In my estimation, Area 33 was the place to be for NYE in LA. At any point in the night. This new venue in Culver City seems like it could very well be the replacement Space Island, or at least that’s what I hoped. Space Island was such a cool venue, with 3 separate DJ areas, a few roof spots, 2 indoor rooms – one with a stripper pole, located in an industrio-nightmare section of Downtown LA, which offered spectacular views of LA through bleary, danced-out eyes at the break of dawn.
But Space Island has long been defunct, and Area 33 has some promise. NYE was my first visit to the space. I got there around 3:30am, after spending my earlier New Year’s bartending, napping, and pounding Pabst tallboys in the Area 33 parking lot. Upon entrance, it certainly looked a lot like the old Space Island (but pleasantly didn’t smell like it) – odd, soft shapes covered in sheets littered with passed-out partiers, laser lights dancing on the floor, and interesting divisions of space.
And it certainly sounded like Space Island – we entered during DJ Imagika’s set, properly buzzed for the hour. Now usually, when you enter a party, you usually hit the bar first, or find a seat on the wall where you can scope out the party because either the music sucks or because you’re just not feeling it yet. Not so with DJ Imagika. Immediately we hit the dance floor and danced like Space Island was fresh in our veins. DJ Imagika held it down, mixing up the tempos and keeping the beats fresh all night. At one point, not sure if it was DJ Imagika or not, but somebody was mixing a techno “Wherever I May Roam” by Metallica, which was a great cap-off to a long, long night, from which I still have a dance hangover.
The dance floor was pretty small, and there was only one DJ area, though it seemed there were more spaces with potential for a chill-out area. They even had a roof space with a firepit, but there was no music there. On the other hand, they did have a full bar and a really cool ceiling. The space doesn’t really have the flow Space Island did, but it’s got potential to be a great party space. Happy New Year!