Bensonhurst saw disco days all over again Tuesday, as the crowds welcomed a movie star who defined the era: John Travolta.
Travolta strutted his stuff in the iconic 1977 film "Saturday Night Fever" on 86th Street near 20th Avenue and at Lenny's Pizzeria. He returned to Lenny's on Tuesday, this time with his wife, actress Kelly Preston, displaying his signature dance moves and greeting fans.
The film features scenes across Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge. Many residents still remember the movie shoot, and some brought photos they took back then of a young Travolta.
"I was 12 years old when I snapped this picture, and it had to be developed, sent away, waited two weeks for it to come back and thank God it came out good," one woman said, holding up a picture of the actor.
Others came with posters, albums, and DVDs, hoping for an autograph but just thrilled to relive, in a way, the scenes of their youth.
"I try to keep the 70's stayin' alive, you know? Watch the hair," one man said, dressed like Travolta.
"It was the best era, especially 1976 was the best ever," another fan said.
"I'm so excited," one woman said during the festivities. "This is a dream come true."
Another Travolta memento: the welcome to Brooklyn sign featured in the 1970s sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter."
In that series, the actor played Vinnie Barbarino, part of a class of remedial students known as the Sweathogs at a fictional high school based on the real-life New Utrecht High School.
"I feel like Brooklyn has been in my DNA since 'Welcome Back, Kotter,'" Travolta said.
Travolta returned to the streets that catapulted to stardom to promote his new project, a film about the late mob boss John Gotti. On hand were Gotti's son, John Jr., and the Brooklyn actor who plays mobster Sammy the Bull Gravano, William DeMeo.
"We brought the king of disco back to Lenny's Pizzeria. It's amazing," DeMeo said.
It's clear the pizzeria hasn't forgotten Travolta, displaying faded photos of the movie star. They said they were ecstatic to have him back.
So what did he get?
"He ordered two slices — a double decker, which is one slice on top of another," one employee said.
The same order, at the same pizzeria, placed by the character Tony Manero, in the movie that made Travolta and the neighborhood famous.
Lenny's also plans to name a special slice after Travolta.