The Legendary Studio 54

We all know the legends and stories of the infamous 1970’s Club Studio 54 located in the center of Manhattan, New York. I don’t think there is a person that has not seen the hit 1998 movie starring Ryan Phillippe, Salma Hayek and Mike Myers but do we really know the facts behind the legend?

Studio 54 opened its doors on the 26 April 1977 after being converted from a theatre to a nightclub by creator and founder Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager. As it was previously a functioning theatre the nightclub was able to maximize and utilize the original theatrical structures to create elaborate movable theatrical sets and lights. Many critics, celebrities and fans considered Studio 54 as a sophisticated, multi-media visual extravaganza that quickly had a reputation for been the world’s most exclusive club. In the first year the nightclub produced 7 million dollars in profit exceeding many expectations. For the 33 months that the club was open every night saw the who’s who’s lining up at the doors with celebrities like Madonna, Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Brooke Shields and Jack Nicholson just to name a few. To gain entry into the hottest club of its time you often needed to be on the club list or hand selected by Steve himself. Many of the nightly antics were due to the creative thinking of Steve who ran with a motto “the key to a good party is to fill a room with guests more interesting than you”.

studio54line

*caption: I don’t know if you would have much luck gaining entry on that night.

Some of Studio 54 most memorable moments:

– One New Years Eve party guests were witness to 4 tons of glitter dumped onto the floor in a 4-inch layer described by Ian as like “standing on stardust”.

– For Andy Warhol’s birthday Steve gave him a garbage bin filled with one-dollar bills as a birthday gift. Andy had later stated to media that it was the best birthday gift that he had ever received.

– Who can forget the beautiful Bianca Jagger arriving into the club for her 30th birthday on a white horse.

bianca jagger on white horse

*caption: The birthday girl arriving on her steed.

Diana Ross on the DJ booth

*caption: Diana Ross feeling the groove.

 The end came for the pair with the forceable closure of the club after a raid on the club discovered stashed cash throughout the entire club in December 1979. The pair was later sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for tax evasion. In true Studio 54 fashion in February 1980 a final party and prison send-off to a packed crowd of celebrities and fans including Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone.

MJ, Steve Rubell, Steve Tyler & Cheri Curie

*caption: Steve Rubell, MJ, Steve Tyler and Cheri from The Runaways

studio54bianca jagger and grace jones

*caption: Just your average Monday night antics.

Diana Ross and Richard Gere at Studio 54

*caption: Diana Ross and Richard Gere about to get there boogie on.

There is no denying that Studio 54 was the most popular club of the 1970’s and unlike any other even to this day. Do you think you would have been glamorous enough to gain entry into the hottest club of its time?

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