Monday, August 31, 2015

Ambridge memorabilia: The 8th Beat

The 8th Beat was an Ambridge teen club during the mid-to-late 1960s.

The 8th Beat membership card
photo by Joe Ross
used with permission

Even though I was a teen living in Ambridge at the time this club operated, I have no memory of it at all. I know I never went there. so I need to rely on what I've been told by others about the club:

The 8th Beat held dances on the second floor of the I.S.D.A. (Italian Sons and Daughters of America)/Young Peoples Social Club building, 337 Merchant St. Getting to the second floor required a climb up a long flight of steep steps. The dance floor had a mirrored disco ball and a stage where live bands played.

I haven't been able to find any ads or articles that mention The 8th Beat. However, the April 5, 1966, Beaver County Times had an article about teen dances, run by Floree Aquino,* being held several times a week on the second floor of the Young Peoples Social Club. I do not know for sure if the club was The 8th Beat, but given the time period, I'm inclined to believe it was. The article said the Ambridge Borough had revoked the club's dance permit because the club wasn't inspected before the permit was issued. In addition, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry had found safety violations on the second floor of the building and had ordered Aquino to correct the violations that week or close the second floor.

In addition to the teen club, the Young Peoples Social Club held late Sunday night dances, "10:00 P.M. 'Til ?", for adults. Here's an ad for one of those dances:

Dance ad
Young Peoples Social Club
337 Merchant St.
Beaver County Times
February 13, 1964

The former I.S.D.A./Young Peoples' Social Club building still stands, its facade greatly altered, and houses a law office. I've been told the second floor ballroom still remains.

* Floree Aquino was a long-time Ambridge politician, serving on the Ambridge Borough Council for 16 years, some of those years as president, who also served as County Treasurer. He was an early advocate for clean air in the Ambridge area and was a member of the Pennsylvania Pollution Control Board. You can see Aquino in a photo on the blog post "Ambridge Borough Swimming Pool Expansion: the salons' inspection."

1 comment:

  1. Porky Chedwick had fantastic record hops at that place, packed the place!