Huge underlit dance floor, much like 2001 Odyssey.
Entire back wall was also underlit like the floor, computerized lighting.
I think it now may be called the Boot-Scootin Saloon (C & W place).
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 Hank the Tank
I used to go to the teen disco in about 79-80's. There was a band called the Catch, I remember Kissing the Drummer but I thought his name was Ronnie? A little creepy since I was 14, but does anyone know what happened to the band. I remember a dark haired guy in a silk shirt and polyester pants that was always trying to get the girls to go out in the parking lot! And to think we went there to dance. LOL
I was just telling my son, age 25 about this amazing club I went to in the late 70s. He love Disco now. I told him there was no club like the The Big Apple. It was huge and magical. That floor, that pumping music. Like walking into a lit dream. So many young people dancing, laughing, having the time of their lives. What a place, what memories. And we would drive 40 minutes to get there. If anybody has pictures, put 'em up!!
Hi Lee (Les), Hugh, Billy and all. I spent quite a few evenings at the Big Apple. Did work for Rod & Les with lights, sound and some other adventures. Met my wife Sue there - she worked in coat check. It was a welcome surprise to see this site - suggested by a friend. Still live in the Akron area. If anyone wants to contact me I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
must be Jimmy Deculus (I know I spelled that wrong) yes I live in kenmore and work in Akron. I play about 3 to 4 times a month, mostley at clubs like Moose, Eagles, VFW etc.. will be getting a new email after today i'll post it so we can get together for a beer. have to get a new email because I got pissed at ATT and told them to shove it and am getting Road Runner so it will be email@example.com
hi billy the drummer, yes the last name starts with d, do u still play ther drums, are u still in the area, thanks jim
Boy if this place don't bring back the memories. Silk shirts and platform shoes. I went when it was first the Big Apple and then when it changed to the Agora. I always remember and still don't understand why they had one drummer playing along with the recorded music. I can't remember the guys name but I always found it strange. How the bar in the back was always easier to get a drink at. The different levels they had for the tables. Just the place brings me back to when I was younger and had very few worries. If I sit and think about it I can still smell the place. I always thought it had its own unique smell. The booze with way to much cologne and perfume. What great times.
hi everyone again... i left a messege about ( THE AKRON AGORA ) i started going between 1980 thru 1984. if anyone went between those years. leave a messege. oh! the bass guitarist for the band ( LAFEVER ) her name was ( MARY ) good looking woman. she could play that bass guitar... i miss all the fun times at ( THE AKRON AGORA ) jeff knight...
Yes, I too had great memories of The Big Apple, drinking rum and orange juice. Good friends with Rod and Les who are now near Phoenix. Hugh
hi everyone. i never got to be part of the BIG APPLE era. i wish that i had but. i came along in the early 80s. i started going to the former big apple building. it was called the AKRON AGORA. i was amazed how the dance floor was so big. great live bands played there. RISQUE... THE CATCH... ( WHICH BECAME LAFEVER ) lead singer vicki and husband dennis on guitar. just to name a few bands. kathy kraft spinned the records every friday & saturday evenings. halloween... kathy would have a kissing booth. for 25 cents.. you got to kiss kathy on ( THE LIPS ) talk about HOT WOMEN.. what a great place to meet them. the torch was passed from the ( BIG APPLE ) to ( THE AKRON AGORA ) TO the BOOT SCOOTIN SALOON ) thank you for all the excellent memories... jeff knight
Jim, does your last name start with a "D" i got to remember you
i was a northampton police officers, loved working the big apple, we wore blazers with patches when they first opened, then went full uniform, what a great club and by most part the customers where great also, some were problems, but you have that everywhere. never di know what happened to rod and les, hope they are well.
Well, nice to see this thread is still here and going. Keep em coming folks and keep our memories of the Big Apple Disco alive.
That brings back memories. I think I was there on New Years Eve in 1978 with my friends. What a great time!
Was thinking aobut the Big Apple this New Years. Spent I believe '78 New Years Eve there, reservations and all. Remember too many Busch Lite pitchers and bowls of chips. Just a magical place as everyone has said. The size of the place and lighted dance floor were sensational. Tough finding a place on the dance floor at times but I remember my girl friend carving out a little space in a way that didn't ruffle too many feathers. We drove in from Cleveland from time-to-time. Always a big night. Pizza at Luigiis anyone?
We still live near Warren but are in Akron quite often at the Northside. Have you ever seen the Midlife Chryslers? They play at the Northside once a month now. Love them!
I play about 50 or so jobs a year, most of this year i didn't belong to a band just fill-in (but still play about 50 times a year) thats enough for me. Work keeps me busy enough i'm a Database Administrator/ IT specialist . I live and work in Akron when I do play i play mostly Animal clubs (Eagles, Moose, Vfw etc...) But I still love playing drums. Thanks for asking
Merry Christmas to you, Billy. Are you playing in a band now?
Merry Christmas Everyone and I hope you all have a wonderful New Year. Wow I forgot about the
T-shirts, I wonder if I still have one, and yes that is Ron the DJ on it with myself. Those were great times. Wish were could do them all over again. Disco was great because everyone felt like a star, people would plan all week just for the weekend, everyone dressed up and the party was non-stop.
Those will always be my fondest memories.
Everyone take care
Wow, I just came across this site and it really takes me back. My friends and I were regulars at the Big Apple at least once a week and sometimes twice. We would drive in all the way from Warren to dance there. What a great place that was. The first time I walked in I couldn't believe it. I think someone else said it was Magical! That's a very good description of the way it felt. I loved to watch Billy play the drums - you were great! I actually came across an old T-Shirt from there the other day. Billy, it has a picture of you on it (and Ron I think). Some of my best memories of that time are from the Big Apple.
Hey I guess I'm late to the party but I thought I'd share a few memories of my own.
From '77 to '79 my buddies and I worked as ushers at the Akron Square Cine 6 (basically we were bouncers in tuxedos). We'd always go out somewhere after work, and our favorite place was the Apple. Between the ushers, the girls at the candy counter and the girls from the box office, we had a great crew. We'd get off work at 10:30 or midnight, hustle into our disco clothes and race across town to throw down a few drinks and dance our butts off for the last couple of hours before closing time (2:30). On a good night we'd roll in with about a dozen people. We felt like we owned the place - but I guess on any given night there were a thousand or so others who felt the same way.
I always ordered a zombie - 3 shots of rum (light, dark, and 151) and a lot of pineapple juice - because we always showed up late and had a lot of catching up to do.
Arriving there fresh from work when most everyone else had been drinking for a couple hours led to its share of adventures and misadventures - I remember more than a few fights, in the club and out in the parking lot. But we looked out for each other pretty well, and when all was said and done it was always a great time.
Afterward we'd all go out for something to eat - our favorite spot was the Wally Waffle right on Tallmadge Circle. We'd finally roll home about 4:00 or so, crash until 11, and make it back to work bright and early at 1:30 in the afternoon.
I know for a fact the Apple was much better than any other disco in Ohio - my college buddies from Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati all envied me because I lived in Akron, where that great big disco was. And to be honest, I'm not sure anyplace in Chicago could hold a candle to it either.
I WAS HEAD FLOORWALKER,AND RELIEVED DJ AND PLAYED SLOW SONGS
Oh Miracle Mart,my memory of going there is it being full of an assortment of items,some reason black rubber snowboots ring out,also the smell they gave off! The carts would roll off on their own due to uneven floors! The north entrance to Monkey wards let you ride the esculator down to a fan blowing a beach ball out from the center,straight ahead was the display of Bridgestone motorcycles,keep walking to the other side and there were the toys,i believe this is where my parents bought me "Big Loo"robot by Marx!(1962-3?) Did you ever go to the Tastee Freeze,not sure if that was the name,to get an ice cream cone,that was north of the Big Apple,same side of the street,or State Eight roller rink(other side of the road,up towards Steels Corner),ha! I think it was the first and only time i went there,turned 13,dressed in my jean jacket and pants doing the hokey pokey! Of course we were all influenced by The Gene Carroll show,my entertainment right after church! Fun to remember!!!
whoops, no backsies, that should be BIG BOY
Rt 8 going into Cuyahoga Falls, nicely described Pat! Miracle Mart... a forerunner of Big Lots today...you never knew what might be in there when you went...and Monkey Wards was the biggest thing before Clarkins opened. Clarkins parking lot in the winter was the spot for doing doughnuts in the snow, good times. Bog Boys at Manners, and later BBF opened next to it. Low priced hamburgers got us through high school...
Ha,great to read this,the last time i was in the Big Apple i rode my Yamaha 250 Big Bear there,growing up in Boston heights.Clarkins was right after the Big Apple,all on the left of Route eight heading towards Cuyahoga Falls,Reggies Big Boy in the same area.As you enter Cuyahoga Falls,Monkey Wards on the left and Miracle Mart on the right,good old days!
There were alot of people and that was many years ago, maybe if you could describe a little more i could recall.
But thanks for remebering
Robert Berardi - I remember it the exact same way. I remember my first time - I believe it was summer of 1977 - walking in there and seeing that floor. It really was magical. I was hooked! Billy - don't know if you remember Angie - she was my friend. We came up there together a lot.
Happened to find this conversation. Hung out at the Big Apple with my friends in the late 70's. What a great place it was!
I watched the video by chance originally. I couldn't stop watching it, really annoying my family. It just blew me away. Read Last Train to Memphis (excel.) and I guess I'm just so moved by the whole Elvis story, his personality, music. It just seems like greatness to me. I wondered what an experienced musician would think. I like the up tempo of Vegas, but I love a lot of the other also.
Yes I have, Why do you ask. Every now and then at the Apple they would play a live version of "Can't Help Falling In Love With You" from a "Now" very hard to find "Live In Vegas" LP, That was a great version, it was real 'up tempo' and you can hear 'Elvis has left the building' at the end. I love watching documentry films.
Billy - have you seen the video Elvis That's the Way it is, live in Vegas from the early 70's?
Thanks so much for the kind words, and yes I do recall the Last name
Was Mikulin - not Joe actually Cindy. Took lessons early 80s after disco. Thinking back I wondered what happened to -billy the really talented drummer/teacher - and this site came up. I don't play anymore tho, all that's left is a pr of fav. drum sticks! Hearing China Grove always jogs my memory of trying to learn to play the song. -which makes me bust out in a laugh! Anyway, any student would be very lucky to have you as an instructor. Take care, Wish you well.
What was your last name Joe I taught alot of years and alot of students. I really enjoyed teaching and like to hear how my old students are doing. As a matter of fact I have a studio in my Home now and will probably start teaching this Fall. Always like to talk to Drummers.
That's right - it was Henrys. I took lessons from you and was very intimidated cause you were so good!
not Lentine's I gave lessons at Henrys Music on Cuy Falls Ave then Henrys moved to State Rd and I taught there
Did the drummer give lessons at Lentine's Music on State Rd?
Followed the link from Hank The Tank. Great posting, left a comment. The waitress name was Kim. She had a smile as beautiful as the sunrise and was always the nicest person to be around. She was awesome. It's been all those years but I am really distinctly remembering her name as Kim, I hope the Bacardi and OJ has not befuddled my brain cells....
OK folks, my "Big Apple Disco Memories" story is up on my blog at BlogSpot.com. Thought I'd put it there as its a little lengthy. Here's the link:
CALL FOR PHOTOS addendum: Oh one more thing (since you can't seem to edit any comment), if you read my sample thread and saw the photos, the "good" ones were scanned from old 110 negatives on my Nikon ES9000 scanner.
(The other not so good scans were from old Kodak Instant Pictures (akin to Polaroid) scanned on a flatbed scanner).
CALL FOR PHOTOS: If anyone has any old photos they might have taken at the Big Apple, please let us know and post em if you can.
Anyone here who read my sample thread saw the photos I put up there. Sadly (especially for me, a photographer), I never thought to take my camera to the Big Apple. Not sure what Lee Bortel's policy on cameras was back then but I imagine that someone may have from time to time brought a camera.
NOTE: If anyone has any old negatives (126, 110, 35mm) of their Big Apple experience, contact me as I can scan them for you, totally for free.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow, when I put that note up, I had no idea it would get this many hits & comments, much less from the owner himself. Good to see you here Lee (I'll make sure to use your preferred name) and you too Billy. It feels great to play a part in getting old friends back together and remember those days at the Big Apple.
I'm writing up a "Big Apple Memories" story to put up on my blog. I'll post the link here once I get it written.
Here's a sample story of mine from my days at Skateland (Johnstown, PA) during my "minor league" times. At age 18 for me it was the "minor leagues" (roller skating) and the "Major Leagues" (The Big Apple).
I went to the Big Apple from 77-80 and it was almost a weekly ritual. Usually me and 3 of my buddies would drive down from Mayfield Hts on a Sat night and would end up running into more of our friends who also decide to go. It was one big party and the best nightclub I ever went to.
This link will tell you all about Love Afair http://www.richspina.com/
I am reading these comments and many memories have come back in my mind of hanging out at The Big Apple with all my friends.
I remember it changing to the Agora and the band "Love Affair" would play there weekly. I wonder where they are nowadays?
les I emailed you
nice to find you
Finally the King of Disco was found!!
It was great to hear from Les!!
I am happy to post my email address: email@example.com (I always hated the name Les and changed it 20 years ago to Lee when I went back into radio as a on-air jock in Denver and Phoenix! Feel free to share with others...I hope to reach Billy & Hugh. We had some WILD Halloween parties there...and Hugh was the onw who dressed in a Sant suit with a BIG SURPRISE for every lady in the house!! Later!
"The lost is found!" Hi friends! It was a magical period and Rod and me were very dedicated to club and fortunate to meet so many great people in that era. Times have really changed! I live in Tempe, Arozona and opened another dance club here at ASU in the mid 1990's...they wouldn't allow "Flash powder" like we used to enjoy Ka-Boom!! I tried to find Billy the drummer during that club opening to show =em how it's done...but was unsuccessful...that was just when the internet was new. I just ran a google of my name for the heck of it and WOW was I surprised to find this site...thanks for memories TWICE. We had some wild times!!! It would be wonderful to go back..I understand the club is now a motorcycle storage business...! Enjoy life while we can!!!
I remember bits and pieces when I hear songs...being in different areas of the Big Apple when I heard certain songs still takes me back. Met my spousal unit there, she followed me to Florida by getting my address from one of the waitresses after I left Fall of '77, we've been together 32 years come August. The nice disco jacket she wore made a great conversation starter. The dress code did make the patrons dress to the nines for the night. Billy, whatever happened to the DJ, Ron? (F**k Me Ron - he was always hollering F**K ME) Northampton is correct, not Northfield -= thats where the harness track was.
I was the guy that drank rum and orange juice. Moving from one bar at the front to the bar in the back. Spending time in the office and at Rod & Les's house. Great music, great people and great experiences.
I wish I could locate Rod or Les it would be nice to talk about the good old days. Those were definitly the tims of our lives a real cool time to come of age in the bar sceen. I think about those times often and you know that when I think back it is as though everone is just frozen in time (always in their late teens, early twenties) but now we are all in our 50's approching 60 So I guess those are nice memories to have, nobody can take that away. I do sit in an office and daydream alot. I'll hear a song on the radio and want to tell someone (hay I used to play drums with them or I know them) but i figure they would just think I was some old dude with an active imagination so I just smile and remember, thats good enough.
But it's so nice to hear from everyone here on this Web site and know the Apple and Myself had made some unforgetable memories
Thanks So Much
Does anyone know where Rod and Les Bortel are?? They were good friends and I have lost track of them. They built the Big Apple and ran it until they sold it.
Billy Smith: Yes I stand corrected on the Apple being in Northampton (or was it Northfield) and not in Boston Heights.
But I do remember you playing the drums to the music during the time frame I was a semi-regular there (Fall 1977, all of 1978 and a visit after USMC Boot Camp in 1979).
One other person commented here on how dress went downhill after disco gave way to rock in the 1980. At one time you couldn't get into the Big Apple wearing blue jeans, you had to dress up classy. After it became the Agora, I guess jeans were the rule.
Thanks again for the correction. Lord how I miss those days.
For Those Of You Who Were Never There From 1977 Through 1979 Honestly It Was Like Walking Into Another World! I Frequently Commuted 45 Miles From Alliance To The Big Apple On A Saturday Night Those 3 Years & What A Rush It Was To Arrive There At 9PM.The Music,The DJs, Drummer-Billy Smith,2,000 People,10,000 Colored Lights & All The Ladies Combined To Give The Apple An Atmosphere Unlike Any Other! Akron & N.E Ohio Please Leave More Comments & Remarks, Thanks, Robert Berardi In Alliance OH
What a great spot. I spent many nights and early mornings with Rod and Les. I wonder if anyone knows where they are?? I became great friends with many great people who worked there. Great music, great fun, great lights, great people.
The Big Apple was on the cutting edge of disco! I was there in the late 70s, to the early 80s when it became the Akron Agora. Glass gave way to plastic, disco to rock, dress-up to scruffs. But it remained the place to meet babes if you were a guy. I met up with my future (and still current) wife there. Billy Smith, he was an awesome drummer and dude! He helped make the place what it was. Great that you posted here, Billy! We all remember you!
The Big Apple was fantastic. Northampton and route 8 were never the same. Grew up across the street and went to Woodridge right down the road. '76,'77 at the Apple, I was a barback, then bouncer. Plenty of crazy nights and wonderful folks that worked there. Too many messed up nights ending in fights, but the Northampton police were always good to us. The dance floor was awesome. The best rowdy spots were up behind the glass.. and the back bar area with the foosball tables. Worked plenty of those Sunday afternoons for the kids...the special pink punch mix in 5 gallon white plastic buckets.....mix and pour, mix and pour.
Also the Big Apple's location was Northhampton Township and now that is Cuyahoga Falls having been annexed in 1990. It was never located in Boston Heights.
I WAS THE DRUMMER WHO PLAYED TO THE DISCO MUSIC AT THE BIG APPLE. STARTED THERE BEFORE IT OPENED AND REMAINED THE ENTIRE LENGTH IT WAS THERE IT WAS SOMETHING JUST THOUGHT I WOULD BE THERE UNTIL I PUT ANOTHER BAND TOGETHER BUT IT GOT BIG (REAL BIG) I PLAYED 8 TIMES A WEEK (TWICE ON SUNDAYS ONE FOR TEENS) AFTER THE BIG APPLE IT WAS THE AKRON AGORA AND THEN THE BOOT SCOOTIN SALON I WORKED FOR THE AKRON AGORA FOR ABOUT 1 YEAR. DURING THAT ERA THE APPLE WOULD SEND ME TO NY TO BILBOARDS DISCO CONVENTION WHERE I GOT TO PARTY WITH STARS LIKE ANDY GIBB, T-CONECTION, DONNA SUMMERS, GRACE JONES ETC.. ALL THE ONES OF THE DAY ----- YES I WILL ALWAYS HAVE A FOND LOVE FOR DISCO