Forgotten Memories – WATCH: Rare 5 Minute Video of Fire Island Cherry Grove 1976

Fire Island 1976


In 1976 Nelson Sullivan was enrolled in film school when he shot this Super 8 film at Fire Island, a gay-friendly New York City getaway. Around this time, Nelson and his partner owned a salon on Fire Island called David/Nelson.

So few historical photographs and videos of gay life from the 1960’s 70’s and early 80’s still exist.  This video is  gem and a time machine which takes us back to an earlier carefree time before our world went mad and AIDS destroyed almost an entire generation of gay men.

If you have any photos or video’s of gay landmarks, events, and people from the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s. please feel free to send them to I would love to post them here and share them with everyone.


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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11 Responses

  1. Webster says:

    Halcyon days! Thanks for sharing.

  2. So it looks like we partied and put out flags for July 4, 1976. Pretty much like everyone else.

  3. Paul says:

    Although I stayed in the Pines through much of the 70’s I remember the Grove as a wild place to party….so glad I survived the excessive revelry of that period in gay history.

  4. Bob in Chicago says:

    There was good reason why so little documentation exists from the seventies I suppose. I stayed at a gay hotel on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale around 1978 or 79. It is now long gone. It was one of those hotels with many floors that overlooked a center courtyard and a disco in the basement. I was excited to be there and innocently took some pictures from above and was immediately yelled at to stop by hotel management. Pictures were not allowed for privacy reasons. I was stunned. I suppose I have the pictures somewhere but have not seen them in over 30 years.

  5. What is the song playing in the background, anyone know ??

  6. rocker rocker says:

    Sad that most of these guys are probably dead from AIDS. Such is the case with those “halcyon” days of incessant, unprotected sex with uncountable partners. Very sad.

  7. V. says:

    It is a film, not a video.

  8. JIM SUMMERS says:

    Dear Mr. Kohler, with deepest thanks and heart aching happpiness I watched the movie you posted about fire island…smiled then had a melancholy moment. Oh thank my God that I remember those times. No other gay generation will ever know the love and innocent beauty. My heart just pounded as I watched my early gay life. Seems so very very far away not. THANK YOU jimmy summers, north carolina 11/15/56

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