In memory of Flashback, the queer story of an Alberta nightclub

In memory of Flashback, the queer story of an Alberta nightclub

In memory of Flashback, the queer story of an Alberta nightclub

Matthew Hays himself frequented the nightclub in the 1980s.

A documentary on the history of nightclub Flashback is being made in Edmonton and is set to air early next year.

Documentary writer , Matthew Hays, explains that the history of Flashbackis, in itself, the history of gay culture and queer culture of the time.

Matthew Hays is the author of the Flashback nightclub documentary, set to air in 2024.

It's also a story of the 1980s, a contradictory time when gay people felt a new sense of freedom as young people even though hatred and backlash were still present. Also, there was the AIDS crisis, he adds.

“I think Flashback >is a lens through which we can tell all these different stories.

—Matthew Hays, author of the Flashback


Matthew Hays says Flashback was a place where anything seemed possible. So it was a place that brought the queer community and straight people together, he adds. , he describes.

“People did what they wanted […]. They were just doing exploring, but that sense of exploring was really exciting.

—Matthew Hays, author of the Flashback


I remember that beautiful black and white checkered dance floor, the lights that swirled above us in a superb light show. I remember the smoke haze that didn't smell very good, but that we put up with because it looked cool, he recalls.

For the documentary, the film crew recreated the dance floor in black and white tiles.

The author of the documentary, however, does not want to victimize anyone without minimizing the difficulties experienced by members of the LGBTQ2+ community.

“We had fun, but life was really hard. […] At that time, the laws were still against us. It took a long time for Alberta to catch up.

— Matthew Hays, author of the documentary on FlashBack

On the black and white tile dance floor recreated for the filming of the documentary, Alexis Zacharko and Alycia Stewart proudly sported their 1980s clothes.

The two young women have each seen the offer of figuration pass on social media. By working on site, they learned more about the nightclub.

Alexis Zacharko (left) and Alycia Stewart ( right) were extras for the Flashback nightclub documentary.

Alexis Zacharko was happy to know that a place like Flashback existed for the community. Being bisexual herself, she points out that today's opening gave her a better understanding of who she was. I wonder if in the 1980s I would have discovered it, she says.

“The community created this guy of establishment and made them last. If it hadn't been for them, I wonder where we would be today. »

— Alexis Zacharko, extra in the documentary on the Flashback

Matthew Hays, author of the documentary, was marked by the intergenerational encounter caused by filming. He says that the person who did the extras' hair also did his hair when he was young when he frequented the Flashback nightclub.

With information from Andrea Huncar