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Directed by Steve Tozzi

Many (many) moons ago, there was a nightclub in Trenton, New Jersey, that would go on to house American debuts by Sinead O’Connor and A Flock of Seagulls, and employ a young bartender named Jon Stewart (The Daily Show). Bands like The Ramones and Rollins Band, Fugazi and Bad Brains would fill this once car dealership building with loud alternative music to loads of screaming and often violent fans. But probably the most well known figure from City Gardens was its primary booking agent and DJ, Randy Now, whose New Wave nights transformed the club into one of music history’s most famous venues.

Riot on the Dance Floor

RIOT ON THE DANCE FLOOR gathers up as many people as it possibly could and interviews them, their voices played out against still photos of the club, its patrons and performers. Their memories are as dirty as one could imagine the bathrooms were at a punk and alternative venue, but everyone has something positive to say about their experiences with Randy Now, the film’s main star. The movie not only chronicles the evens of the infamous club, but Now’s life from a full time postal worker to a full time promoter and fixture in the New Jersey music scene.

Directed by Steve Tozzi, his first film suffers from two high set backs: the length and the extremely specific content. If you have no idea about the Trenton club, why would you want to sit through almost 2 hours reminiscing about the glory days with a bunch of men who are now over 50? Those who have an interest in the bands and have been to the club itself will find more than enough to keep them satisfied, but for the majority of us who have never been to City Gardens, the film is a tad too specific. The history segment of Trenton, NJ seems a little misplaced in the movie and drags on just a bit too long in the middle of the movie as well.


Still, you can’t say RIOT ON THE DANCE FLOOR wasn’t made with a lot of heart and conviction from people who owe a lot for the opportunity to play in Randy Now’s club.

3 sheep

RIOT OF THE DANCEFLOOR screens at @NXNE on Friday, June 13, at 9:30 PM, at the Bloor Cinema.

For more information, visit the NXNE website.

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