The end of an era…again: 80’s Night at The Spanish Moon says farewell

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POSTED: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 2:15pm

UPDATED: Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 11:43am

It’s the end of an era…again.

On Thursday, August 1, the final 80s-themed party will be held at The Spanish Moon.

“It’s been a long run,” Shane Courrege, co-owner of The Spanish Moon, said. “It just feels like it’s time to move on.”

The nightclub located on Highland Road has hosted the themed-night for nearly 13 years. During that time the event became one of the most well-known weekly events in the city.

“It started with 4 or 5 people on the first night and turned into a packed house a couple years down the road,” Chris Culotta, aka DJ Bird, said.

Those who attended quickly learned DJ Bird was the man pushing out the tunes, and in his own right, the person responsible for making it a success.

“I just did it for fun,” Culotta said. “It was something to do as a way to make extra money. Then it turned into something more than that.”

Truly, 80s Night had its own cast of characters over the years. In fact, they became the focus for two local documentarians.

“My brother Kyle and I decided that we needed to be the ones to capture this lightning in a bottle,” Brady Crane said. “In the years I had been going to 80s Night, I saw it grow into something. It was almost too good to be true. It was like a work of fiction come to life.”

The Cranes’ released “Just What I Needed: The Star 80s Documentary” in 2005.

“It was comprised of all these people who were like characters from fiction,” Crane said. “The people I met when we were making the film are my favorite memory of 80s Night. I made some lifelong friends out of it.”

Culotta explained that the weekly event became more than just a place to go for a night out on the town. Rather, it was a unifying force.

“You saw all these subcultures being created,” he said. “It was a place where it didn’t matter who you were, what color you are, what sexuality – you could just come and dance and not be judged.”

It was an appeal with sometimes unreal results.

“Back then, it could be pouring down rain and people would stand outside and wait in line to get in,” Courrege recalled.

But all good things, as they say, must come to an end.

“When I first heard it was ending, I was shocked,” Crane said. “I want to say that The Spanish Moon and all the people who made it what it was over the years created such an amazing thing. The fact that they were able to carry it on this long is a testament to The Spanish Moon and the people behind it for having the passion to do what they did.”

Courrege did tease that Thursday night will continue with a new theme. At the final 80s Night event, they will make that announcement. The first event will begin on Friday, August 22.

As for the man who’s responsible for starting the epic dance night, he’s unable to attend the final event.

“I moved to Lake Charles two weeks ago,” Culotta said. “I am the new owner of My Place American Pub located on West Prien Lake Road. It’s a neighborhood bar. A place to come get a cold one after a hard day’s work. And hey, we may end up having an 80s night here.”

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