As the owner of legendary hotspots like Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium, and Club USA, Peter Gatien was the undisputed king of the 1980s New York City club scene. The eye-patch-sporting Ontario native built and oversaw a Manhattan empire that counted tens of thousands of patrons per night in its peak years, acting as a conduit for a culture that, for many, defined the image of an era in New York. Then years of legal battles and police pressure spearheaded by Mayor Giuliani's determined crackdown on nightlife in the mid-'90s led to Gatien's eventual deportation to Canada, and the shuttering of his glitzy kingdom. Featuring insider interviews with famous players in the club scene as well as key informants in Gatien's high-profile trial, Billy Corben's (Cocaine Cowboys) exuberant documentary aims to set the record straight about Gatien's life as it charts his rise and fall against the transformation of New York, offering a wild ride through a now-closed chapter in the history of the city's nightlife.
- Billy Corben
- Run Time
- 1 hour 44 minutes
As a trippy, trifling memorial to a time before its eponymous club was a mini-mall and rave culture a woozy memory, "Limelight" delivers the messed-up goods.Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, 09.22.2011
Watching Limelight, about the rise and politically engineered fall of onetime Manhattan nightclub kingpin Peter Gatien, is like looking through a family album: If you're in the family, you might be interested.John Anderson, Variety, 10.13.2011
Limelight works better as an unofficial history of an Old New York than it does as the definitive portrait of Gatien.Seth Colter Walls, Village Voice, 09.20.2011
Transporting as it is, this doc leaves a bad taste in your mouth, if just for the ill will it drudges up.Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News, 09.22.2011