Anyone who remembers getting funky to Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back or Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s Good Vibrations likely hit the dance floor at former Vernon hot spot Nite Magic.
The establishment was a hopping place when it first opened 25 years ago and was part of Vernon’s then vibrant nightlife scene.
It was usually packed on a Friday or Saturday night, remembers Saverio Loria, who owned and managed the club from 1991 until 1997.
“Back then, there were four night clubs in Vernon. We owned Boomers and Nite Magic,” said Loria. “Nite Magic had the whole package. At 8:30 p.m., we had lineups. We had military personnel that would come from the army camp back then.”
Loria has recently returned to Vernon after running a nightclub in New Westminster for the past 19 years. He now owns and operates Status Nightclub at the former Nite Magic location in Vernon, at 29th Street and 29th Avenue.
On Saturday, Loria welcomes Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and anyone else who loves to dance to relive the magic when he hosts a Nite Magic reunion at Status.
“So many people have requested a Nite Magic reunion,” he said. “As I moved away, to do a reunion earlier wouldn’t have had the same impact, but now I’m back so it feels right and it’s organic.”
While Boomers catered more to an older clientele and had the occasional live concert by the likes of Alannah Myles and Jeff Healey, Nite Magic was geared more towards the younger party crowd.
“Back then, the DJ had to work the mic, set up the lights and do all the work,” said Loria, who has noticed a lot of changes in his 30 years in the nightclub business.
“I’ve looked at the trends between then and now. Then, if you wanted to meet someone, you’d go to a nightclub. Now, you go on the Internet to meet or flirt with people. Back then, you could smoke. Now, you can’t, which I am actually happy about as I hated going home smelling like an ashtray.”
The drinking bylaws have also changed, which has reflected in the number of people who go out to licensed establishments, added Loria.
“Now, people binge watch Netflix or they go on Google to find anything they want. Back then, it was wide open. It was easier to fill a room. There was so much momentum. Now, it takes longer for anything to pick up momentum.”
A two-time manager of the year winner from the Vancouver Nightlife Awards as well as a two-time winner of nightlife club manager and owner of the year from Files News Media, Loria hopes to change people’s perspective on the local nightlife scene. One way is by hosting fun events such as the Nite Magic reunion.
“We have gone through extensive renovations,” he said. “We are reaching out to everyone from the past, present and future to come and check it out.”
Saturday’s event will feature one of Nite Magic’s original DJs, UDO, with special guest Roberto Styles spinning tunes from the ‘90s and Top 40, as well as $3 hi-balls from 8 until 10 p.m. There will also be a special appearance by former Vernon nightclub owner Mo Halat (of Moe’s fame), who will be having his official retirement party.
Doors open at 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. For more information, visit statusvernon.com.