Emerald City was in operation from around 1978 to 1983.
Site of the former Latin Casino, now the corporate headquaters of Suburu America. The Wizard of Oz. If I remember correctly, cover was $12 with two drink passes. Emerald City had a giant dance floor with a "yellow brick" going down the center. DJ would play two songs with one two beats behind first.
Photo of the Emerald City dancefloor submitted by Phil LeBash
Phil Smith's Emerald City disco in the late seventies. The old south Jersey, Latin Casino done over by Richard Long of NYC sound associates and DJ Phil Smith opened venue called Emerald City in Cerry Hill, New Jersey. The stage and part of the huge dance floor of Richard Long's and DJ Phil Smith's sound associates design at Emerald City discotheque in souther New Jersey, right across for center city Philadelphia. The Emerald City was the old Latin Casino, a lot of the early Philly soul acts sang and entertained there.
Photos below submitted by Andrew Fisher
# 1: Andrew Fisher, CC and Billy G. Bartenders NewYears eve 1979-80 at Emerald City
# 2: Andrew Fisher, CC and James Brown in the dressing Room at Emerald City @1981
Photos below by Jacquelynn Kane
Description: Emerald City's Supper Menu (front and back). Circa 1978. Cherry Hill, NJ.
Photos below from Andrew Fisher.
Description: Red satin-like Emerald City staff jacket circa 1980.
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 MarkyMark
I am looking for the original commercial for Emerald City. The music was fantastic and I went to school with one of the girls that was featured in the commercial. Does anyone still have the commercial? If so, please post.
I was to Emerald City on the first Saturday night that it opened - I believe was in October 1978 and it was great. Some of the crowd from Gatsby's which was almost across the street from Emerald City on route 70, was there when it first opened. That place (Emerald City) was phenominal and I've always wished that it had stayed open there much longer than it did. The mid - late '70s was such a great era with the disco scene, especially in the Cherry Hill area and I've always missed it.
Hey Joyce.....I was at Glassboro State from 81-83, By that time of course EC was done. So me and my crown starting going to Someplace Else which was totally lame, especially compared to EC. Never heard of the U2 club. We also went to Wok and Roll. And then eventually Sanctuary in Cherry Hill. Maybe Wok and Roll was Someplace Else before they changed the name? I know Wok and Roll had a different name before they became Wok and Roll. there was Reds in Margate, East Side club in Philly and Revival of course. But nothing topped Emerald city where I went every single Thursday from 79-81.
Was in college at Glassboro when Emerald City around. Went there a lot, but does anyone remember the U2 Club in Pennsauken and Someplace Else, also in South Jersey? Bliz, John, and Tina, you still around?
Yo Paul....Do you remember the frigid night when the Clash crashed...
someone asked about wdku Dj, from "raw sounds for the cannabalistic society"
those were fun times....
yes i did DJ at east side club
emerald city a few times
most punk fests in early 80's
cherry's in bristol PA
My friends and I enjoyed many Thursday nights at EC in the early eighties. My recollection was that the last Thursday night was in 1981. That night there was a gold curtain across the stage, leading us to think that the Rolling Stones were going to show up for a warmup gig before they played their show in Philly that weekend. Does anyone else remember this? Also, for any of the DJ's at this time, we were the people who screamed "One Step Beyond" until you played it!! Thanks!!
Emerald City was the best - I was there sometimes twice a week when they had "Rainbow Nites" on Thursdays and New Wave/punk bands there on weekends. I was there the night of the fire when NO smoke alarms ever went off, the first clue that something was wrong was when the music cut out and we saw the bartenders jumping over the bars and running for the exits, some of which were chained shut. I was there for the English Beat when they filmed a documentary on 2-tone bands, I can be seen in front of the stage. Would love to live these times over again!
I am looking for more information about Emerald City Club from the late 70's. The 76er 's would frequent that club.If you have pictures please feel free to mail or connect me with a site that 's equipped with more information.
Stormin, we had a blast there and got paid for it! I just broke out my black satin "staff" jacket and uploaded photos... Hopefully the pic will pot here.... Blast back to the past reading thru these photos... Yo Fish ! horse face Harry, Princess Tiny Meat..... These son of a bitches are still throwing OLIVES !!!!!
Wow! I saw a lot of good shows at City Gardens, too!! Snakefinger, Hot Tuna, just to name 2!!
oops..it wasnt here i saw the dk's that time that was city gardens...but ifirst time at emerald city was the b-52's in 77
Hello to all who had the opportunity to work at the "City".
Still have my staff jacket.
Truly the funnest job on the planet.
My band, The Cheaters, played at Emerald City quite often. The club was first rate and run by exceptional people. It was such a spacious & great looking, welcoming club, with all the amenities. They treated bands very well! We opened for Psychedelic Furs, Ramones, Vibrators w/ Chris Spedding, and more. We went to every show we could because the place was so comfortable and well booked. Just the best club ever and we knew it! Thank you all, it was a fantastic time to share with you!
Reading these comments makes me so nostalgic! I saw so many shows there, but apparently MISSED some great ones, too. I remember Phil The Button Man who has sadly passed away a few years ago from a brain tumor! (weird connection: in the 90s my stepsister started dating him and he showed up at a family function in California!) To Tony Gatta: thanks for all the great music you played. I was too young to be there (thank God for fake i.d.s), but I will never forget dancing on Thursdays to your music and falling in love with new wave and punk rock. Saw Joe Jackson on the I'm The Man tour there, went backstage to meet XTC on the Black Sea tour...priceless memories. Thanks for everything!!
I played music at Emerald City from the day it opened. Phil Smith hired me to be his back-up DJ. The booth was the lighting booth above the old Latin Casino floor. The Gerson family spared no expence to create the largest and greatest dance club in the world! Mark Ackerman ran the lights, second to only Jimmy DelFemini at Second Story.
Charlie Gerson ran a tight ship but paid very well. In 1978 -80, I worked Thursday's and Sunday's and made $500.00 a week. When the club added altertative music, I played pin ball with the B52's, hung out with Madness, Wendy O'Williams and the Talking Heads. On my 21st birthday, the cops threw us out of our party in Cherry Hill and Phil Smith moved the party to Emerald City (He had the keys). I don't know who reads this but they will remember. In late 1979, Sunday nights brought a Black audience......which I LOVED! I always leaned to R&B/Soul. And I got to work with the great Dr. Perry Johnson! After about six weeks, some of the patrons prefered a "Black" DJ. In the 28 January, 1980 issue of "The Monday Mornining POWER PLAY", the late Joe Loris published "Did Tony Gatta receive a "bum" deal at Emerald City? You know there are some good white jocks that can play for a Black audience. Emerald City was fun, large and some of the best times of my life! Tony Gatta
i remember that The Plasmatics too
i saw the b52' here in 1977
and i also remember hitch-hiking here from wildwood one afternoon to catch a dead kennedy's show in 81?/ finally getting there so late to catch last set & lucky to catch ride back to the shore late night at the playground or was it casba back in town...
I never went there during the "disco" period but never missed the Thursday night "punk" nights many others have mentioned. It was also $1 to get in and $1 a drink that night. I saw Thin Lizzy, The Plasmatics, Joan Jett, Aerosmith (which was part of the WMMR party there), and many other bands. On those punk nights you could dance the hours away among all sorts of characters, most dancing by themselves ala Billy Idol.
@ Kim Richardson | Jul 01, 2012 | 7:18 am
That would be Curtis Blow and his new hit record "The Breaks "
I DJ'd at EC back in closing days of the club, I miss even still today!
Great fun! Great people! Great times!
Went to emerald city every weekend. Danced with guy named Rick ...lost contact. XTC The Cure B52s Talking Heads Back stage Ramones The Plasmatics
Phycodelic Furs, English Beat Go Gos and so many more...I have many pictures and ticket stubs....FUN
I went to the club on December 26, 1980 while on christmas break from penn state and that night an up and coming African-American singer performed his new release, does anyone remember who he was? I have been trying to find the 45 record to replace the one I lost but can't remember anything but falling in love that night while dancing to that record. Please help!
Miss my Thursday nights at EC. Best mischief I ever got into in my life. @Jack Medes...I remember when your little girl was born. (I'm "tee-shirt girl")
found this recent info of the Cure performance in 1980
My dad, Tommy Stewart, used to work at EC running the light show back in the day. His band, CATS, played their showcase for Elektra records there the night they got their record deal. I still have old videos of the flashing neon lights in the club. What a cool place. Seems like the Philly area rock club scene is a joke these days compared to how it used to be. What a shame.
I was quite a regular at Emerald City, once it became a new wave club in late 1979. I did not miss a Thuirsday night which was new wave music dancing and dollar drinks. All of my college firends came as well. It began to sputter out by late 1980 when the "regular" crowd started to show up. For those of us that were spawned from the original days opf punk,it was theonly place in South Jersey to hear our kind of music and see our favorite bands live in concert. I must have attended well over 50 shows. When Emerald City closed its doors in 1981 it left such a vacuum in my life. Nothing ever replace the place.
Myself and Bobby Harper ran the productions there the last year or so.I have many great memories of EC,the best being the second nite of three Alice Cooper shows, I had just put my friend Chas in the vip lounge and headed to the lighting console and never made it, my daughter was born that nite. As Alice came off the bus for the 3rd show he said congrads and asked if i named her Alice i said no i named her Christine Dorothy Medes he said congrads anyway......Great stuff!! Hey Harper where are you?? And you Tee shirt girl....how bout you?? will share more stories very soon (gotta bunch)
I remember the punk bands there! Saw Joe Jackson from the "I'm The Man" tour, The Romantics in their red leather suits, and best of all, XTC in one of their last ever shows supporting the "Black Sea" album in 1981! I managed to get backstage and meet them and it is to this day one of the greatest nights of my life!! I loved this place!
WTF.........i TYPED TOO FAST....I MEANT THE PARTY STARTED ROLLING.LOL...ALL THE TYPOS. WTF
Wow.......What memories are flashing through the mind ! I was the shop steward the last 2 years at Emerald City...Tended bar and remember the pre-interviewa and how hard it was to get a job there. I started from day one of its conception and almost till the last year. After I brought in my cousin Fish ,the party starte drolling and the boys from Wildwood ,Paul Dreschler and Dave McMullen started with me. Too many great stories ! women,drugs ,sex, bands,disco, hey did I mention women........That is my picture on top,I gues its from someones facebook. Me ,James Brown,Fish.....Then me, fish and Billy Grossman.
Did you know that the Go-Go's song "The Way You Dance" from their second album was written about a dancer at their Emerald City concert in Aug 1981? I will never forget that night! And I still have the ticket stub.
I remember attending the Go-Go's concert on Aug 31, 1981, great show and a recording of it can be found on the net. It was broadcast on WMMR. Throughly enjoyed going every week for punk night. I'm not sure but wasn't one of the DJ's at EC also a DJ for WKDU Drexel? On WKDU he was Lord Force who hosted Raw Sounds. If so what was his real name? He was one of the best DJ I've ever listened too. And remember..."Raw Sound is only for Raw People"
OMG, the famous Andy and Craig from the Cachet.
I worked with a really cool guy named Jamie at a t-shirt and button table during the punk 80's version of EC. We were set up right at the bottom of the staircase, in front of the water pools. I used to love to watch people sit on the edge of the pool and lean back too far and fall in! I got in lots and lots of trouble working in there...specifically with Wayne, Joey, and Jack...
My favorite memories would have to be the Soft White Underbelly show, the time I got to hold Alice Cooper's boa constrictor, meeting Joan Jett and meeting the Psychedelic Furs, and slow-dancing with the most awesome guitar player, Tom, to the Sex Pistols' "Holiday in the Sun". I don't know whatever happened to Tom, but I still have the guitar pick earrings he gave me. <3
Here is the ad for that show.
(The above ad comes from the Prince fan website: PrinceVault.com)
Nona Hendryx and Zero Cool were the support act.
Did anyone attended the Prince concert on 14 February 1980? I'd really like to see a ticket stub for that show.
THE CURE played there their first ever US show, 10 april 1980 !
Yes his The Fish, just had dinner with him and the gang last week.
How will I know you Joey M....it's been a long time... :o)
Who was the fish, Andy Fisher?
Last time I heard from him he was pissed about the Datsun 250z he brought from the Fish' That was in 1980.
Whatever happened to Gino, one of the bouncers, on Thursday night...
Joe Giletto, if you're out there, contact me on facebook.
Me, Paul, Dave, and Fish other EC bartenders get lunch on Thursdays at the Saladworks in Cherry Hill on Rt 70. We will be there this week.
I remenber that night at the Coliseum like it was yesterday. I still hang out with some of the other bartenders from EC. All we talk about is that place and how luck we were to have lived it. I'm still in S.J.
I remember Emerald City on Thursday Nights...we always had soooo much fun. My favorite bartender Joey with the long light brown wavy hair his tone body and his smile. I will never forget the Coliseum in Voorhees when somebody bit my ankle on the crowded floor only to see that smile and those eyes looking up at me ....wonder where he is now.... :o)
I remember when Blue Oyster Cult headlined with their original name of "Soft White Underbelly" so they wouldn't draw too many people.
It was by far the best time ever....
We'd cross the bridge every Thursday night to hit the scene....
It was the number one club in the tri-state area....
In 1979 I was only 15 and had a fake id. My brother took me to Emerald City to see some group he called The B52s. I had no idea what I was in for but became an instant fan.It was a school night and the place was only half full. I remember standing right in front of the stage staring at Fred and Kate in amazement. I recently ran into Fred on the street and San Francisco and told him this story.
I was production manager @ Emerald City starting the Jan. night when George Thorogood played and for a couple years up untill it closed. I was in charge of the backstage crew and sound and lighting. Some of the crew were Bobby M., John C, Brett M. etc. The place was insane. Anyone who was ever there during the "new wave " and rock era knows what a drug infested asylum that place was. The closest thing to the famous Studio 54 antwhere in the country.
I worked as a DJ at WCAU-FM 98 from 1975 - 1979.
Was the voice of the Latin Casino Radio spots during that time. It went somthing like this. You'll see stars at the Latin tonight. Shinning bright... Latin Casino.. Cherry Hill New Jersey. My Commercials were for acts including Richard Pryor, B.B King The Tmptations, Donna Summer and many others.
What a blast from the past and great times.
WCAU FM 98
1975 - 1979
Thanks Dave P.! 29 year mystery solved. Would you happen to know who was the band playing --sorta Teenage Jesus & Jerks kina shrieky shrilly girl singer..
Worked the door at City Gardens on Thursday nights with Kojak and Ronny Dunn back in '80 & 81. I was at the UB40 show and hung out with them after. What evver happened to Frank and Patty, Cheryl and Sue, Don Redmon and Dancin' Dave??
The movie was called "It took Guts". That was a show with the Cramps headling downstairs and then there was another 2 or 3 bands in the rarely used upstairs part after. That's where they showed the movie. I too remember Enerald City and City Gardens. Those two places where home away from home. I was in the crowd of about 20 to see UB40 at City Gardens, took a bottle to the head at the Medium Medium show, saw Lux Interior go beserk when somene stole his leather jacket before a show, got to chauffer Girlschool around when they appeared there. Many good times and actually have alot of photos from that tme
I saw the Cramps play there in august 1980 with their interim guitarist Julian Grindsnatch. Anybody knows who was the band who opend for them? Girl singer, sort of a Teenage Jesus vibe. They had an intro movie that looked (was?) like a snuff movie with a guy eating his eyeballs and then opened his belly took his guts out. Creepiest thing I ever saw.
Was never there when it was a Disco, But when it became a New Wave Club i went there many times. Saw a few concerts there. Joe Jackson, George Thoragood, and Blue Oyster Cult. I Think it was thursday night when drinks were a dollar.
Unreal!!! I worked as a bartender at EC for 3 years...the geratest time of my life. Paul D, Dave M (Catfish) Craig C, Mike and Nicky, Billy G, Duffy, Tommy G, Rich the Rino Sue B, Helen W, Andy B, Joe R and Joe M. Just to name a few. We had the greatest crew I have ever worked with. I will be back with some of the many stories. Karen Paul, Dave and I have lunch once a month in Cherry Hill. We tell the stories and laugh our asses off. Come on over...
I went to Emerald City during the Punk/New Wave era and it was a blast. I saw P-Furs, Magazine, Stranglers, Bow Wow Wow, Ultravox ( Midge Ure ), Plasmatics, Cramps, Nash the Slash, Gang of Four, Squeeze, Ramones, Steel Pulse, The Brains, Buzzcocks, The Stiff Records Tour, The Shirts. It's too bad a giant Suburu Headquarters sits on top of all those memories...that's progress!!
Also remember East Side Club, Ripleys, Chestnut Caberet, Bijou, and to Randy Now I remember countless Trenton City Gardens shows as well.
I was a friend of the owners son and worked at Emerald City for a couple of years. I ran the light show from the DJ booth,very cool all lights where operated by a keyboard,sold hot dogs at the rear of the club and worked backstage when band were playing "my favorite job". I met all of the bands B-52s, Iggy Pop,Wendy o Williams "I had the honor of applying shaving cream to her chest before the show",and many more. Being a friend of the owners family had its perks. I knew everyone who worked there the Dj,bouncers,lighting technition,even the clubs accountant.I was a junior in high school at the time and working at the City was definitly an experience I will never forget.As far as any mob ties go,I never heard anything about that like I said I was very good friends with the owners son and probabley would have heard something if that was going on. The owners name was Charles Gerson. His father was Dalles Gerson and started the Latin Casino. When Disco took off he turned the club over to his son charles who re-opened it as Emerald City.I don't know of any other partners other than Electric factory.I can say that the Gersons where very generous people.Once in a while Charles gerson"Charlie" would send Billy"his son "and I to AC to pick up 30-40 hoagies from the White House for the clubs staff before a show.He was always doing things like this for his crew.From what I can remember Emerald city filed for chapter 11 in court and closed down.The gerson family sold their cars'Porsches BMWs,thier home in Penn Valley PA and moved to florida.I lost contact with the family at that point but did hear that Charles Gerson passed away 10-12 years ago.
Does anyone have photos of the exterior or interior of Emerald City c.1980?
Looking for anyone who saw The Cure on April 10, 1980 @ Emerald City-- just curious about that show and would love to hear details.....
Does anyone know where Keith is? Keith Kashner from the band Prowler???
Randy, I totally believe you. BUT, look at the dates you mentioned. By 1979, the MOB was on its way out, almost all the families in New York and especially Philly were getting either killed or indicted. What was his name, "Little Nicky"Scarfo had a foot in federal court by then. Lets say I am totally wrong, that the EMERALD CITY was TOTALLY CLEAN OF THE DIRTY HANDS OF "LA COSTRA NOSTRA" will you agree that MOST clubs had MOB influence. And we could dispute your definition of "NO MOB TIES". While not directly involved with the management of a club, in Trenton,like most North Eastern Cities, the GARBAGE pick up were run by companies that were all affiliated if not totally controlled by the MOB. It wasn't until the 90's that these GARBAGE Haulers were put out of business, and replaced by "honest" companies. In New York City it didn't stop until this decade! How about the LIQUOR that you bought for your club, all major distributors had to pay their"DUES" to stay in business. That increased the price of booze that you bought and sold.So while THE MOB didn't OWN or RUN your place, there were "ties" that you may not have been aware of. I worked for MOB run or"owned" clubs for over a decade, afterwards I could spot their "fingers" in everything. Even major corporations like the HILTON and PLAYBOY had to deal with it.Whether they knew it or not. I think that applies to all Clubs prior to this century. Especially in the sixties and seventies, when it was more OBVIOUS, and out in the open. But don't take what I say personally, I am sure that you had nothing to do with them. Do me a favor Randy, check out HISTORY 101 in this site, specifically a survey about DRUGS and DISCO, I assume that a man with your experience would have plenty to say. Also, lets talk further about the MOB influence later, maybe you could email me personally, I smell an article.
Looking for Dave and Paul from Emerald City. Has anyone seen them? Hottest bartenders in So. Jersey! (K&L)
I remember WAY back, my sister called to tell me there was this really neat all-girls band called the Go Gos playing at Emerald City and I was like are you kidding? Sounds boring...we of course went and saw them up close! I loved Emerald City-we saw so many acts in a small venue before they became big and famous-B52s, Talking Heads, Joe Jackson, The Go Gos, Elvis Costello...what a great place!
My friends and I went to various discos in the Philly/South Jersey area back in the day including Emerald City. This club was in a class by itself! I remember dancing to Cher's "Take Me Home" on its huge dance floor. What memories!
Went to Emerald city many Friday and Saturday nights while a junior & senior at Bishop Neumann HS. If I remember correctly, cover was $10 but you got two drink passes. The dance floor was awesome....a yellow rick road down center. DJ often played same song two beats apart..Knock On Wood and Have a Cigar were terrific.
In 1980, it went punk. Then closed.
I remember when Aerosmith played there in 1983. I couldn't get tickets, but heard from friends that it was a very rowdy show. The fans kept yelling "Joe Perry", who was out of the band at the time.
Despite the fact that Steven Tyler was whacked out on all sorts of drugs at that time, many who went to that particular show claimed he was awesome that night.
I hung at Emerald City every weekend when it went from disco to new wave, the dance floor was electric and amazing, I saw the Talking Heads, Joe Jackson, Plasmatics, Iggy Pop, Morris Day and the Time, Pearl Harbor, and the best concert of all was the B52's they brought down the house, it was amazing when dance this mess around came on everyone was standing on the bars and table and dancing it was an experience I will never forget, the place is sorely missed it was a great era of music and entertainment combined.
i went to emerald city a few times. living around the philadelphia area at the time my first nite was new years eve 1978 had a good time dancing with these two divas that where grace jones looka likes. me and my friends would sometimes get in free saying to the door man that they didnt stamp our hands when we went out for air lol i thaught the club was great and looked good to. i also remember wcau fm 98 disco party there with bob pantano. and also butters disco from wdas
I was a dj at Emerald City for most of the new wave / punk shows from 1979 - 1982-ish.
I dj'ed the night The Rolling Stones were going to play, but big-mouthed WMMR leaked it out too soon. When I arrived with my two milk crates full of vinyl (pre-cd days) there was a line wrapped at least three deep around the building. I remember getting to the front door and banging to get in, it took some time for someone inside to see me and recoginize it was the Dj outside. When I played SHATTERED at midnight, the over crowded club of at least 1500-2000 people went into a frenzy!
I dj'ed at least 50 times or more there - from The P.Furs to The B-52's to Alice Cooper To The Ramones to Blue Oyster Cult (As The Soft White Underbelly) to The English Beat - with that performance being recorded for a ska movie, the movie name escapes me.
I have many memories at Emerald City, and I later took my talents and learnings from Emerald City as a dj and what I learned from helping put together shows there to put a Trenton NJ club on ther map until 1997- City Gardens, booking over 3000 different bands there and dj probably over 1000 nights there as well.
I went here once to check it out with a group of my friends. Had a good time but clubs closer to home were just as good or better so I never went back.
Went to the Latin Casino and saw the last performance ever to be there. It was Donna Summer who did a wow show.
When it reopened as Emerald City I was amazed at the transformation. I do have pix standing on the blocks with an old boyfriend and some other friends.
It wasn't my fav club but I always had a good time when I went. But back then I always had a good time.
in 1978-9 i just had two kids got divorced made my way from small mobile home in toms river nj to cherry hill rt 70 nj in a small cold green beat up station wagon every couple of days in 1979-83 would go to emerald city only 4 bucks cover greatest place around punks etc... dance floor lit up boxes all types of disco lights great sound hotdogs, lots of sex great shows then one day in 1983 rode a few of my girlfriends to emerald city found it closed they nearly killed me... db nyc www.youtube.com user nycrocks
I remember as a kid driving by Emerald City and seeing this green pyramid shaped building with long lines of people waiting to get in. Now on that site sits the Suburu American Headquarters.
A night I will never forget. I remember being there when a fire started in the heating ducts. Music stopped, lights went on, panic erupted, headed toward the exit only to find the door locked. Came back in the club and was overwhelmed by a thick smoke. Finally made it outside as hundreds of people were screaming franitically. Fortunately with some minor injuries and not too much damaged to the club we were back there the following week.
I went to the Emerald City club once, in Cherry Hill Jersey, we where part of the hot dance group from the limelight, and went there to show off, and they did not take us lightlee, but we had fun. the girls loved us.