Studio 54 And Its Unrivaled Tales Of Celebrities, Disco And Animals On The Dance Floor

Published on 05/26/2019
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We all know how the song goes: You are the dancing queen! And yet, no one knows it any better than the kids of the 70s. If you want to find out everything there is to learn about that whirlwind decade, you only need to take a closer look at Studio 54. In a single night, guests would forget about all the troubles looming over America. Expect to see costumes, lights, and maybe even a barnyard animal. Trust us, there is nothing boring about the photos you are about to see. Get ready to rock those bell-bottom pants and point your disco finger because we will take you on an adventure!

Studio 54 And Its Yet Unrivalled Tales Of Celebrities, Disco, And Animals On The Dance Floor

Studio 54 And Its Yet Unrivalled Tales Of Celebrities, Disco, And Animals On The Dance Floor

Studio 54 Held The Essence Of The Seventies

We all know that the ‘70s had been a crazy era. They had to deal with the Vietnam war, economic inflation, and the fight for women’s rights. Aside from the political turmoil of the decade, it was the time of hyper-self-expression, experimentation, and wild parties.

Studio 54 Held The Essence Of The Seventies

Studio 54 Held The Essence Of The Seventies

 One Of The Greatest Nightclubs In History

When it comes to those things, nothing could beat Studio 54 in New York. Its doors opened in 1977 and remained that way until it closed down in 1980. In those three years, it established itself as one of the greatest nightclubs in history. Here’s a photo of Diana Ross at the DJ booth back in 1980.

One Of The Greatest Nightclubs In History

Only The Most Famous Faces

Whenever you went to Studio 54, you often had the opportunity to rub elbows with the decade’s biggest stars. You might not be on the guest list, but we are sure you will recognize some of the people on it! Here is a photo of Andy Warhol, Calvin Klein, Brooke Shields and Steve Rubell enjoying a night on the town back in 1981.

Only The Most Famous Faces

Barbra Streisand And Jon Peters Hand-In-Hand

Even though the club did not live past three years, it certainly tickled the interest of numerous A-list stars. Located at 8th and Broadway in New York City, Studio 54 aimed to provide celebrities a care-free haven of anonymity. Even Barbra Streisand and Jon Peters made an appearance back in 1980.

Barbra Streisand And Jon Peters Hand-In-Hand

Cher Was A Regular

This must be one of the reasons that the Goddess of Pop went there so often. It was a place Cher could go without having to deal with screaming fans and the paparazzi. As you can see below, Cher is happy with her pup amidst the swirling chaos of drinks, music, and people. You can see a checkbook and bill on her lower right! Do you think this photo was taken just as she was calling it a night? If you ask us, the look in her eyes tells us that she was not going to leave until the sun came up.

Cher Was A Regular

Cher Was A Regular

Studio 54 Provided Celebrities With An Escape

There was no other decade that put a bigger emphasize on ‘feeling good’. Whenever the world got too much, Studio 54 offered guests the chance to forget about their problems. Many people were miserable because of the terrible inflation, high unemployment rates, and the crashing stock market. What better way to forget about all of these than with dancing and music? Jonathan Soresi and Jayne Kennedy couldn’t agree more as we see them partying here!

Studio 54 Provided Celebrities With An Escape

Grace Jones And Her Elaborate Outfits

Grace Jones calls herself a “warrior”, and we can see why. This producer, model, and singer-songwriter is one talented lady. She was another regular patron at the club and often came there in eccentric getups. Doesn’t she look as vibrant as a disco ball in her gilded sunglasses and fishnet top? The fashion icon certainly made everyone’s head turn with her avant-garde style and fiery fashion. She is a ‘70s legend if we have ever seen one!

Grace Jones And Her Elaborate Outfits

Grace Jones And Her Elaborate Outfits

Michael Jackson In The ‘70s

Before you go on and tell us that this isn’t the King of Pop, we want you to take a closer look. You might not recognize the disco garb and his afro, but it is indeed Michael Jackson in all of his ‘70s glory. This photo suggests that he was moving as it was taken, and you can say the same thing for the others behind him. As you can see, the actor had to deal with a lot of changes over the years. We bet he still had no idea just how big he was going to become at the time this photo was snapped. His music changed the game forever and continues to inspire many aspiring artists.

Michael Jackson In The '70s

Michael Jackson In The ’70s

Chairty Events And The Like

The ‘70s was truly an era of change, liberation, and transition. No other place represented it as well as Studio 54 did. Not only was it a night club for the late-night hours, but the esteemed club also held charity events. Patti LaBelle and Nona Hendryx attended the “One to One” Telethon hosted by John Johnson at Studio 54.

Chairty Events And The Like

Bette Midler And The Temptations

Who will you look at that – it’s Bette Midler and the Temptations together! They definitely know just how to “Treat Her Like A Lady”. The way they are clasping hands tells us they were about to “Get Ready” for a good time. All right, it might be time to stop it with the puns. But seriously, no one could resist making a Temptation pun when Bette Midler is on the dance floor. Midler was congratulating the group for their new deal with Atlantic Records. It was with the label that they came out with albums like “Bare Back” and “Hear to Tempt You”.

Bette Midler And The Temptations

Bette Midler And The Temptations

Debbie Allen Frolics In A White V-neck Dress

We were not joking when we told you that Studio 54 was the ultimate party house. It was a place of jubilation and celebration for everyone. American actress Debbie Allen can be seen here strutting her stuff while some college boys behind her enjoy a beer.

Debbie Allen Frolics In A White V-neck Dress

Actors Ryan O’Neal And Farrah Fawcett Are All Smiles

What, are you telling us you are not impressed by the hype and the celebrities? Well, let us tell you that there was not a tame night at Studio 54. Actors Ryan O’Neal and Farrah Fawcett enjoyed a night out on the town at a party for Faberge. Farrah’s big hair screams the 70s!

Actors Ryan O’Neal And Farrah Fawcett Are All Smiles

Stevie Wonder Jams With Steven Stills

At this club, there was a legendary bouncer with the clipboard who would give you the thumbs up or thumbs down judging from your attitude and wardrobe. Stevie Wonder is seen playing the piano alongside Steven Stills on the drums. These two were always let in without a second thought!

Stevie Wonder Jams With Steven Stills

Curtis Mayfield Boogies Like There’s No Tomorrow

Do you think it would be hard to get into an exclusive club in this day and age? Well, even certain celebrities got denied entry to the king of the New York disco scene. People like Henry Winkler, Nile Rodgers, and Warren Beatty failed to get through the doors of Studio 54! Whoa. How could the man behind “Le Freak” not get in? Well, perhaps this is because he only penned the song after he tried to get through the door.

Curtis Mayfield Boogies Like There’s No Tomorrow

David Bowie Was Almost Denied Entry

Putting aside the strict entry policy of the club, let us talk about David Bowie. Even though Ziggy Stardust himself was nearly denied entry, a club owner fixed the error and ushered him in. It is easy to see why he was grinning so widely at that moment!

David Bowie Was Almost Denied Entry

David Bowie Was Almost Denied Entry

What Paloma Picasso Told Debbie Harry

Before we proceed with the rest of the story, let us take a moment to appreciate how lovely all these ladies are. On the far left, we have Jerry Hall. In the center, we have Debbie Harry of Blondie looking relaxed and curious. On the right, we have Paloma Picasso the jewelry designer with a hint of a smile on her face. What a great photo this was! Aside from its beautiful subjects, the composition here sure tells us that something interesting was going on. We do not know what Pablo Picasso’s daughter was whispering in the singer’s ear, but we can tell that it was something juicy! We are not discounting the possibility that she was complimenting that velvet scarf as well, of course.

What Paloma Picasso Told Debbie Harry

What Paloma Picasso Told Debbie Harry

Bianca Jagger And Liza Minnelli Hold White Doves

Even though many people know her best as the ex-wife of rock ‘n’ roll legend Mick Jagger, do not forget that Bianca Jagger has made a name for herself as an actress and human rights activist in her own right. Here you can see Bianca Jagger and Liza Minnelli holding white doves at Studio 54.

Bianca Jagger And Liza Minnelli Hold White Doves

Mick and Bianca Jagger Celebrate Her Birthday

We have a question for you: where exactly do you host a birthday bash for someone so awesome? Why, only at the most happening club in the area, of course! Bianca Jagger was never camera-shy, and she looks fairly relaxed in this photo. It was taken during her 32nd birthday celebration back in 1977. On the left, we have dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. On the right, we have Mick Jagger himself!

Mick and Bianca Jagger Celebrate Her Birthday

Mick and Bianca Jagger Celebrate Her Birthday

Young Brooke Shields and Mariel Hemingway Laughing Together

Who doesn’t know Brooke Shields? There is no reason to forget this lovely model who once appeared on the front cover of Vogue as well as the film “Blue Lagoon”. However, this photo was taken long before she became famous for her pouty lips and voluminous brows. Just twelve years old here, she was going through adolescence in the most exciting decade in recent memory. Even at that age, the young model could go to the most exclusive places in the city already. Now, do you know who she is sitting right next to in this photo? It was none other than

, an actress and the granddaughter of the famous writer Ernest Hemingway! Yes, we are talking about one of the most famous writers the country has ever seen. Did you think that is gin and tonic in her hand? Nope, it’s soda, of course!

Young Brooke Shields and Mariel Hemingway Laughing Together

Young Brooke Shields and Mariel Hemingway Laughing Together

No One Expected To See The First Lady There

Even though a lot of people want to get into Studio 54, there are various personalities you wouldn’t expect to find there. The First Lady would be one of those people! You are looking at three generations of ladies from very different backgrounds here. From the left, we have “Cabaret” performer Liza Minnelli, actress Elizabeth Taylor, and First Lady Betty Ford herself. Although they do not share the same profession, we are glad to see that they are having a good time together. All three are dressed in glitters and sequins, which show us that they were there to have a good time. Liza seems to be telling an interesting story as this photo was taken! We are glad to see that the First Lady seems very entertained.

No One Expected To See The First Lady There

No One Expected To See The First Lady There

The Hunks Of The ‘70s Walking Through The Club Doors

Oh, my. We honestly think that our hearts stopped working for a moment or two the moment we looked at this photo of Tony Manero – sorry, we meant John Travolta. When you combine that smoldering gaze with the amazing jawline on Sylvester Stallone, we would not be surprised to hear that people had been swooning left and right on this night. Anyway, we all know that John Travolta was a key figure in the disco scene thanks to his iconic “Saturday Night Fever” performance. The movie became a global sensation that taught everyone songs by the Bee Gees and the meaning of staying alive. Let us not forget that his companion starred in the equally iconic “Rocky” films. These two are probably the life of the party no matter where they end up going. This photo was taken back in 1977.

The Hunks Of The '70s Walking Through The Club Doors

The Hunks Of The ’70s Walking Through The Club Doors

Prepping For A Visit From The Queen Of Country

All right, we can now see why Bianca Jagger was on top of a horse. When it became clear that Dolly Parton was about to grace the infamous club, Steve Rubell the club owner wanted to make sure she felt right at home. He got in touch with a local stable and got that same white horse, which the Queen of Country adored. Now, this horse was not the last animal to have ever made an appearance in the club.

Prepping For A Visit From The Queen Of Country

Prepping For A Visit From The Queen Of Country

Animals Galore!

Can you believe that they also had chickens, mules, and other horses at some point! These animals all ran around Studio 54 and became celebrities in their own right. There was even a wagon full of hay and a wine barrel full of corn in there. That sure sounds wild to us! Fashion designer Halston and modern dance choreographer Martha Graham took a break from the zoo to have a quiet chat.

Animals Galore!

Regulars At Studio 54

This group of famous faces were regulars at Studio 54. Bianca Jagger gets photographed so often, she doesn’t mind making a silly face for the cameras! Michael Jackson on her left looks quite content with his ice cold drink. We bet everyone wanted a chance to sit with this group of stars!

Regulars At Studio 54

Diana Ross Lets It Loose On The Dance Floor

Are you wondering “Where Did Our Love Go?” Well, look no further for the answer to that question because it is in the fiery dance moves of Diana Ross! She sure looks like she was having a blast here, but you cannot say the same thing for the guy standing behind her. She was another frequent guest at the club, where she often hung out in the DJ booth to sing or dance the night away.

Diana Ross Lets It Loose On The Dance Floor

Diana Ross Lets It Loose On The Dance Floor

Elton John And His Fashion Choices

The regulars got together for a last hurrah before they closed the club down for good. During that night, Diana Ross serenaded the owners as Liza Minnelli performed “New York, New York”. Even though the club was no longer in operation, we doubt anyone would ever forget everything that went down in the notorious Club 54. Elton John was another regular who always had the most daring outfit chocies…check out his 2 different shoes!

Elton John And His Fashion Choices

The Basement Or The Champagne Room

We are sure you have questions about the more salacious things that happened behind the closed doors of this club. That’s understandable because you have only seen people having a great time thus far. Well, it honestly depends on what you count as a great time. Studio 54 actually has three levels. We have the dance floor and then there is the basement. Rolling Stone has reported that there were many lewd things going on down there. Amongst rolled up rugs and stored props, security guards roamed in the area like sharks ensuring that pervy eyes would not get a peek at what was happening below. The only thing we’ll tell you was that sweaty people came in and out of there. Do the math.

The Basement Or The Champagne Room

The Basement Or The Champagne Room

Liz Taylor’s Birthday Celebration

Now, let us talk about this photo below. Of course, we already know who Liz Taylor is. She just so happens to be the goddess of the big screen with those violet eyes and double lashes that have charmed the likes of John Warner, George Hamilton, and David Bowie. We are not surprised to hear that this superstar was never out of the spotlight for too long. She was a regular presence at Studio 54 and even celebrated her 46th birthday there. You can see her surrounded by women around the silk-draped sofa and a cake with her face on it. That sounds like an amazing way to celebrate! A closer look, however, will reveal the knife stuck right in the center of her chest. Is this a foreshadowing about her death in 2011?

Liz Taylor’s Birthday Celebration

Liz Taylor’s Birthday Celebration

Keith Richards, John Belushi, and James Brown Together

Now, you can probably predict that mayhem is inevitable when you have these three together. The lines to the club go along the block, clog traffic, and tease patrons right outside the doors. You can just imagine the reactions of these eager hopefuls when they see celebrities! We have Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones laughing with his pal James Brown. Now, let us not forget about that narrow-eyed lad on the right. It is, of course, none other than John Belushi himself. The “Animal House” actor also dropped by Studio 54 before he met his demise in 1982. Richards must be laughing because of something he said.

Keith Richards, John Belushi and James Brown Together

Keith Richards, John Belushi and James Brown Together

A Pensive Robin Williams Beside His Wife And Andy Warhol

Oh, doesn’t this photo just break your heart? We are looking at the man who brought Mrs. Doubtfire to life, though the comedian was better known as Mork from Mork and Mindy in those days. Now, take a look at the people he is with on the couch. On the far right, you will find the artist Andy Warhol and Valerie Velardi, Williams’ ex-wife. The two are locked in an intimate conversation, probably struggling to hear each other over the bass of the music. However, Williams looks noticeably lonely and reflective on the couch. We bet he had a lot on his mind at that moment.

A Pensive Robin Williams Beside His Wife And Andy Warhol

A Pensive Robin Williams Beside His Wife And Andy Warhol

Monique van Vooren In A Feather Boa

It did not take long before the word got out about this hedonistic theater that had been converted into a club. Soon enough, it earned a seedy reputation. There were various rumors about the club owners, Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, which included whispers of nightly orgies and drug-laced ventilation systems. Some people even claim that it had underground tunnels that connected it to the subway system of the city. You can see actress Monique van Vooren strutting her stuff in March 1979.

Monique van Vooren In A Feather Boa

Richard Gere Wore Sunglasses Indoors At Night

We all know how much of a fox Richard Gere is, both before and after he starred in “Pretty Woman”. How can we expect anything less from the same man who made us all swoon in “The American Gigolo”? It was only inevitable that this stud would be showing up in the best club the city had to offer. Here, you can see the actor wearing a tweed suit and croc boots. But just who is that lovely lady he is dancing with? That is the entertainment journalist, Judy Licht. If a party was happening in the city that never sleeps, expect her to be there with some nice arm candy. We are sure this was a memorable night!

Richard Gere Wore Sunglasses Indoors At Night

Richard Gere Wore Sunglasses Indoors At Night

The Greatest Duet Ever

At this point, there should be no doubts in your mind that Liza Minnelli was made to be in the spotlight. Now, what could possibly be more awesome than a duet between her and Bianca Jagger? It must have been a blast to see these two on stage together. We also adore those colorful getups they have on! Here we have Minnelli looking spectacular in her red gown with a microphone in hand. On the other hand, Bianca was just as fabulous in her purple fur top! It sure looks like she was waiting for her cue to sing her part. Another amazing part of this photo? Andy Warhol on the right looks entertained by this duo.

The Greatest Duet Ever

The Greatest Duet Ever

Jerry Hall Looked As Fabulous As Ever

Well, Jerry Hall sure knows how to attract both a crowd and the camera! Do we even need to explain what we mean? Mind you, this was not a photo-op. No, she is all you need to take such an amazing shot. Doesn’t she look like she is modeling for a luxury brand? You would never have guessed that this lady with her long and silky hair had a difficult childhood. She is with Mick Jagger in this photo – but of course she would be! No matter what outfit she is wearing, Jerry Hall never fails to look elegant and gorgeous.

Jerry Hall Looked As Fabulous As Ever

Jerry Hall Looked As Fabulous As Ever

Grace Jones Strutting Her Stuff

Steve Rubell, the owner, wanted to make sure only the best people could go into the club. There was even a time when he stood there and picked who was allowed and denied entry. People tried to dress wildly when they went to Studio 54 in the hopes of getting his attention. Grace Jones always got Steve’s attention with her outfits.

Grace Jones Strutting Her Stuff

The Eccentric And Ethereal Bianca Jagger

Honestly, we want you to look at this photo and convince us that Bianca Jagger is not a goddess. Bianca Jagger could have gotten in without a crafty or eccentric costume in the first place, but she went and did it for kicks. We adore those doves and gold crown on her. She is so ethereal and otherworldly, isn’t she? We love an iconic lady!

The Eccentric And Ethereal Bianca Jagger

The Eccentric And Ethereal Bianca Jagger

Robin Williams Showing Us How It Is Done

Robin Williams will forever live on in our hearts. We already had a photo of him up here earlier but let us take a look at another. Wearing a Hawaiian shirt and grabbing his wife’s hand, the lovebirds look great. They also seemed ready to put their dance moves to the test! Robin seemed very into it, already showing off a move or two there and then. The two spent a long time in each other’s arms and welcomed the birth of their child Zachary Pym in 1983. By that time, Williams already appeared in films such as “The World According to Garp” and “Popeye”. We miss him every single day.

Robin Williams Showing Us How It Is Done

Robin Williams Showing Us How It Is Done

Elton John Looks A Lot Different

We want you all to inhale and exhale. Yes, you are looking at Elton John below. And yes, he happens to be wearing a baseball cap and sporting sideburns! In the middle of the crowd, we have Alana Hamilton in a leopard print dress with her future husband Rod Stewart. That look on her face tells us that she is ready to go and hit the dance floor as soon as possible. However, we cannot stop thinking about how odd it is to see Sir Elton John without his flamboyant outfits and colored eyewear. The photo was taken as these three arrived at the club to celebrate John’s deal with RCA records. What a time to be alive.

Elton John Looks A Lot Different

Elton John Looks A Lot Different

More To Offer Than Celebrity Guests

Apart from the celebrities and the secret basement, there were other things about the club that made people line up for it. Among other things, nothing could beat the entertainment there. No other place in the city knew how to throw a party and entertain guests like Studio 54 did. They celebrated their 1-year anniversary in style with a special combination entertainment/fashion show with an “East meets West” theme.

More To Offer Than Celebrity Guests

Even On A Monday Night

This black and white snap of lithe women also shows spectators watching in awe while the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre took over the floor of the club. They performed “Suite Otis” on November 20, 1979. It was a Monday night, but they still managed to get a crowd this big!

More To Offer Than Celebrity Guests

Even On A Monday Night

Olivia Newton-John At The Grease Premiere

Studio 54’s opening party on June 13, 1978 celebrated the Grease premiere. They showed everyone what to expect of the club with barely-dressed men on motorcycles and the appearance of Sandy herself, Olivia Newton-John! First impressions are crucial, and Studio 54 made a lasting one!

Olivia Newton-John At The Grease Premiere

Never A Lack Of Wild Events

If dancers were not enough to impress you, what about live bands and acrobats? Colored balloons fell down from the ceiling and topless women danced to the music all night long. Meanwhile, the balcony boasted of even lewder acts than that! Studio 54 did not only boast of a secluded basement, but it was also equipped with a rubber room. We know you have all sorts of ideas in mind, but it is not what you think. Apparently, there was one specific spot in the balcony area covered in rubber since it was “easier to clean”. Now, what could possibly need cleaning? Well, we think we would rather not know if all the rumors about this place happen to be true…

Never A Lack Of Wild Events

Never A Lack Of Wild Events

The Ladies Man That Is Sylvester Stallone

Previously, we showed you a photo of the action star walking in with John Travolta. This time, the photo shows him up close and personal with “The Man Who Would Not Die” actress Joyce Ingalls. The two starred opposite each other in “Paradise Alley” before. Many people who come to Studio 54 is looking to meet other people, but we daresay these two are fine on their own already. Around this time, Stallone was reaping the rewards of starring in “Rocky”. He also got married to Sasha Czack not long before or after this photo was taken. Stallone later worked as a producer for films like “Rocky II” and “First Blood”.

The Ladies Man That Is Sylvester Stallone

The Ladies Man That Is Sylvester Stallone

Elton John And A Minor Wardrobe Malfunction

Do you remember the snap of Elton John with Rod Stewart and Alana Hamilton? In comparison, we daresay that this image of the musician is more similar to him we know now. Wearing a matching getup with geometric pattern details, he looks swift with a winged cap on. He looks just like the messenger of the Greek gods! That evening, he was celebrating the release of his album “A Single Man”, which came out on October 16, 1978. Here, we can see the talented man rolling up his trousers, so that he can come and join the fun on the dance floor. We are sure it was a magnificent night for everyone!

Elton John And A Minor Wardrobe Malfunction

Elton John And A Minor Wardrobe Malfunction

Disco Sally Living Her Best Life

We know that people assume that parties are only for the young ones. Those who think that way have not heard of Sally “Disco Sally” Lippman. Although Studio 54 was full of kids dripping with youth, there was this old biddy who decided to do whatever she wanted when her husband died. She was the real star of the nightclub! We are glad she decided to go spend her free time thereafter a friend of hers told her to drop by “just to see what it’s all about.” As you can see, she ended up having such a great time with a friend. They were allowed entry into the club, and the manager adored her so much he ensured she could go in any time she wanted. She even said, “I didn’t dance for 50 years because my husband didn’t like it.” We are glad to hear that she is having the time of her life in her twilight years. Wow!

Disco Sally Living Her Best Life

Disco Sally Living Her Best Life

The Most Happening Venue In All Of NY

Now, you can see why we say that Studio 54 was once the most happening venue in all of New York. Michael Jackson himself stated that the club was the place to go to dance and “be free”. It was a safe haven for many celebrities, a chance to let loose and be themselves without worrying about the spotlight, paparazzi, and fans. Mother and daughter duo Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow even made an appearance at Studio 54 for the 4th Annual New York Caberet Benefit for the Williamstown Theater Festival.

The Most Happening Venue In All Of NY

All Seemed Well Until One Fateful Day

Unfortunately, the club closed its doors as quickly as it opened back in 1977. The IRS went over the club in search of the club owners, Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, in December 1978. During an interview on CBS, Rubell described that fateful day to be “…probably the worst, one of the worst days of my life.”

All Seemed Well Until One Fateful Day

All Seemed Well Until One Fateful Day

Not Their First Time

When the pair of businessmen opened the club back in 1977, they did not think the disco-themed club was going to be such a big hit. Rubell and Schrager bought an old CBS TV studio and converted it into a musical light bonanza. They used the old lighting from the building as dancing features, painted the ceiling with black paint, and created their very own wonderland. However, there was just one thing they had to get: alcohol. Liquor licenses are much harder to obtain than a driver’s license. They had a difficult time going about it. Since opening night was coming, they had to do something quickly.

Not Their First Time

Not Their First Time

One-Day Catering Permits

Since it was so hard to obtain a license, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager opted to get catering permits instead. The club needed some booze and this was one way to get around the license laws. They launched the company under the name “Broadway Catering Corp”, which was how they got the crates of alcohol to serve their guests. The Liquor State Authorities eventually got suspicious of their behavior and asked them why a disco club needed all those catering permits. That was when the music stopped, and the police raided the night club. It was at that moment when everything started to fall apart for Studio 54.

One Day Catering Permits

One-Day Catering Permits

The IRS Was Closing In On Them

The club owners got arrested for non-licensed alcohol selling. Studio 54 was shuttered until further notice. It was a good thing that they an amazing lawyer by the name of Roy Cohn, who brought them out of prison and got them a liquor license. However, you should keep in mind that he was no ordinary lawyer. He was the lawyer of Senator McCarthy and even worked for Donald Trump at one point. As soon as Rubell and Schrager got out, they felt invincible. The amazing feeling did not last, however. Although they got to enjoy three more years of success, the IRS proved to be too big of an opponent.

The IRS Was Closing In On Them

The IRS Was Closing In On Them

Cher And Howard Himelstein Bust A Move

It took two dozen IRS agents to seize and retrieve information about the finances of the club. There was an allegation that the owners had been skimming money and keeping large amounts of drugs. Both of the reports turned out to be true. They found drugs in a vault in the club as well as unreported cash. Overall, they had $2.5 million dollars that they did not report. The two served time in prison for fraud, and the club shut down for good in 1980.

Cher And Howard Himelstein Bust A Move

The Death Of Disco

That was not only the end for studio 54 but disco as well. When Rubell and Schrager got out of jail, they managed to get their feet on the ground once more. Before saying goodbye, however, everyone gathered for one last party in February 1980.

The Death Of Disco

The Death Of Disco

Jamie Lee Curtis And Mom

Can you imagine what it would have been like to witness Jamie Lee Curtis arriving at Studio 54 with her mother, Janet Leigh? Curtis’ mother is well-known for her role in Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock. The scene of her being stabbed in the shower is one of the most historical when it comes to cinema. Perhaps her expression is the result of seeing Norman Bates on the dance floor.

Jamie Lee Curtis And Mom

Diana Ross Shows Off Her Moves

World-famous singer Diana Ross can be seen her dancing the night away limbo-style at Studio 54. Even though everyone associates Diane Ross’ music with the 1970s, it was actually in the 60s when she got her break when she performed with The Supremes. Regardless, Ross has made an impression on artists and fans alike, and continued to do so for generations.

Diana Ross Shows Off Her Moves

Rod Stewart And Steve Rubell Enjoying Themselves

Co-owner of the infamous Studio 54 nightclub, Steve Rubell said: ‘The key to a good party is filling a room with guests more interesting than you.” Well, it seems we can give him all the credit he deserves since that’s exactly what he did. Here we can see him the superstar singer Rod Stewart, and they seem to be having a great night!

Rod Stewart And Steve Rubell Enjoying Themselves

Gilda Radner Dancing In Pink Overalls

Turn time back a few notches, and you’re watching Saturday Night Live with Gilda Radner – one of the originals. Her bright pink overalls perfectly reflect her light and comedic personality. It’s fair to say that even with all the different strains of celebrities at the party, it was Rander who could pull off such a cool outfit.

Gilda Radner Dancing In Pink Overalls

Michael Jackson Performing At Studio 54, Circa 1975

There’s no doubt that disco was on the menu every night at Studio 54, with stars like Donna Summer, Grace Jones, and Gloria Gaynor performed, but everyone gladly welcomed the King of Pop. Michale Jackson frequented at the exclusive nightclub and was reported to have retreated to dance alone at the DJ booth on many occasions.

Michael Jackson Performing At Studio 54, Circa 1975

Robin Williams At The Robin Williams Opening Party, April 11, 1979

April 1979 was a great time for the comedian and actor Robin Williams. He was just 27 years old, but he had achieved so much, from finishing the season finale of Mork & Mindy to appearing on the cover of Time magazine. When someone thought of comedy, they immediately thought of Robin Williams. Here we can see him arriving at his very own Robin Williams Opening Party.

Robin Williams At The Robin Williams Opening Party, April 11, 1979

Diane Von Furstenberg And Boyfriend Barry Diller

As Studio 54 became a place for certain celebrities to frequent more and more, some made themselves completely at home. The club felt less and less like a public space. Here we see fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg getting very comfortable on the couch with media mogul Barry Diller, her boyfriend.

Diane Von Furstenberg And Boyfriend Barry Diller

Doorman Marc Benecke Deciding Who Gets In

For 19-year-old Marc Benecke, being the doorman at the glamorous Studio 54 club was a pretty big task. He successfully called the shots on who made the cut to get into the celebrity-swarming nightclub. Later, he would pursue a career in real estate and open up successful bars of his own.

Doorman Mark Benecke Deciding Who Gets In

The Calling Of Hedonism

Taken from outside, this photograph shows a small crowd waiting to get into Studio 54. Before owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager made their move to turn this site into a club, the space was used as a theater. At this time everyone was doing whatever they could in order to get into the prestigious nightclub. In many cases it meant dressing as bizarrely as possible.

The Calling Of Hedonism

Woody Allen And Michael Jackson Hanging Out

This picture shows us two greats from different worlds sitting side-by-side. Filmmaker Woody Allen and pop star Michael Jackson sit next to one another in what looks like a very comfortable setting. Despite having a dress code for guests entering the club, there were obviously those who nobody would dare approach to say something about their clothing.

Woody Allen And Michael Jackson Hanging Out

Fleur Thiemeyer And Elton John

My, what I would have done to get into the ‘Grease’ Premiere party probably shouldn’t be written in this article. Here we see Elton John and Fleur Thiemeyer at said party on June 13th, 1978 and Studio 54. The movie was a major hit and has remained one of the best movies from the 1970s.

Fleur Thiemeyer And Elton John

The Owners

You can’t fake smiles as wide as those. Owners Steve Rubell on the right and Ian Schrager on the left stand gleefully next to each other on one of the balconies at Studio 54. This photograph was taken not long after the club’s opening, and shortly before it exploded into an even bigger success.

The Owners

Dancing The Night Away

As we said, Studio 54 attracted all kinds of people, and they weren’t all celebrities and socialites. The energy and vibe in the nightclub was all freedom and looseness. People wore what they wanted, danced however they like, and interacted with whoever they wished. It was a tragedy when the club eventually closed down.

Dancing The Night Away

Liza Minnelli And Mikhail Baryshnikov

As a world-class ballet dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov would probably not take anyone’s hand on the dance floor. However, when it came to Liza Minnelli he made an exception. As other guests look on, the two stars dance the night away. What a time to be alive!

Liza Minnelli And Mikhail Baryshnikov

Studio 54 DJ Booth

What a view! The DJ booth provided a view that was unhindered which meant that there was so much to see. People wearing close to nothing, strange garb and everything in between could be seen. Although there were live performances at the club, DJs often dominated the music.

Studio 54 DJ Booth

Bianca Jagger Riding Bareback

This venue also earned quite the reputation thanks to the live horse behind the doors. Here is Bianca Jagger herself riding on its back looking just like Lady Godiva herself. Mick Jagger’s former wife and muse could be seen going about her night on top of this white steed.

Bianca Jagger Riding Bareback

Bianca Jagger Riding Bareback


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Halston, The Fashion Designer

He was simply known as “Halston” – the famous fashion designer, always looking the part. Roy Halston Frowick is seen having a puff at Studio 54 in the Big Apple on September 4th, 1979. His wardrobe choice is far from eye-opening in comparison to others who arrived at the club.

Halston, The Fashion Designer

Dirty Dancing

Freedom from inhibition played a major role in the behavior of guests at the hottest disco club in New York City. A woman dances with two men, and it looks as if none of them has a care in the world. Studio 54 also had no problem with drugs flowing freely in the nightclub.

Dirty Dancing

Filled To Capacity

This is a perfect image showing us just how full the club was on a busy night. From the hippie culture of Woodstock to the pumping tunes of disco music, Studio 54 was exactly what this generation needed. The people craved something new and different, and that’s what Studio 54 provided them.

Filled To Capacity

New Year’s Eve

If there ever was a time to go to Studio 54, it would probably be New Year’s Eve.  We can explore this one shot and see just how many big stars we can spot in the picture: Bianca Jagger, Halston, Andy Warhol, Jack Haley, Jr., and Liza Minnelli. Attendance must have been at its maximum that night.

New Year’s Eve

Bizarre Outfits

If you thought that you had the most outrageous outfit of the night at Studio 54, chances are that you were probably wrong. People crossdressed, donned all sorts of headpieces, smeared colorful make-up on and tried a plethora of other accessories to steal the limelight. Who needed any other entertainment?

Bizarre Outfits

Not Your Average Book Party

Having a book party at Studio 54, surrounded by top celebrities, was a new level for everyone. Egon Von Furstenberg’s party for his book ‘The Power Look’ took place on September 25th, 1978. You can see Ara Gallant and Diane Von Furstenberg relaxing on the couch as the party rages on.

Not Your Average Book Party

The Titanic In Studio 54

Keeping up with the outlandish outfits the guests came in with was the decor of the nightclub. This photo was shot on January 1st, 1975, where a model of the Titanic hanged above the center stage in Studio 54. This was, of course, one of the many different kinds of creative decorations that went up there.

The Titanic In Studio 54

The Whole Crew

Take a deep breath and take them all in. Had you been there at that exact moment, you would have been in the presence of Lorna Luft, Jerry Hall, Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry of Blondie, Truman Capote, and Paloma Picasso.  They were attending the Interview Party in 1979.

The Whole Crew

Liza Minnelli Poking Fun At Someone Else’s Shoes

We do not know if these are true, but it certainly looked like guests had a blast at any rate. Take a look at Liza Minnelli on the dance floor all decked out in her bell-bottom jeans. Here, she was pointing at another patron’s platform shoes! Apparently, he asked her to dance with him just before she made fun of his shoes. Oops, better luck next time. We also like that she is dressed more casually than the others.

Liza Minnelli Poking Fun At Someone Else’s Shoes

Liza Minnelli Poking Fun At Someone Else’s Shoes

Free Love In The 70s

Even though there were lots of other nightclubs throughout New York City, none of them could actually compete with Studio 54, of course. There was something about it that made it stand out from the others, and everyone knew that. Unfortunately, the club closed down in February of 1980.

Free Love In The 70s

Just Be Interesting

You didn’t need celebrity status in order to gain entry into the club, although it did help. Many people remarked that you just needed to be interesting, and have something that made you stand out. We’re not sure who these two people are, but we can surely see why they gained entry into the disco club.

Just Be Interesting

Lauren Hutton Looks Deeply Into The Camera

Model Lauren Hutton was another famous face who frequented Studio 54. For models living in the city, it was the perfect place to get away from it all. The beauty was also a famous actress who hung out with her fellow actor friends at the esteemed club.

Lauren Hutton Looks Deeply Into The Camera

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