The wait is over. Studio One Forever Documentary, directed by Marc Saltarelli, is getting its world premier at Outfest LA film festival on July 18, 2023, at 7:30pm at Harmony Gold theater. Visit the link below and get your tickets before they sell out.
Studio One was the center of queer nightlife in West Hollywood as well as the staging ground for the rise of the LGBTQ rights movement and fight against the AIDS crisis. The documentary directed by Marc Saltarelli, features familiar faces like Liz Torres, Divine (archival), Geri Jewell, Bruce Vilanch, Leigh McCloskey, Chita Rivera, Lance Bass, Melissa Rivers, and so many more.
Established in 1982, Outfest is a Queer arts, media, and entertainment organization offering programs designed to increase access, diversity and visibility for storytellers and audiences alike.
The synopsis for the Studio One Forever documentary is as follows:
For a generation of gay men who came of age during the era of Scott Forbes’ Studio One, the significance of the club and the turbulence of the times hold a profound place in their hearts and minds. From 1974-1994, the club saw the rise of the gay rights movement, the rise and fall of disco and the darkest days of the AIDS crisis when the club became ground zero for AIDS activism. Climbing the staircase and entering the hallowed hall gave its young LGBTQ patrons a sense of freedom and acceptance during a time of rampant homophobia and police harassment. Young gay men would find a sense of community and safety here.
Connected to the dance club, The Backlot evolved into the hottest live music venue in town. On any given night, you could catch established stars like Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera or Eartha Kitt alongside up and comers like Roseanne Barr or Rosie O’Donnell on the verge of taking off.
With the historic preservation battle as a framework, the story of Scott Forbes’ Studio One and The Backlot will be told through first hand accounts and anecdotes of the times. Famous and not famous voices will share personal recollections of the place and the times. Just as gay liberation was slowly progressing, it came up against the 80s and Reagan conservatism. A few years later, the AIDS crisis that started as a whisper, had grown into a living nightmare. Through the lens of this gathering place, stories of that time will be documented for generations to come.