Footloose arrives in movie theaters next Friday. Duran Duran is playing Madison Square Garden on Oct. 25. And, last night, Debbie (not Deborah!) Gibson sang "Shake Your Love" to a room of adoring fans. Uh-oh, did we accidentally step into a time machine and end up back in the 1980s?
If we did, please, we beg you: Let us stay here! Things seemed so much happier and brighter and, well, totally awesome. That's our first thought upon entering the new Culture Club for an October 5 private party celebrating its Midtown location. The three-floor space opened for business on September 30 and is noticeably smaller than its former warehouse-sized home on Varick Street, which closed in 2007. The walls are covered with drawings from the early days of video games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, along with reminders of when Jenny scrawled her number on the wall (all together now: 867-5309) and Princess Leia still looked hot in a bikini.
Beneath giant Rubix Cubes hanging from the ceiling we sip super-sweet drinks named for Ronald Reagan and Top Gun (warning: the 80s were a time before skinny cocktails) served by waitresses in day-glo dresses designed by Nanette Lepore. There are even people "smoking": As a flashback to an era when lighting up was allowed indoors, a venue employee passes out complimentary South Beach Smoke electronic cigarettes.
But it's the music that really puts us in a time warp. With a Michael Jackson impersonator walking among us and a 16-year-old Molly Ringwald, a bridal (if not virginal) Madonna and a bare-chested Billy Idol watching from the walls, we hit the glowing dance floor and sway to the uplifting sounds of Guns N Roses' "Sweet Child of Mine", Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock's "It Takes Two", and, of course, Journey's "Don't Stop Believing". Kourtney Kardashian and boyfriend Scott Disick arrive just before Gibson, a Culture Club partner, emerges from a VIP table near a display of her own platinum Electric Youth cassette and original bower hat. Looking hotter than ever, the 41-year-old leads the crowd in an acapella singalong of her 1987 breakout single, "Only In My Dreams", after which the deejay follows with her one-time rival's version of "I Think We're Alone Now."
We'd only planned on staying an hour or so to get a feel for the place, but three hours later, having escaped the real world for a while and, indeed, the 21st century, we are finally stumbling toward home. Once on the couch, we drunkenly flick on the TV half-expecting to catch an episode of Alf or Diff'rent Strokes but are totally out of luck. Guess we had come back to the future.