Tuesday, August 6, 2013

PI Update: Exclusive 8TRAX Photos


8TRAX began as a 70's Disco club and later evolved into playing both 70's Disco & 80's Classics.  No matter your age, no matter your generation, everyone knew the words to every song!
In November, 2010 we published two articles full of pictures taken inside 8TRAX including this photo above of the main level dance floor.  To orient yourself, those stairs at the rear were the ones that came down from the front entrance on Hill Street.
And in August, 2013, the shocking reality.  8TRAX is about to bite the dust!  More photos from the anonymous reader who provided us the Mannequins photos we posted yesterday.
The latest Downtown Disney Guidemap shows 8TRAX gone while that same map shows Mannequins still standing there, at least for now.  But they really are one and the same building so how do you take down the 8TRAX section without damaging Mannequins?  Our anonymous photographer says that the floor is dug up to get to conduit, apparently to disconnect the two from each other!
I don't recognize this part of 8TRAX; perhaps it's upstairs.
Some of the junk collection that sits inside.  We've heard that 8TRAX at one time was the most profitable dance club in the United States on a per square foot basis.  Sadly, its days are truly numbered. 
Big thanks again to the person providing Save Pleasure Island Blog with these exclusive photos!

19 comments:

Jeff - Gainesville said...

In terms of "how do you take down the 8TRAX section without damaging Mannequins?" Think of cities like Boston, DC and Philadelphia. Tons of row houses connected - many of which sharing utilities. It certainly can be done!

Jeff - Gainesville said...

In the unidentified photo - I believe that the front doors are at the back left and the bar is on the back right. The fence on the lower left overlooks the dance floor.

DJMadManRay said...

Yes, Jeff, you are right. That's the bar in the back of the picture. Behind you would be the stairs that go upstairs to third floor and downstairs to the dance floor (2nd level) and bathrooms/bar (1st Floor). Damn, sometimes reality sucks! I guess there is no more hope for 8Trax, unless you consider the "very small" inclusion on the Disney Ships.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember 8-Trax having four levels.

Anonymous said...

Yes, 4 levels. At the very bottom there was a bar, bathrooms and that twister game floor. One level up was the main dance floor. One level higher was the front entrance and the main bar. Go up stairs and the DJ booth was up there, more tables and nices views of the dance floor below.

Anonymous said...

Was Mannequins four levels too?

KingBob said...

Mannequins was 3 levels. The ground floor with the main entrance and revolving dance floor. The second level had the DJ booth, seats overlooking the dance floor, at least 2 bars and the main stage. The top level was rarely open in the later years and was made to look like you were up in the rafters. There was also a bar up there.

Our photographer says that part of 8TRAX is actually under the Mannequins stage, thus making it even more interesting about separating the two from each other.

Anonymous said...

But wasn't the Mannequins bar under the mannequins stage?

Anonymous said...

I take that last post back. Sorry, I forgot there was a wall there. I guess you could say it's been a while since I've been there.

Brian said...

I heard there was a tunnel to videopolis (at the time) it was closed off for some reason then changed to the cage then 8TRAX.

Anonymous said...

Maybe thats the area Under the staage?

DJMadManRay said...

The Twister Game was actually upstairs on the 4th Floor, next to the DJ booth. The bathrooms downstairs in 8Trax were actually below the "upstairs" bathrooms at Mannequins (the ones by the lockers and pay phones.) I believe that is what actually "connected" the two clubs was the plumbing of those facilities..

DJMadManRay said...

Does anyone remember? When you went down the stairs at 8Trax, you made a left (in a U-Turn) fashion, and the bathrooms were down the hallway, which put you past the "Wall" of the club (Men's was straight ahead of you) and then when you walked in the bathroom, you went to the right (which put you underneath Mannequins) You could hear the "thumping" of the music from Mannequins in the bathrooms of 8Trax.

Anonymous said...

I recall that when you went to the downstairs bathrooms there was a castmember only area directly ahead, in the direction of Mannequins, and I could hear people back there talking. That path must have gone "under" the mannequins stage too.

KingBob said...

Ray, I only visited the 8TRAX bathrooms 1-2 times over many years. But yeah, they were way down under and that might be the 8TRAX section that was below the Mannequins light wall and stage. So how does one demolish 8TRAX but leave Mannequins unless the stage and light wall are going to come out too? Sure hope not.

Brian, there is rumor of a tunnel that ran from the underground Castmember (lunch room) area below West End/Celebration Plaza over and into Mannequins backstage lower level. It would have passed under the Lombard Promenade stairs/sidewalks, under the top level of Curl, under the Hill Street side of 8TRAX and then into MDP.

Anonymous said...

The photos are both sad and interesting.
I'm still hoping that they will one day wake up fix up Mannequines and 8Trax.
I was over at P.I. two weeks ago, and it's very sad, maybe they'll wake up and smell the coffee.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they'll just sever those 8TRAX restrooms and leave Mannequins alone. Save Mannequins Dance Palace!

Anonymous said...

8 Trax started at ground level on the Waterfront side Mannequins started about 4 ft off the ground. that was to house all the motors and stuff for the spinning dance floor.
The highest level in Mannequins was the 3rd floor. there was more roof space above that but it was to hold the "drops and curtains". When the Island was first Imagined the "bridge to nowhere" was actually supposed to be a 3rd floor entrance for Mannequins. For several reasons (I'm Sure) that idea was abandoned.

DJMadManRay said...

Anon @ 10:34.. Interesting about the bridge to nowhere.. Makes sense. Thanks