The elevated dance floor is empty. A thick cloud of silence permeates. The production team — DJ, lighting operator, technical director, performer, floor managers, front of house, bartenders, bar backs, coat check runners, maintenance crews, and a platoon of professionals working at the top of their game — try to clear their heads in the countdown to the doors opening. So much rides on the unknown. Guests imagine it happens in real time, unaware of the fiscal life-or-death decisions leading up to this moment. Will the club be a hit or a disaster?
40 years ago tonight, The Saint opened in the heart of New York City’s seedy East Village. No one could have dreamed that a group of creatives and investors would funnel so much capital into a venture catering solely to society’s perverted outcasts. But for the members of this tribe, they knew deep inside that they were destined for greatness. Just the very nature of their otherness made them exceptional.
And so it came to pass. It was the very best of times, though some sensed something biblical was afoot. For the survivors who caught a glimpse of the pinnacle, they would live out their days trying to land on solid ground — haunted and blessed with memories to carry forever.
Take a tour of The Saint in the quiet hours before Opening Night in this virtual reconstruction of the club’s interior — created entirely from architectural blueprints and archival photos. It’s the closest we can get to dancing under the great dome again.
Images from the rendering process are below.
The Saint was an experience I will never forget.
As a gay male in my late 30’s I wasn’t old enough to experience it in person but by god the stories I’ve heard made me wish I could travel back to this time in history. While there was a lot of fear there was also a sense of freedom that we can’t currently fathom. #Borntoolate
Wonderful memories 💪
Some of the best moments of my youth
dancing with my friends in what truly was
a one of a kind spectacular space!
This is so magnificent!
A lovingly made tribute to this iconic venue.
I wish I could have set foot in this place!
In September 1980 I walked into a club that would be forever etched in my mind. It was like a space dance station. 8 years of wonderful memories and a forgotten youth!