Marc Saltarelli, the director of the highly anticipated documentary Studio One Forever, joins the Richard Skipper Celebrates show to discuss the long gone but never forgotten Studio One Disco. The interview also shows previously unseen scenes from the documentary, which is in the final stages of completion.
The discussion dives into the Studio One nightclub when the dance club was a mecca for gay men seeking identity in a world that viewed them as outcasts.
The documentary’s synopsis states that Studio One was more than just a nightclub, it was a mecca for gay men searching for their identity in a world that viewed them as outcasts. In 1974, the nightclub craze was just beginning to sweep the country when Scott Forbes, a gay optometrist, had a vision to open the first gay nightclub in West Hollywood. He wanted to give young gay men a sense of the Hollywood glitz and glamor they craved. Temperatures rise, strobe lights flash. Disco echoing through our bare chests. And swarms of a thousand irresistible men with mischievous smiles who were welcomed and returned. Everyone wanted to be at Studio One, but women and people of color were often denied entry. Protestors picketed the entrance to the club and a boycott took place. But the lines around the block only got longer. Before Studio One, gay bars were closed with secret entrances. Homosexuals faced hatred and homophobia, police brutality and violence, and even death. Studio One changed all that. Once inside, the young homosexuals climbed the dark staircase of the Studio, chased away their existential fears and found paradise.
Not content with owning a nightclub, Forbes turned part of the huge club into The Backlot Theatre, a New York-style cabaret performance hall. Suddenly all the big stars of the day started hanging out at the club including Cary Grant, Bette Davis, Rock Hudson and many more. It entered gay and straight Hollywood for the first time, with many stars strolling into the nightclub for an after-show dance. The Backlot put Studio One on the map. Outrageous comics like Joan Rivers, Charles Nelson Reilly, Wayland Flowers & Madame and Divine were regulars, while rising stars of the day, like Roseanne Barr, Rosie O’Donnell and Sam Harris have been launched to stardom ever since. The Backlot.
The Studio One Forever documentary continues to raise funds for music licensing. To support the effort, visit Marc Saltarelli’s website at https://marcsaltarelli.com/ or click on the gofundme campaign at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/studiooneforever
Marc Saltarelli is an award-winning director with narrative and documentary credits. He has made seven narrative films which have been collectively screened at over 250 major film festivals around the world including OutFest Los Angeles, Palm Springs ShortFest, Hollywood Film Festival, BFI London, Barcelona and Mumbai Film Festivals. The films were acquired for national television on MTV Networks (Logo) and internationally on Canal + Television. Marc’s film WHERE WE BEGAN was honored at the PlanetOut Short Movie Awards brunch held at the Sundance Film Festival. Three of his films have been part of the official selections of the BFI London LGBT Film Festival and screened at the National Film Theater in London.
In 2018, Marc directed, shot and edited I KNEW ANDY WARHOL, a documentary presenting interviews with artists and contemporaries of the icon Andy Warhol. Artist Ed Ruscha, photographer Michael Childers, actor Udo Kier and Warhol superstar Cherry Vanilla were among those in attendance. The film was part of the Warhol exhibit at the Palm Springs Art Museum. The film won the award for best documentary short at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival and is part of the official selection of the Provincetown Film Festival. https://www.provincetownfilm.org/fest…
TO COMFORT YOU, starring Pauley Perrette (NCIS) and Susan Blakely (This Is Us) won Best Picture and Best Drama at the Beverly Hills Shortfest. Pauley and Susan also shared Best Actress.
REMEMBER TO BREATHE, starring Lee Meriwether, Susan Blakely and Leigh Ann Larkin (“A Little Night Music”) has garnered five BEST PICTURE nominations worldwide, including at LGBT festivals in Barcelona and Mumbai. Lee Meriwether (“Batman”) received the Spotlight Performance Award for her role as forgotten musical legend Alice Martin at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival. Marc graduated in film from Loyola Marymount University and earned a degree in directing from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.