The New Prelude

The New Prelude

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Photos of Halloween 1981 submitted by Bruce H.
Description: These were taken by me on October 28, 1981, at the New Prelude club in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Grand Opening Party  B&W image.

New Prelude was located at York Road and Route 202 in Bucks County, PA. Ground-level bar and you stepped down a few steps to the dance floor. Weekly nightlife and Fantastic Halloween parties.

Oh, yes, do I remember don from The New Prelude! And Don of course, who was apparently one of the proprietors. He liked me and even though there was a five-dollar cover to get in there on Weekends, he always saw to it that

I never paid! After all five dollars was a lot of money to an underage boy way back then! Right after you walked in on the left was a little cubby – hole of a bar, where a nice young man named “Glennie” was the barkeep. He even made ” The Orgasm!” It was a delicious drink, and the first time I had ever heard of it. And ” Glennie ” is still working in beautiful New Hope to this very day! Yes, I also remember Nancy; a little on the tough side, though with a heart o’ gold.

She worked in what was then the coatroom, just as you entered the place. In later years, The New Prelude also opened a fine restaurant down a few steps and even a great piano lounge. Boy, do I miss it there. No place around anymore which offers all that fun, and the drinks (and spectacular real Disco music) were great!

DJs: James Urban & James Whitman

First went there 9/76, continued going fairly often til early ’88 when the Cartwheel reopened and seemed to take its business away; it survived for a few years with some transformations and name changes but finally closed. Have some very specific memories: a Sat. night in June ’77, the guy ahead of me in line, 70’s classic dark-hair-and-mustache-handsome, in white Lacoste polo shirt, dancing in place as he paid the cover charge, the song was “Uptown Festival” by Shalamar (the “Tears of a Clown” instrumental part – see, I DO mean specific!). The same night, 2 girls in stylish dresses dancing (straight? who knows) saw them later at the Warminster West diner about 10 miles away.

Usually called the place just the “Prelude,” really fun mix of people who were local, or from Philadelphia, NJ, and (fairly often) N Y C. Summer of ’78, talked to 3 guys who worked at GQ magazine, one (dark hair and mustache again!) was named Harry (the art director at the time was named Harry, recently discovered that; must have been him), For someone my age it was a fantasy of totally energizing music, hot looking people, just a total blast – often ran into people I knew from Phila., DCA Club, etc.

I do remember the parking lot outside, completely packed, couple times had to wait for someone to leave to get a space! Like the DCA, it could on a good night (not all the time, but VERY frequent) give you a feeling of being in the absolute coolest place in the world – the people there were the decor, such a mix of fashion statements (and many non-fashion statements!) (mostly jeans) you could think of, not everyone (including me) was drop-dead gorgeous but when they were, they really were – and often many of them!

My friends and I often commented about the disconnect between this place and our ordinary weekday lives of work/school in between – was this place for real, where did these people come from?

Who cares, as long as they did. People could claim we exaggerate our memories of these places and the late 70’s/early 80’s but I still think it was a special moment in time, there was just something in the air that everyone felt – maybe that’s why I instinctively chronicled these memories for the future – I would guess many of us who were a part of it have done the same.

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