Saturday Night Fever is still staying alive. The career-making 1977 John Travolta film celebrates its 40th anniversary on Dec. 12. The musical drama made Travolta a major movie star, and the accompanying soundtrack scored multiple Grammy Awards for resurrected ’60s headliners, the Bee Gees.
John Travolta played Tony Manero in the movie, a working-class Brooklyn man who spent his weekends dancing at the local disco. Karen Lynn Gorney played Stephanie Mangano, Tony’s dance partner.
Travolta’s famous “Stayin’ Alive” strut became a part of pop culture history, despite the fact that Travolta had initial reservations about signing on to the film due to his lack of dance skills. The actor credited his late girlfriend, Diana Hyland, for convincing him to take on the life-changing role.
“I got the script, I read it that night,” Travolta told Vanity Fair.
“I wondered if I could give it enough dimension. Diana took it into the other room, and in about an hour she burst back in. ‘Baby, you are going to be great in this—great! This Tony, he’s got all the colors!'”
Travolta also revealed that the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack could have been very different.
“The Bee Gees weren’t even involved in the movie in the beginning,” John said. “I was dancing to Stevie Wonder and Boz Scaggs.”
The double soundtrack album eventually included a string of massive hits for the Brothers Gibb: “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Night Fever,” and “More than a Woman.” “If I Can’t Have You,” which was the only soundtrack song performed by Yvonne Elliman, was also a chart topper.
Forty years later, a diehard Saturday Night Fever fan is paying tribute to the classic film in a unique way.
According to the New York Post, self-professed “Fever” fanatic Gianluca Mech has transformed the site of the real-life 2001 Odyssey disco, the 1970s venue that inspired the film, back into its Saturday Night Fever glory. Mech paid $200,000 to transform the former nightclub site at 64th Street and Eighth Avenue in Bay Ridge, NY, which is currently a Chinese restaurant, into a disco just like it was back in the day.
“It’s quite a lot of money, but it’s worth it,” Mech told the Post. “It’s been my dream since I was a child to dance where Saturday Night Fever was done. At 10 [years old], I said, ‘I want to come to New York and dance.’ People thought I was crazy. And look at me now.”
Mech and 50 of his closest friends will disco on a lighted dance floor as videos from the film play on the walls. The millionaire has also hired roller skating dancers and a John Travolta lookalike for the celebration. Guitarist Ed Cermanski of the Trammps, whose “Disco Inferno” is on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, will even attend the bash.
Mech is also sharing the wealth with fellow Saturday Night Fever fans. Anyone who wants to don ’70s disco attire is welcome to attend this not-so-private party, which will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 13.
While Mech is recreating his Saturday Night Fever dreams for $200k, for a sum about 10 times that a diehard fan can actually own the home that the fictional Maneros lived in. Just in time for the film’s 40th anniversary, the 1920s Brooklyn home of Tony Manero has hit the market for $2.49 million, as per a listing by Ben Bayre Real Estate. The property, which was mostly used for exterior shots in Saturday Night Fever, doesn’t look much like it did in 1977, but it still boasts a panoramic view of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge—and a whole lot of pop culture significance.
Take a look at some scenes from Saturday Night Fever below.