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Billy Corben

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About the Movie

As the owner of legendary hotspots like Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium, and Club USA, Peter Gatien was the undisputed king of the 1990s New York City club scene. The eye-patchsporting Ontario native built and oversaw a Manhattan empire that counted tens of thousands of patrons per night in its peak years, acting as a conduit for a culture that, for many, defined the image of an era in New York. Then years of legal battles and police pressure–spearheaded by Mayor Giuliani's determined crackdown on nightlife in the mid-’90s–led to Gatien’s eventual deportation to Canada and to the shuttering of his glitzy kingdom.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 21
  • Fresh: 14
  • Rotten: 7
  • Average Rating: 6.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: As a trippy, trifling memorial to a time before its eponymous club was a mini-mall and rave culture a woozy memory, "Limelight" delivers the messed-up goods. – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, Sep 22, 2011

Rotten: Watching Limelight, about the rise and politically engineered fall of onetime Manhattan nightclub kingpin Peter Gatien, is like looking through a family album: If you're in the family, you might be interested. – John Anderson, Variety, Oct 13, 2011

Fresh: Limelight works better as an unofficial history of an Old New York than it does as the definitive portrait of Gatien. – Seth Colter Walls, Village Voice, Sep 20, 2011

Fresh: Transporting as it is, this doc leaves a bad taste in your mouth, if just for the ill will it drudges up. – Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News, Sep 23, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Awesome Movie that Truly Captures those Years & Peter Gatien

This documentary was done very well and absolutely on point. I was in NYC at all of these clubs, and many others, during the years the movie is focused on. These were very special times in NYC nightlife history. We didn't know it then & thought it would last forever, but it definitely history making years. I consider myself very lucky to have been around in NYC during these years. I mean who hasn't heard of Limelight? I can tell you first hand Peter Gatiens clubs were these best in all ways. I remember hanging out with friends at F.I.T in NYC and talking about how a Gatien establishment was always first choice. Today you have nothing of excitement and passion for TRUE partying. Yes people are out getting drunk, but there not REALLY partying. There is no passion or vibes of peace & fun. Now it is what car and what gold chain etc. I know because after Julliani put Peter out of business I continued on partying in NYC, only to voluntary basically stop several months later. It was just clear that the era of super clubs and truly special nights were over. Imagine what the Tunnel would be like today (culture wise)? How mayor Jullani destroyed NYC Nightlife, just as it was leading the world, was TERRIBLE. Yes they were drugs there, BUT there was drugs at the old Shea stadium in 80's when i would go there as a young child with my parents. And to charge Peter like he was "allowing " this and getting kickbacks is NUTS. On top of that Peter beats those accusations in court because there was no evidence and then they get him on a small business oversight tax regulation. He pays enormous fines and then THEY DPEORT HIM! Wake people and learn what REALLY goes on in the country.