Closure of HELP discoWednesday, February 10, 2010
The HELP disco is, or better said was, the biggest disco in all Rio de Janeiro and one of the centers of attraction during the night. All the fun started after 12 AM and it got packed during the weekends. HELP was full of loving Brazilian girls, the ideal place to meet the girl of your dreams. Smart casual clothing was required for the men and they didn’t allow anyone wearing beach clothing.
The entry fee was about 10 dollars and the drinks were bought inside by purchasing tickets at kiosks inside the HELP disco. After you purchased them, you gave them to the barman. People had to be careful to get the right change at these kiosks. The prices for the various drinks were listed behind the teller, quite reasonable as a matter of fact. The closing time was around 6 in the morning.
Opened back in 1984, Discoteca Help was geared initially toward Rio de Janeiro’s upper middle class as a place to dance and shake the stress off, but at the end of the 1980s it found its new vocation as a space for sex tourism, turned mainly to foreign tourists.
Unfortunately, after two years of planning, January 6th 2010 was the last day of the HELP Discoteca. For many people, the closing of this establishment marks the end of a golden age while for others is a welcome change as well as a significant step towards Rio de Janeiro’s aspirations of entering the first-world elite. Officially and legally expropriated as of January 9, 2010, the building, as well as the land, which have been subject to numerous legal disputes in the past, will serve as the new grounds for the Museum of Image and Sound (MIS). The Museum, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, currently functions as an archive of Rio’s musical history and is mostly used by researchers.
Slowly and surely all the fun people had at the HELP Discoteca will move at the Balcony Bar & Café which is located at Avenue Atlântica, 1424 – Copacana Rio De Janeiro – RJ , 22021. This is the place for the best beer in town; over 45 variations of local as well as international beers can be served here. The food is limited but it comes at a good value. The great atmosphere is entertained by the lovely women that come here every night looking for a good time.
The front ground floor of the bar is completely opened out similar to other beachfront bars, with only a few structural columns required to hold up the building. In front of the Balcony Bar, as with most of the beach bars, there is a wide covered area that accommodates approximately 30 tables and chairs. The outside area is generally used more for dining. Even in the winter, you can have a great time outside thanks to the warm climate in Rio, a lovely atmosphere. Inside the Balcony Bar it is a little more rowdy, it seems to be a popular meeting place for a few beers, a pick-up joint & a favorite of Germans that are staying in the area.
As you can see, all is not lost since the HELP Discoteca was closed, another great place is the Balcony Bar which is gaining more and more popularity, a place that will surely rise up to the level of the recently closed HELP.