David Paul Mancuso (October 20, 1944 – November 14, 2016) was an American disc jockey who created the popular "by invitation only" parties in New York City, which later became known as "The Loft". The first party, called "Love Saves The Day", was in 1970. Mancuso pioneered the private party, as distinct from the more commercial nightclub business model. In the early 1970s, Mancuso won a long administrative trial when the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found that he was not selling food or beverages to the public and therefore did not need a NYC cabaret license. Mancuso's success at keeping his parties "underground" and legal inspired others, and many famous private discothèques of the 1970s and 1980s were modeled after The Loft, including the Paradise Garage, The Gallery, 12 West, The Flamingo and later The Saint. Mancuso also helped start the "record pool" system for facilitating the distribution of promotional records to the qualified disc jockey. Elements of Mancuso's influence can also be seen in the famous nightly scene outside of New York City's Studio 54, where legendary owner Steve Rubell and 20th Century Fox vice President Billy Smith a.k.a Billy Amato understood the appeal of selectivity and took Mancuso's "invitation only" idea and expanded it to ridiculous, and ridiculously effective, extremes.
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