A Heaven-ly Night

The Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel's lobby goes back in time to when it was Heaven Nightclub.

The Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel’s lobby goes back in time to when it was Heaven Nightclub.

The legendary Pittsburgh dance club Heaven was recreated for one night only on June 11. Heaven flourished from 1979 to ’84 in the lobby and second floor of the former Fulton Building, now the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, which hosted the disco-era throwback party, with help from the Acrobatique Creative agency and Heaven’s owner Rick Stern.


The confetti cannon rains down confetti onto the dancers below.

The confetti cannon rains down confetti onto the dancers below.

Many of the trappings were remounted—a glitter ball, confetti cannon, dance floor with flashing colored lights, male and female angels, fog machines, and the Heaven logo projected above the twin staircase. All of which fueled the fun event. There were even acrobats from Iron City Aerial who did routines on a ring above the center of the dance floor. Also on hand was an original Disco Queen, Yvonne Opalenik, who performed at Heaven and appeared on “Dance Fever” and “The Terry Lee Show.” She attended with best friend George Spirrh. Cindy and Rich Engler were looking good 70’s style with happenin’ white outfits that featured all the flairs of that fashion period.

Heaven's Angels, Kelly (l.) and Valerie (r.)

Heaven’s angels, Kelly (l.) and Valerie (r.)

Q92.9 FM Metro Mix DJ John Hohman pumped up the volume to blast out dance pop oldies including songs by Blondie, Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, Kool & the Gang, Sister Sledge, Rick James, and Patrice Rushen.

The party continues.

The party continues.

One area that was underrepresented was fashion of period. Although a few people sported silk shirts, sequined blouses, and the like—and some wore Heaven t-shirts—no leisure suits with shirt collars overlapping the jacket’s lapels, no platform shoes, and no puka-shell or gold medallion necklaces were noticed. Nor were shirts unbuttoned halfway down, despite the heat and humidity of the evening.

There's Angels for the women as well.  Angel Mike pictured here.

There’s male angels as well. Angel Mike pictured here.

Yet everyone thoroughly enjoyed the party. Friends that hadn’t seen each other in many years joyfully reconnected and recalled fond memories. Tracey Roman, Marie Tozzi, and Darrell Jackson were all very happy to see one another again. The Renaissance Pittsburgh staff were very friendly and worked diligently to handle the food and beverage needs of the crowd. This was the Renaissance Pittsburgh’s annual Day of Discovery event and a portion of the proceeds benefited the Community Liver Alliance.

Mike has Angel wings too.

Mike has angel wings too.

Photos: Rick Handler

Rick Handler is the executive producer of Entertainment Central and a lover of great music and dance.


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