Former American Bandstand dancer Tommy "Crazy Legs" Davis leaned in to examine the enlarged pictures on the walls in Studio B, looking for himself in the photos that captured the Philadelphia heyday of the rock-and-roll dance party hosted by Dick Clark.
Back then, Davis was a thin, 129-pound teenager from Roxborough with curly blond hair.
On Saturday, he was an older version of himself with less hair and a few more pounds but the same love for the TV show and Clark, who died Wednesday in Los Angeles at 82.
"My biggest thrill was dancing with Patti Page," said Davis, 70, of Jenkintown, who was a regular on the show from 1955 to 1957. "Dick pulled me down from the bleachers."
Davis was among the hundreds of former American Bandstand dancers and fans who flooded Studio B at the former WFIL-TV station - the original home of the dance program - to bop, stroll, and twist in Clark's memory.
The building at 4548 Market St. now houses the Enterprise Center, a nonprofit group that helps minority and disadvantaged entrepreneurs start their own businesses. Studio B is rented out for events such as parties and wedding receptions.
The center opened for public tours Saturday because officials had received so many requests to visit the building since Clark's death, said Della Clark (no relation), who is president of the center.
From the speakers, the sounds of Chubby Checker, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and the Beatles provided music with good beats that were easy to dance to.
Arnold Jones, a retired bus driver from North Philadelphia, twirled Grace Short, who works in food service.
Jones, 69, danced on the show twice in the late 1950s. Short, 64, of West Philadelphia, was a regular in 1960 and 1961.
"I saw a few black dancers who I watched [on TV], so I figured the show was for anybody who wanted to come," Short said.
At the show, she saw James Brown perform in person, and even danced with a white partner.
The first-floor studio is lined with plaques, posters, and other Bandstand memorabilia that the center obtained when Clark auctioned off some of his possessions in 2006.
The building, one of the first to be built as a television station, was the home of American Bandstand until the show moved to Los Angeles in 1964. It later housed WHYY Studios, but fell into disrepair when the public-TV station moved in 1979.
For 20 years, the building was an abandoned, graffiti-ridden shell until the Enterprise Center purchased it for $150,000 in the mid-1990s.
Dick Clark returned to the studio in 1997 for the building's grand reopening and the unveiling of the historic marker that stands outside on Market Street.
But Clark did little else to help with the preservation of the studio after the Enterprise Center moved in, Della Clark said.
"We tried to get him to chair an endowment campaign, to donate some things to the studio. The answer was always no," Della Clark said. "I'm saddened by his death and I think of [his lack of involvement] as a missed opportunity" to give back, she said.
The center purchased some of its memorabilia at the auction. Other items were purchased elsewhere or were donated, including bobby socks and sweaters worn by dancers.
The Enterprise Center created an endowment administered by the Philadelphia Foundation for maintenance of the studio and the building, which needs a new roof.
"If the Enterprise Center went out of business, what would happen to this building?" Della Clark said. "We want to make sure this building is never boarded up again."
On Saturday, in Studio B, the building's future took a backseat to its past for the visitors who danced to the music.
Former Bandstand dancer Dotty Bradley Boring, 68, shook her hips while wearing a poodle skirt, black T-strapped shoes, and white bobby socks.
Her partner, Herbie Lamb, 70, did the twist in response.
Joe and Mary Kelly, of Wilmington, also took to the floor to bop. Joe Kelly, 68, danced on the show when he was 14. He would travel from Eddystone with five friends in a car driven by one of the kids' parents.
But Saturday was Mary Kelly's first visit.
"When I walked in, it brought a tear to my eye," she said. "I never got a chance to dance here, so I wanted to come."
Andre Blalock, 55, also never got the chance to dance on the show. He was a little boy when he watched the teens line up to get into the show from the steps of his house on 46th Street.
"I used to say I wanted to dance," said Blalock, an international legal adviser, "but then they moved the show" to California.
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