Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Teen Dance Clubs

This month I'm participating in the A to Z Challenge. My theme is the 80s. Today's letter is:



Being a teenager is tough. You're too young to drink but you want to socialize. In fact, it's probably the time in your life when it's most important to get out of the house and meet new people. If only you could hang out in clubs like 20-somethings do.



In the 80s, a new trend emerged. It's important to note that it became so popular, it appeared even in normal-sized cities. Those of us who don't live in New York City and Los Angeles don't have access to these things like those of you in big cities. In the 80s, even those of us in "middle America" got to enjoy the pleasure of teen clubs.



When they first opened, teen clubs had crazy-long lines like this one.



After about six months, teen clubs looked like this.



That's the problem with teenagers. They're fickle. If you build something, they'll be fanatics at first. Then they'll get bored. They're like the dog from Up.



But I still have fond memories of crazy, high-calorie virgin drinks...



And bad 1985 Eddie Murphy party music.




In fact, every time I hear that song, I think of hanging out in that teen club in 1985 with my friends.



Do you think there's a hangout that could hold teens' interest for more than six months?

A little Eddie Murphy and Rick James for your Thursday!


53 comments:

  1. Never went to one, as I don't think they were around before I was twenty-one. I never did the dance club or bar scene anyway.

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    1. I graduated college when I was 21...so for the entirety of college I wasn't legal to drink. I guess for most people, the majority of college is spent below drinking age.

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  2. We had one in Halifax in 1979, I LOVED it but you're right it didn't last long... it's too bad because it was a great idea and lots of fun. I guess you are right, teens are just fickle ;-)

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    1. It didn't last long, but I should add that many bars started doing teen nights--usually on Sunday night. That did well for a while. I'm not sure if they still do anything like that today.

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  3. me was too fat like a walrus as a teen to go to clubs, only hangars could fit my size at that time /giggles then cries then giggles/ .....

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    1. That shouldn't have stopped you from going.

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  4. I wanted to go to one that had just opened in the late 80's. I wanted to be cool, but my parents said no probably thinking there would be drugs and alcohol. I just wanted to hang out with my friends, but my parents were probably right!

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    1. Parents just don't understand! I remember being a teenager and not being allowed to go roller skating at night because that's when it was dangerous. Roller skating!!! So we'd have to go on Saturday afternoons at 2pm to the tiny one in our town.

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  5. I never went to a real, official one. Our school/church had a "teen club" that was held once a week in the school gym. They had snacks and stuff, and we got to hang out with our friends at night. I think they even had a dance once. :)

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    1. I think they still do that sort of thing at churches to keep kids out of trouble. It's a great idea, as long as the teens go for it.

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  6. Never been to one, just a few dirty bars that made my skin crawl. Nothing can hold a teens interest forever

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    1. We always joked that they should just set up an empty parking lot somewhere and charge teens admission. All we wanted to do was stand around and talk--we just needed a place to do that. None of the businesses wanted teens hanging out on their lots, so there weren't many options. Of course, when we brainstormed that "brilliant" idea, we had no understanding of the liability that came with something like that!

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  7. I've never heard of a "teen club." I was in college in the 80s, maybe that's why.

    Precious Monsters

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    1. Yeah, you were probably old enough to go to real clubs!

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  8. Why don't I remember those teen clubs? Maybe because I was an adult already but they sound cool.

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    1. They were fun while they lasted. We had two in the area where I lived north of Nashville...one near a shopping mall and one in my own town. The one in my town ended earliest. I think it was called A Touch of Class. I only went once and the one thing I remembered was the disc jockey getting mad because he played a Michael Jackson song and everyone booed him!

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  9. I loved our teen club. Was there with my friends almost every Sunday night. It held in our area for longer than 6 mos, but it was just outside Philly, so almost a big city. My song to take me back there wasn't Eddie Murphy, it was Samantha Fox. Naughty Girls Need Love Too. LOL!!! Awesome flashback!

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    1. Samantha Fox's CD was one of the first CDs I bought!

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  10. I'm not sure we had anything like this ... the only discos etc I went to in the 80s were at school :)
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. I never experienced an actual disco--what I know about those is limited to the movies Airplane and Saturday Night Fever!

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  11. I was already in my 20's when this became popular. I actually think it's what led to the demise of the disco type dance clubs. Once they started having teen nights, no one else wanted to go anymore.

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    1. Could be! Although I went to a few dance clubs in the 00s with friends...lots of dancing going on, but as the main character on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt says, dancing now is all about the butt!

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  12. I did go to a teen dance club in the 60s on Saturday a few times and everyone were dancing, there were no drinking or drugs but there was cigarette smoking. Pretty tame in that dance club. It was a place where teens could have a good time and it was sponsored by a service club.

    Have a Terrific day
    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. It doesn't seem like that long ago that cigarette smoking was allowed in all kinds of indoor places--including family restaurants. When it was banned, it seemed to just be erased from the face of the Earth overnight!

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  13. There were teen dance nights at one of our local (very small town) clubs. I never went because they usually devolved into violent fist fights. Well, that and I couldn't get a date.

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    1. LOL. I never saw a fight, but I can only imagine.

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  14. Never had one where I live. I grew up in a town where there was little for kids over 15 to do in my days, a fact that still is true today. Nor did I ever know of any in any towns nearby. I wasn't a very social person and didn't drive as a teen.

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  15. They didn't last long indeed. They were all that and a bag of chips for a short while though.

    I'm loving this walk down memory lane. My son was coming of age during this time.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  16. I went to high school in a town of 11,000 in Northern Minnesota. From 77 to 79 I was a regular at the Sunday teen night at the Viking disco. Teens would drive in from small towns up to an hour away. The song that stands out for me it's Brick House. It ended because the building burned down. I started college after that and the drinking age was 19. I had a fake ID my freshman year. My husband, who is 7 years younger, remembers going to teen dance nights at First Avenue in the late 80s.I have no idea if they still have them.

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  17. I went to high school in a town of 11,000 in Northern Minnesota. From 77 to 79 I was a regular at the Sunday teen night at the Viking disco. Teens would drive in from small towns up to an hour away. The song that stands out for me it's Brick House. It ended because the building burned down. I started college after that and the drinking age was 19. I had a fake ID my freshman year. My husband, who is 7 years younger, remembers going to teen dance nights at First Avenue in the late 80s.I have no idea if they still have them.

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  18. I kind of wish they would make a come back. Teens have no where to hang out, and giving them a safe place to do just that would be great.

    And oh my gosh that Eddie Murphy song is gonna be stuck in my head all day long now!! LOL

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  19. We had arcades in Jacksonville, NC. I think because it was a military town, they catered to a more mature crowd, so there were plenty of bars and tattoo parlors where I grew up as a teen. Shame, because I loved the 80s and I would have been one to hang out at a dance club.

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  20. Talk about a flash-back. I had forgotten about these places! Yes, I went to these places a few times. After that, I kind of lost interest. The place was pretty far from where I lived and travel there was not the easiest, especially when we didn't have a driver. The best night, a group of us rented a limo, drove around town for a bit, then took the limo to a club for a few hours. Good memories.

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  21. i was too old to experience this one. :) i did like some dance tunes, though.

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  22. Never heard of them, but then with three kids, I missed almost all of the eighties. I have heard of the eighties, but have no memories.

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  23. I think raves did...but almost everyone was out of their heads on E.

    We didn't have teen dance clubs, sadly. They would have survived longer in my little town because there was nothing else to do.

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  24. I lived in rural podunkville. We had no teen clubs...unless you count empty fields with kegs?

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  25. I was a "cusp" kid. When I was 18, the legal drinking age in an adjoining state was also 18 so I spent the second half of my senior year of high school legally in bars. I can't say that was a good thing. Soon afterwards is when the drinking age was upped to 21 almost everywhere. Maybe teen clubs would have thrived after that. But if you were 18, you put on some makeup, smiled pretty and didn't pick your nose and you never got carded. Again, can't say that was a good thing. I love your retro posts. :)

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  26. I remember virgin drinks and vintage Eddie Murphy is pretty funny. We had house parties where I was, no teen clubs. Must of been a hoot. Thanks for the throw back.

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  27. I think I was too hold for teen clubs, LOL :) I'm trying to think what a hangout would be that would hold their interest, it wouldnt' be a mall or roller skating or ice skating since those were things my teen did when he was a teen but you are right, they quickly moved to something else.

    betty

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  28. When I see that Eddie Murphy song, all I can think of is Rick James.

    Dances made teens think they were truly cool and at the center of the universe.

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  29. Rick James - Eddie Murphy - perfection!

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  30. I would have loved teen clubs! I never liked drinking, even now, and I would have just danced and had fun...on Long Island, our nightclubs have teen only nights, but I don't think they're too popular since teens want to sneak into the 21+ nights and drink lol

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  31. I only did this once during my "metal years" and it was fun! I don't remember the band, only that "Knights in White Satin" was playing before. Thanks for the reminder. Good times!

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  32. Oh no...I'm not listening to that video since all it took was reading the clip you put up and it's now in my head. Oh I remember they were everywhere! When I was a teen we could go to a place on Sunday nights called Charlie Chan's which was in the basement of a strip mall. Now I think of fire but back then I just danced and danced. I remember dancing to Rock Lobster:) We had so many dance places in our city and it was a lot of fun

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  33. I think that's most dance clubs in general. The ones that serve alcohol last a little longer because people like to drink.

    I've never gone to a dance club, but I did go to an event that rented the building for a day. Very nice place by the way, it was called Rome and it looked like it was from the Roman Empire meets New York City.

    It was one of the most popular clubs the city ever had. Mainly because they seemed to have a high quality to it. The son of the City Councilman made the news because he tried to fight the bouncer because he didn't meet the dress code. The owner had a big legal dispute with the city government after that.

    So he sold it to some ex-Carolina Panthers player who turned the atmosphere of the club to something else, and changed the name. They recently closed it down because they couldn't stop their patrons from fighting every night.

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  34. I don't think we have teen dance clubs over here (at least not during my time)! We used to hang out at shopping malls, watch movies, and then eat at fast food restaurants (sounds like the Archie gang).

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  35. I rememer the teen dance clubs of the 89's. We had to wear wrist bands so we WOULDNT be served alcohol . I don't think they have any teen dance clubs in my area anymore, but it was a good idea

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  36. A few clubs around me now have "all ages" night, where you need a wrist band to drink, but otherwise anyone can get in. There's almost always a live band playing.
    I did wonder, as a teen, why there were no hang outs. No "The Max" or "Peach Pit" or whatever. At one of my homes, it was a "your barn or mine" deal, though nothing exciting ever happened.

    Congratulations on making it this far! Finish strong. You can do it!
    Don't forget our after party. The Relections Linky List will open on Monday May 4th. (For links directly to posts, not to general blog addresses.)
    @JLenniDorner

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  37. Disneyland had one. So did Knott's Berry Farm. (Both were close to me.) But I never went. I was such a shut-in ;)

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  38. We didn't have teen dance clubs but there was some times there was a dance put on at like a hotel ballroom. 21 Below we called it. Paid a few dollars to get in. They had drinks there but that's it. Was pretty fun.

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  39. Being a teenager is so hard! You change your mind constantly and want everything you can't have and to do everything you can't. Amazingly we all survive it!

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