Decadent Photos From Legendary 1980s New York Nightclub Area

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If there’s one thing you can always find in the City of New York, it’s one truly great spot where people go to dance, hook up, score and do drugs, watch celebrities do all of those things, and most importantly, get photographed. Lower Manhattan club Area (along with Limelight and Danceteria) was that place between 1983 and 1987, during that weird post-Factory, post-disco, post-punk, pre-Giuliani, pre-Brooklyn renaissance era that, crucially, coincided with the growing AIDS crisis that changed New York nightlife forever.

Area threw parties that struck a perfect balance between the decadent and the downright campy, capturing a perfect snapshot of the last days of a certain kind of New York City, its elaborate themes attracting plenty of famous names. Sadly (not to mention predictably), the building that once housed Area has been turned into condos, but the club lives on in Area: 1983-1987, Eric and Jennifer Goode’s chronicle of its short, memorable life. Click through to preview a few of the book’s many incredible photos.

Photo credit: Wolfgang Wesener. Courtesy of Abrams

Bernard Zette as Doris Farnsworth and Andy Warhol

Photo credit: Ben Buchanan. Courtesy of Abrams

Keith Haring

Photo credit: Wolfgang Wesener. Courtesy of Abrams

Richie Ramone, Christina Downing, Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone

Photo credit: Ben Buchanan. Courtesy of Abrams.

Sting

Photo credit: Ben Buchanan. Courtesy of Abrams.

Madonna

Photo credit: Ben Buchanan. Courtesy of Abrams.

Cher and Shawn Hausman

Photo credit: Doug Vann. Courtesy of Abrams.

Photo credit: Ben Buchanan. Courtesy of Abrams.

Photo credit: Wolfgang Wesener. Courtesy of Abrams.

Patti Hansen and Keith Richards

Photo credit: Ron Galella. Courtesy of Abrams.

Sandra Bernhard

Image courtesy of Abrams.

Andy Warhol

Image courtesy of Abrams.

Lisa Edelstein and Jeffrey Strouth