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Saturday Night Fever-Film Locations-NYC-Untapped Cities-Bay Ridge-Brookyln-John Travolta.mp4 - VLC media player 6182014 114745 AMAll film stills courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Remember when John Travolta was cool? Yes, there was a time where John Travolta was “cooler than a polar bear’s toe nails” and as popular with the ladies as any of the leading men robbing women’s hearts today. In 1977, Travolta took over pop culture with his most iconic performance in Saturday Night Fever as Tony Mareno, a 19-year-old Italian kid from Brooklyn. From Sunday to Friday, he was a nobody, working a dead end job with seemingly no ambition, but on Saturday nights, he was a king who reigned over a disco dance floor (we assure you back in ’77 this was cool). We present an ode to disco, the Bee Gees and strutting–here are NYC locations used for Saturday Night Fever.

1. Lenny’s Pizza

Saturday Night Fever-Film Locations-NYC-Lenny's Pizza-Brooklyn-Bay Side-John Travolta.mp4 - VLC media player 6182014 123652 PM

The opening scene is one that everyone should know: Travolta strutting down Bay Ridge with the Bee Gees “Staying Alive” playing in the background. It is one of the most famous opening scenes in cinema history and one that many have paid homage to since the film’s release. It was also one of the hardest; initial shooting of the scene had to be scrapped because everywhere the camera would go, there would be schoolgirls in the shot, gawking at Travolta. Many of the scenes shot during the day had to be done as early as dawn to avoid public disturbances.

The first time we hear Travolta is when he orders two slices (eating them one on top of the other) from this neighborhood pizza joint that still exists today. Lenny’s Pizzeria has been in business since 1953 and still carries a picture of a young Travolta on its wall. Fun fact: the young lady working in the shop is actually Travolta’s younger sister Ann.

7 Comments

  1. Dave says:

    John calls me a “Daring Individual” in terms of my photography. He grew up with my cousins in Englewood.

  2. Yvonne says:

    The Fisherman’s Corner hasn’t been a Mazda dealership for several years. Although, it’s another car dealership now.

    • Duane says:

      The old “Fisherman’s Corner” restaurant is now “Signature Auto Group” …
      A Russian car leasing company….”Fisherman’s Corner” has been gone since about 1988…It was then a succession of a few different restaurants for a few years (One was Ottomanelli Bros…)…About 1995 it became a Sporting Apparel store named “Central Sports” which closed in the early 2000’s…The space was vacant for a few years until it became Fiat then Mazda dealerships….

  3. Jan Griffiths says:

    I was in NYC in 1979 during Christmas/New Years, and visited Bay Ridge and surrounding areas where SNF was filmed. The club was still open at that time, and I went there several times (as well as Studio 54) during my visit. I have many photos that I took during my visit, because SNF was one of the greatest movies ever made (in my opinion). I had a great time in NYC (I’m from AZ), and really went there to experience New Year’s Eve in Times Square. I also went (and photographed) the original WTC from top to bottom, including the underground mall there. So sad to see a lot of these places from the film are no longer. I also ate pizza from Lenny’s, had a burger or two at the coffee shop, and White Castle, and had a great time overall. I will return one day to see the WTC memorial and the new towers. I love NY!!

    • Duane says:

      They knocked that old “White Castle” (on 92nd st and 5th ave) down in 1989 or 90 and built a small office building there…

  4. Denise says:

    Great site and very informative. I have a correction though. The spectrum was not demolished until late 90s or early 2000s. I was there for the Saturday Night Fever 20th reunion in 1997. The Bee Gees, KC and The Sunshine Band, Tavares and Yvonne Elliman were supposed to perform their soundtrack hits outside the club but got rained out. They let all the KTU ticket winners to the reunion, into the club and rescheduled the reunion months later at Madison Square Garden. Steven Segal was there and the place was packed. But it was so memorable for me to be able to dance on that same light up dance floor that John Travolta strutted his stuff on.

    • Duane says:

      I was on a service call at the old “2001 Odyssey” in the early 90s and it was the dingy gay “Spectrum” club at that point….The old light up dance floor was still there (filthy and covered with cigarette burns…)… That light up dance floor was very small …Probably not bigger than 12’X 18’…

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