Back To The Zone is a feature length documentary that profiles the landmark nightspot; The Twilight Zone and the roots of dance culture in North America. The film tells the story of how four brothers born in Trinidad and raised in Brooklyn, helped shape a city’s nightlife though music, culture, fashion and diversity. Featuring interviews with the club’s original owners alongside superstar djs, media personalities and twilight zoners all over top a landscape of treasured, exclusive archival footage. This film transports the viewer beyond the present and Back To The Zone.
The Twilight Zone first opened it’s doors in 1980 in the nearly empty, factory filled, garment district of Toronto’s downtown. Years later, it would become re-zoned as the city’s Entertainment District, largely due to the Twilight Zone’s legacy. During it’s incredible nine year run, the Zone became a mecca for a dedicated, eclectic clientele that included a solid mix of straight and gay. The “Zoner” movement quickly morphed into a multi-cultural community where only the music mattered. In the traditional, staunchly conservative city of Toronto, this phenomena was unprecedented. The Zone was not only the first large scale, alcohol free, all night club in the city – it was also one of precious few spaces to regularly feature international guest DJs, including Frankie Knuckles and David Morales.
The film features previously unseen and extremely rare archival footage shot during the last night of the Zone in 1989 (dir. Marla Rotenberg), along with footage taken the last night of New York City’s Paradise Garage – the original inspiration for the Zone, and the template for it’s iconic sound system, designed by world renowned sound designer Richard Long.
During the journey of Back To The Zone, we discover where dance music was created, how the Twilight Zone shaped the future of Toronto’s nightlife scene for years to come, and why it all mattered.