Sometime in the 90’s they took the rear half of the big room, and made that into another separate venue. I heard it was a strip-club, but didn’t last very long. I haven’t been there in years, but I hear that now it’s an Asian-American dance club.
For those that are looking for some old soap factory videos, go to youtube. I was born in'79, so i can only wish i ever went to a disco. I can only live through your memories. Anyway,good luck.
i only found out about the soap factory in 1980, it had already become a rock club. the story that i heard, was that the club was a disco util nov. 1979 when the group Twisted Sister played there and the crowd went wild. they ripped down alot of the disco decor and were even encouraged to do so by the band. The owners did a remodel after that. I remember the club even had a poster and pictures on the wall of the lobby where you entered, that showed the day nthat disco died. I was at the club about 6 times before I even knew that there was a stage downstairs. I was in the main room upstairs one night watching a band at the back of the club. The band stopped for a break, but I heard music coming from behind me, There was a floor level window about 4 foot square that looked down into the lower level. I looked in and couldn*t believe there was another band and a few hundred people down stairs! I found my way into the lower level and I can still remember my amazement at seeing the airplane hanging from the ceiling for the 1st time! I used to go almost every other week for about 3 years, especially when Condor played. I also liked to go when the groups like The Game and Backstreets played there. I was in my early 20s and my job paid sh*t $ but i remember they had cheap admission on thursday nights with 1 dollar bottle beers. The tolls were alot cheaper then and it was a fast commute by car through the brooklyn battery tunnel and lincoln tunnel. I would drink beer all night and they would give you the bottle with the cap still on it. I would save the bottle caps in my pocket until I felt pretty buzzed. then I would go into the mens room and count the bottle caps as I tossed them from my pocket into the long urinal they had there. when I goy to about 16 bottle caps I knew I would be driving home above the law. I must have drove home from the club about a hundred times feelin real good and my ears ringing from the grat sound system they had. The last time I went to the soap factory, I was scared to get into my car because the cops were always waiting out side to see if you looked wasted. I would stand outside and wait till the cops checked someone else, the jump in my car and jet out of there. I m iss those crazy nights of loud music,wild women, and irresponsible drives back home. Can someone tell me when the club closed and why? Whatever happened to the band Condor?
I lived at the Soap Factory Disco or so it seemed because I was there every night dancing til I dropped. I started out doing the bus stop in a 3 piece suit and graduated to the hustle in polyester. There will never be another club like the Soap Factory. It was the best of times with admission being only $3 dollars to get in and mixed drinks were $1.50. I remember Lou Capurso, the best DJ ever!
I saw The Tramps, Crown Heights Affair, Vicki Sue Robinson, Donna Summer, Franz Joli and KC & The Sunshine Band just to mention a few. I mostly hung out around the lighted dance floor. I came up to the main floor to keep tabs on my friends and make sure I still had a ride home.
I went to see a Tramp's retro show recently and after the show went back stage to get an autograph and I mentioned The Soap to the guys. They remember.
My parents met at the soap factory! WOOOO
Does anyone remember Jeff and Donna Shelly and their weekly Hustle lessons and dance routines?
I was a regular dancer on the show with my partner Christina, does anyone know where to get videos of the shows?
Wow, those were the good days!! I danced at the Soap Factory many times with my dance partner, Rodel Policarpio and had a fabulous time doing so. We did dance on the TV show as well...it was a blast....
The Soap Factory Disco was THE place to be. I was fortunate enought to be the resident DJ when it changed over and after renovations became Dancin'. DJ Lou Capurso was a very big influence on my skills. I then went on to DJ @ Temptations, Montego Bay, Green Parrot and later on moved to California..It was a time of my life that I will NEVER forget...
Thanks for answering my question. Here is a possible answer to yours. Go to your non-affiliate T.V. stations(Not ABC, or CBS, or NBC) , in their Historical Station Files, find out which station ran this SYNDICATED show. Television stations keep a record of their past programing. Once you find out which station showed this show locally, you probably will be able to purchase a Video Tape of your shows. I hope that helps you out. There are other, HARDER ways as well, but try this one first. If not, contact me right here, I'll tell you another possible way. Good Luck!! I realize it maybe a lot of work, but where's there a will, there is a way! Remember, your local FOX station was probably an independent station back then, so you can call, or email them as well. Again thanks, and good luck!!
To answer your question, I was in High School at the time and dancing in the show was my only claim to fame. I met great people and had a great time. I now live in LA and what I did then is relegated to memory. What I'm doing now has nothing to do with those great times. I hope this answers your question. Does anyone know where I could get a copy of the TV shows?
Did dancing on television bring you anything good? Serious Question. Did your future have anything to do with these times? Or is there just the memories left? I am not asking this question in any derogatory fashion, just curious!
I was a regular at the Soap Factory back in 1977 to 1979. My dance partner (Gail Trasso) and I danced in the weekly TV show several times. At the Soap Factory, I could only remember the best of times.
There is a Joe Lo-Re Production Co. in Bayonne where I live, I'll bet that's him!
I was the stage manager on the TV show! It was a lot of fun! I wish I had saved some copies of a couple of shows. Does anybody know if any are out there & if so where are they?
Director Joe Lo-Re where are you?
The Soap Factory was legendary for the amount of live talent that played there. Two to three different acts weekly. I was at THE COPACABANA in New York City, when the mobster who really owned it, "came into some property" in Palisades Park, an old Ivory Soap factory. They had it for a few years, just sitting there, empty, with nothing going on in it. About early February of 1974, they were talked into making it a DISCO, I told them that it be the biggest thing to hit North Jersey. I was right. We hired Lou to deejay , had a couple of other guys from New York that worked there as well. But the influence of the GAMBINO family was everywhere. A lot of old guys wearing Fadora's and sunglasses at night were seen everywhere in this huge, spacious factory. Never reached its full potential. La Costra Nostra was too violent, and there were always bodies of former employees being found near-by. The government soon got wise, and by 1986 it was pretty much out of there. The damage had been done, the Soap Factory was never the same. On a scale of 1 to 10, it only gets an 8.
What you don't remember was that it was a MOB club that belonged to the GAMBINQ family. How about the bartenders that were killed for stealing? I helped open it. I know!
I met my wife there, great people, great bands.
I remember Jeremy, Heaven Gate, Another Pretty Face,
Good Speed. Best time of my life.
I would go to the soap, and I was the DJ at the Brass Bell right down Rt4
Thanks for some of the comments about the music....... I was the original DJ at the Soap Factory from 1975 thru 1980 when it turn to Rock and Roll. I still have great memories of the music and friends I haven't seen for many years. Beleave it or not, all those records are safe and sound in my basement. I still keep in touch with DJ Joe Batts who took over at Dancin in the 80ies when I was playing at Chicago's and Temptations in Seaside. Would like to hear from some of you guys, keep in touch.....
I LIVED ON HENRY ST IN 1975 AND WENT TO
THE SOAP FACTORY MANY TIMES WITH MY FRIEND SANDRA AND AND MANY OTHERS.
I WONDER WHATEVER HAPPENED TO EVERYONE.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW. I SAW ARCHIE BELL AND DRELLS ANOTHER PRETTY FACE.
WE HAD A BLAST!!!CAN'T BRING THOSE TIMES.
I remember The Soap Factory Disco in 1977 to 1980. It was one of the few-if not the only Disco- to have a local TV Show. It was a nice New Jersey crowd with a good DJ. Back in the day The Trammps, Gloria Gaynor and a whole host of famous people performed on Tuesday and Thurday nights. The admission was $5 on weekends. I have great memories of The Soap Factory in the late '70s.
I WAS A REGULAR AT THE SOAP FACTORY AND IT JUST WARMS MY HEART TO SEE FROM MY PAST!
This place turned into "Dancin'" back in the early to mid 80's and used to draw some pretty big crowds. The format went back to disco then. Then around 1990, it went back to rock, chaning the name to "Dancin' Rocks". Went in there one night after the change, and it was a ghost town. I heard it changed back to the Soap Factory after that, but by then it was all over but the shoutin'.
I remember going to Soap Factory Disco
every Sunday back In 1979 - They used
to play the best Disco Music. It was a
great place to meet friends. I remember
they had two dance floors, on the bottom
dance floor they had the airplane hanging from the ceiling. They had a
great sound system. I wonder who the DJ
was at the time?
Is their a place where I can order some of these shows from those days?
I remember almost every thursday night seeing twisted Sister and Rachel . ya know Twisted was I think the first band to perform after the "DISCO" closed
All you can say is wow those where the days! A simple time of just having a good time. I remember the Moderns, Nines and that airplane hanging from the ceiling. Meeting new friends on the dance floor and I still am friends with them today. Going to college in P.A. and still coming home almost every weekend just to go to the Soap Factory!! Thank God for Rock and New wave today's music is worthless in my eyes.