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Throughout the years, the club has developed a reputation as a haven for misfits of all ages — queer people, weirdos, art kids, punks, goths, and any other kind of outsider — thanks to its accepting ethos and and-up age limit. According to Pontello, they wer one of those misfit. Friends took them to s for the first time infor a Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert. Pontello quickly discovered Classic s, the long-running Friday night dance party that still plays New Wave, goth, industrial, and other deep musical cuts from the s.
After high school, Pontello left Houston, living in places like Los Angeles and New Orleans, where they worked in TV and film and the wardrobe industry. But even with the renowned nightlife in both of those cities, Pontello could never find a place like s. They started to think of a way to share the unique — and uniquely Houston — story of s, and the idea for a documentary was born.
Wren, who died inoriginally operated the club as a dinner theatre of sorts, later transforming it into the gay dance club everyone now knows as s. Bruce Godwin, who owned a local record store and regularly DJed at the club, and Robert Burtenshaw, a British video artist, bought the business in It was thanks to them that s gained a reputation as a concert venue, often hosting up-and-coming and underground bands before they were known on a national basis.
To complete the film, they applied for grants, and launched a GoFundMe in to help finish the film.
In the meantime, the venue itself suffered setbacks. Inlongtime owner Robert Burtenshaw died by suicide. Rudi Bunch, who was a staff member at s for many years. And in March ofs was forced to close, like many other Texas bars and restaurants, during the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The club reopened just a few weeks ago, and the Friday Night Classic s dance party celebrated its 30th anniversary on July 2, playing to a whole new generation of young outsiders.
A long-awaited documentary about Houston nightclub s is finally ready for its premiere. More From Eater Houston.
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