Barbarella nightclub to move from downtown Orlando in February | Orlando Music News | Orlando

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  • Photo courtesy Barbarella/Facebook

In what is the end of an era for downtown Orlando nightlife, the Barbarella Dance Club will move from its current address on Orange Avenue in just over a month.

“Barbarella Orlando is moving!” read an ad on Barbarella’s Facebook page last friday. “We’ve been playing ’80s New Wave since 1984 and will continue to do so at our new spot, a 13-minute drive from our current location. Come and spend our final weeks in downtown Orlando. We’ll be here at least until the end of February. Thank you to all of you who have supported us over our 37-year history! More details to follow.”

Barbarella returned to its classic moniker in May last year, after several years as ‘The Independent Bar’. Every weekend, the venue is jam-packed for Friday Night Disco events and Saturday 80s New Wave parties.

Barbarella’s history and footprint in downtown dates back at least 30 years. Orlando Weekly photographer and living repository of local music history, Jim Leatherman became seriously nostalgic for the legendary space: “I’ve spent some of the best nights of my life inside [Barbarella]. So many incredible shows have taken place within these walls: Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, Pylon, Flaming Lips, Superchunk, Teenage Fanclub, Afghan Whigs… just to name a few of the national tours I’ve seen there . It was also the location for many great shows by local bands! Local heroes, like the Hatebombs, Beggar Weeds, Braille Closet, Genitorturers, Rocket 88, Naiomi’s Hair, Bad Afro Experience… It was also home to many local Spacefish music nights. Truly special musical moments, in a magical musical place.”

The aforementioned Discotheque club night will take place at Barbarella one last time with headliner Moscoman this Friday February 4. An “official” closing date has yet to be set as of this writing.

With the relocation of Barbarella, the closure of Stonewall and the forced exit of Soundbar from Pine Street in the span of two months, we are witnessing a sea change in nightlife in downtown Orlando.

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Jerry C. Greiner