Now, after 20 years, both Cloud 9 and Studio K are returning for a one-night-only reunion party set to take place on April 1 from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Two full bars, original DJs from the clubs, the hosting services of ex-KROQ personality Richard Blade, and access to the theme park's rides and attractions are the draw for reasonably priced tickets and hotel packages for the event. As the date draws nearer, so does the excitement for late 30somethings/early 40somethings who remember a social staple of their teenage years.
"The first time I went to Studio K, I was, like, 13 years old. It seemed like a fantastic place where everyone was having fun, getting along and enjoying themselves," recalls Anaheim resident Sal Surra. "The music was great, and just about everyone was dancing. The best dancers would go onstage, where they had huge mirrors, to watch themselves and allow others to see them dance."
The spirited exhibitions soon evolved, further cementing the spot's reputation. "After a few times going with friends, we started our own dance crew and began to compete against other crews," Surra says.
"This was the beginning of the true Studio K experience. Weekly visits and competitions continued for the next couple of years while Studio K was around, making it the must-be spot during the late '80s," adds the former reveler who was a regular from 1987 to 1990.
"In addition to the music and dancing, there was never a shortage of dates for both girls and boys. It would be pretty common place to see someone you are attracted to there and ask them to dance," he says, noting that he owed his first teenage girlfriends to the social atmosphere Studio K provided.
Over time, Studio K's popularity became too large for its own good, attracting the usual buzz killers that ultimately led to its closure. "Everyone wanted to be there, including the gangs, criminals and other types who would eventually ruin it. After years of great times, the place started to turn into a haven for fights, stabbings and other problems that made it almost impossible to go and enjoy the place," Surra recalls. "Studio K had to put in metal detectors, armed guards and other security measures just to keep it going, but after short time, they had to close it because there was no way to control the activity."
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Now, 20 years after being shut down, the good times are being revived again for the special reunion party. Television commercials are hitting the airwaves and the Internet--the first of which is posted above--and the word is getting out. As in the old days, Studio K will be spinning Top 40 hits from the '80s, while Cloud 9 will delve into bands such as The Cure, Oingo Boingo and Depeche Mode.
"I personally will never forget my experiences at Studio K and still talk about them to this day in a very positive and upbeat manner because those were my wonder years and memories, and I'm forever grateful in having them," Surra nostalgically reminisces as he hopes to be able to secure some of the remaining limited tickets and attend the reunion.
Best of all, it will be a night of '80s music that has nothing to do with the Spazzmatics cover band! In the words of "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo, "Who could ask for more?"