If you went clubbing in New York City in the 1980s and '90s, chances are good you had Peter Gatien to thank for it. Canadian-born Gatien had run several successful nightspots in Ontario before venturing into the United States and opening clubs in Florida and Georgia. In the early '80s, Gatien settled in New York and turned a former Episcopal church into Limelight, which in time became one of the city's hottest dance clubs and the nexus of New York's Club Kid scene. Gatien capitalized on his success by opening three other popular New York nightclubs, Tunnel, Palladium, and Club USA. But no party lasts forever, and in the mid-'90s, when Mayor Rudy Giuliani launched a campaign to clean up New York, Gatien became a target due to suspected drug use and dealing in his clubs and a murder that was linked to Limelight regulars. In time, Gatien was forced to leave the United States, and rebuilt his empire north of the border. Filmmaker Billy Corben, who explored America's wild ride of the 1970s and '80s in the films Cocaine Cowboys and Square Grouper, profiles Gatien and charts the rise and fall of an era in New York nightlife in the documentary Limelight; the film received its world premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.
by Mark Deming synopsis