Time to buy a little Travolta history

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The Independent US

For years it was a shrine to worshipers of disco from all around the world, but now the dance floor John Travolta set alight in the making of the 1977 box-office sensation 'Saturday Night Fever' is without a home.

For years it was a shrine to worshipers of disco from all around the world, but now the dance floor John Travolta set alight in the making of the 1977 box-office sensation 'Saturday Night Fever' is without a home.

The Brooklyn club where it has remained intact ever since the making of the film has been sold and is set to be demolished. While the club, Spectrum, will soon be reduced to rubble by developers, the dance floor, with 300 coloured lights that flash beneath a plexiglass surface, will live on.

Saved by the club's former owner, Jay Rizzo, it will be put up for auction on 1 April, when it is expected to attract bids of $80,000 or more. The light bulbs have been changed a few times. Otherwise the floor is exactly as it was when it became the stage for the weekly transformation of Tony Manero, played by Travolta, from paint shop to clerk to club phenomenon in his three-piece white suit with flares and wide lapels.

Its value, of course, is as the ultimate symbol of the lost disco craze. Discarding it was never an option for Mr Rizzo. "Over the years, we've had thousands of people who come here just to see it," he explained. "It is incredibly popular with tourists -particularly from Europe."

A spokesman for California-based Profiles in History, which will organise the auction - to be held live and simultaneously on eBay, the online auction site - were confident the dance floor would attract a crowd of buyers.

"We have interest from private collectors who want the dance floor for themselves, and from club owners who know the commercial value of having the floor made famous in 'Saturday Night Fever'," he said.

For regulars of the Spectrum, which used to be called Odyssey 2001 until its name was changed by Mr Rizzo in 1987, the closing of the club has been a sad wrench. The last night was on 12 February.

"It was emotional," said Eddie Rivera, 35, who worked as a Saturday night DJ in the club. One customer, he said, came into his booth and started crying.

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