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James J. Del Femine

Written by Del

Lightman for Philadelphia Clubs (September 29, 1944 - August 11, 1989)

James Del Femine was the premier lighting engineer in Philadelphia in the '70s-'80s. He worked at "the" club in Philadelphia, The Second Story, from 1976-1986. He also worked at Equs, Raffles (manager), Catacombs, and many other top clubs in the Philadelphia and New Jersey area. Jimmy won a regional BILLBOARD award in 1978 and the Pocono Record Pool Strobe award from 1977 - 1979. He and his brother, Robert (Del), even formed a "family" DJ/lightman duo on several occasions.

Jimmy Del Femine invented the lighting technique know as the "flashcube" where 50+ light bulbs would "explode" with a flash and the room would go "white" then dark right as the peak break of a song hit. DJ Frankie Goodman commented, "Everyone would explode into screams and it gave the entire club an incredible rush. He never once missed it. His timing was always right on the money."

The Second Story was known for its amazing sound and lights - Jimmy Del designed many of lighting elements. He did the lighting "show" with two controllers, manual switching, and a foot pedal... there was never a pin beam or gel out of place... and how he controlled the giant mirror ball... was an art.

DJ Frankie Who (Frank Sestito) worked with Jimmy for 12 years, he commented, "Jimmy was the light person everyone wanted to be and every DJ wanted Jimmy to be there as their light person." Jimmy Del is sorely missed by all.

Photos below kindly submitted by Robert DelFemine who is Jimmy DelFemine's brother.
DJ Frankie "Who" Sestito and Lightman Jimmy Del Femine at Someplace Else 1978

Jimmy Del Femine, unknown, DJ/Sound System Designer - Eddie Gifford, and front door manager - Maureen Collazuol at The Second Story 1979

Jimmy Del Femine and Maureen Collazuol at The Second Story 1979

Lightman Jimmy Del Femine in the booth at The Second Story 1978

A view of the dance floor and incredible lighting at The Second Story 1979

An infamous "White Party" at The Second Story 1978

Photo #1 Lightman Jimmy Delfemine & Frankiewho.
James J. Del Femine


Your Comments

toddc |

My mom and step-dad use-to go to Elan and Second story. I heard cool things about both. They were legendary Philadelphia night-clubs.

Del |

Cajunmoon (sorry don't know your name) thanks for making my day and continuing Jimmy's memory. Sorry to hear about your brother... it's incredible how fast time passes, isn't it? All the best to you, DEL (Robert Del Femine)

Cajunmoon |

I worked at Equus and remember Jimmie Well. My brother and I both worked at Equus as barbacks.

My brother passed away in March of 1989 the same year Jimmie passed away.

Jimmie was a great guy and a very caring person and I miss him very much.

Frank Goodman |

When I worked with Jimmy we used to discuss where we would use the flashcube every Saturday night. We would come in the Second Story early and listen to the song that we had decided on and made sure we had the timing right. When the time came to use the song I would let Jimmy know and he went to work. In anticipation he would slowly bring down all the lights and at precisely the right beat when the club was almost totally dark he would set off the flashcube. Since he had the flashcube set up around the mirrored ball the effect made it seem like the entire dance floor had just flashed on and off. It was awesome!!! Everyone would explode into screams and it gave the entire club an incredible rush. He never once missed it. His timing was always right on the money.
I also worked with Jimmy at Discovery and when he took over as manager of Raffles he hired me to play for him one night a week.
He was a good friend and I've missed him for a long time.

Del |

Jimmy was my older brother and while he was "the best" with lights, I was on the DJ side. I learned, in my youth from watching Philly's best: Frankie Goodman, Frankie (Who) Sestito, and Billy Kennedy. My childhood friend, Robbie Tronco, also became well know wordwide.

I'd like to place some comments here from one of the DJs that worked with Jimmy for a long time at The Second Story, "Jimmy Del was a complete lighting and club atmosphere genius. I was lucky to work shoulder to shoulder with him from the day the story opened till it closed.. He never missed a beat..ever...He was the master of the "flash cube" and remember.. he did that whole show with two controllers, manual switching and a foot pedel..there was never a pin beam or gel out of place...and how he controled the giant mirror ball was an art in itself..
He is sorely missed by all, he was the light person eveyone wanted to be and every dj wanted Jimmyto be there as their light person..."

Rick Trev |

I worked with Jimmy at the Second Story back in the lat seventies and early eighties. He was a great guy, and a good friend. He is still greatly missed.


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