The once dinner club-turned-gay disco-turned-live music venue and dance club, the iconic Numbers in Montrose is getting the movie treatment thanks to one of its biggest queer fans.
Gay Houston's Marcus Pontello is partnering with Jeromy Barber and James Templeton to create "Friday I'm In Love," a documentary about the club's long history of providing a safe space for most anyone to party, dance and enjoy a night out as themselves – whatever that might be.
"Numbers is a very personal and safe place for many who feel marginalized, myself included, and I want to respect that by approaching the film with gentleness and sensitivity to various experiences," Pontello says. "I think people who've experienced pain and ridicule, especially the LGBT, find places like Numbers extremely vital and special."
The film will chronicle Numbers from its start as a dinner theater to its late 1970s transition into a gay disco and progression into alternative music venue with live gigs and a dance club. The trio launched a Kickstarter campaign last month to fund their project, hoping to raise $40,000 in little more than a month. It worked. As the campaign neared its funding deadline on Friday, some 409 supporters donated $46,301.
Pontello expects to complete the film in fall 2016, but they've already been at work locating former patrons and interviewing artists who made a big impression at Numbers, including Andy Bell, the gay HIV activist and Erasure singer.
"What I love about Numbers is that people's self expression, gender and sexuality can exist without rigid labels or definitions, and this has been the case for decades. Because Numbers is all about physical non-verbal expression on the dance floor, people can simply exist without having to explain anything and that's liberating," Pontello says.
But beyond celebrating the accepting culture of Numbers, Pontello also hopes to capture the spirit of a diverse Montrose now struggling with losing its queer and alternative edge.
"There's so many amazing things about Montrose that have just gone into the recesses of peoples minds," Pontello tells CultureMap Houston. "I feel like there's something about the spirit of the city, or maybe Montrose specifically, that runs the risk of being lost if stories like this don't get told."