Step Inside Studio 54: The Wild Nights of 1970’s Celebrities, Disco and Debauchery
Imagine the hottest club today, and multiply that popularity times million – that’s how the famous Studio 54 was. Ever since its grand opening in 1977, Studio 54 became the most infamous nightclub in history. Studio 54 is still one of the most notorious clubs, even today. It was located in the most existing city in the world, and it featured many famous guests. Some of the most famous people in the world partied super hard within Studio 54.
Studio 54 was the place to go, and it remains, up to this date, the ultimate symbol of the golden era of disco. Today, Studio 54 may be an average theater, but people won’t ever forget just how exciting and a bit crazy this place was. Read on to discover the wildest, most surreal moments of the one and only, Studio 54.
25. Most Famous Nightclub in History
The 1970s were a time of significant changes. While some parts of the world were at war, massive cultural changes were happening in the States and worldwide. This decade was all about individuality and self-expression, and Studio 54 was just that.
Studio 54 was a place for self-expression, various experimentation, and a place to be what you indeed are. Studio 54 was open for only three years, but it’s up to date as one of the biggest nightclub influences ever. Anyone who was something was there.
24. Cher Was a Regular
Big stars were regular here. Some would hit the club every night, and no matter were they single or not. One of the biggest names of the day and Studio 54 regular was a famous singer Cher.
Like many others, Cher loved that they could be what they really are in the club. This was an only-celebrities place that was free from the pressures of screaming fans and wild paparazzi.
23. Liza Minnelli Enjoyed the Disco
A-listers loved Studio 54, but with time the club gained a sordid reputation. Outsiders claimed that the club was filled with drugs and nightly sexual misadventures. Rumors described the owner as a hedonist person lacking basic morals.
Studio 54 had a less-than-stellar reputation; A-listers like Liza Minnelli had no problem spending their evenings at Studio 54. Whether the rumors were true or not, Minnelli ruled the dance floor, busting her disco moves.
22. Grace Jones and Her Eccentric Style
During the 70’s stock market was in trouble, and severe inflation hit the States, but Studio 54 was a carefree place. The club even encouraged its visitors to leave their worries at the door.
Grace Jones was one of many who would always hit the club big. Every night she would appear in a more eccentric costume. At the time, she enjoyed a reputation as a real fashion icon.
21. Michael Jackson Moonwalked Through the Doors
As soon as he started speaking about his solo career and leaving The Jackson 5, Michael began hitting clubs. One of his favorites was Studio 454, where he was often seen wearing his best attire and dancing for hours.
During his time at Studio 54, Michael didn’t yet know yet what lies in front of him. He had no idea that his music is about to change pop forever.
20. Bianca Jagger Rode a Live Horse
Studio 54 was so free that people did the craziest things. Some of them were really excentric and doing unexpected, such as coming to a club on a live horse, as Bianca Jagger did.
At the time, she was married to Mich Jagger. No one knows for sure why this lady decided to make such a grand appearance, but one this is for sure – she knows how to make a grand entrance.
19. Bianca Jagger Celebrated Her Birthday at Studio 54
Studio 54 was the A-list destination, where people wanted to go, party, and celebrate significant events. Bianca Jagger, the former actress and women’s rights advocate, celebrated her 32nd birthday at the club.
Bianca celebrated her birthday big with her husband and spent the entire night dancing and celebrating with celebrities. Photos of Bianca and Mick depict an evening of carefree celebration within the walls of the legendary club.
18. Brooke Shields and Mariel Hemingway Were There Also
When the club opened, celebrities appeared. Not even the owners could expect so excellent opening night. One of the first celebrities who entered the club were Brooke Shields and Mariel Hemingway.
At the time, Brooke was a model looking for her golden opportunity in New Your City. When Studio 54 opened, Brooke was only twelve years old. Mariel Hemingway, the famous American author’s granddaughter, Ernest Hemingway, was also an underage celebrity to hit this club. Just like Cher, they were regulars.
17. First Lady Betty Ford Was There
Studio 54 was a mix of different characters. Not only actors and singers were there, but you could also see some of the most influential people in the world. In fact, the First Lady herself, Betty Ford, eventually visited the club. She was seen sitting with Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor.
Betty was always a woman of style, so even in a disco club, she wore a tasteful but sparkling attire. Betty was a passionate dancer in her youth. Maybe she wanted to see what’s the big buzz about, or she just needed a one night off.
16. Dolly Parton Brought a Dose of Country to the NYC Club
Bianca Jagger made the white horse famous, but the main reason why the horse was there in the first place was Dolly Parton. Owner, Steve Rubell, wanted to make the Queen of Country comfortable, so he brought in the beautiful horse.
Dolly loved her white horse, but this wasn’t the only animal roaming in the club. There were often seen chickens and mules. This was probably the only time for the NYC club to have animals, or at least alive animals, in.
15. Diana Ross As A DJ
Diana Ross was one of many singers who enjoyed Studio 54 world. She was a frequent patron at the club. Plus, she was often at the DJ booth when not hitting the dance floor.
Before the club closed for good, Diana Ross attended the final party. She fully embraced the carefree energy that was almost obvious within Studio 54.
14. The Sordid Rumors Originated In the Basement
All the fun was on the dance floor, according to many. The dance floor was the main point where celebrities and non-celebrities could dance together and have fun. However, many claim that the real party was down in the basement.
Lewd activities were reserved for the basement area. Basement corners were filled with busy bodies, so you can imagine what was happening there exactly.
13. Elizabeth Taylor Celebrated Her 46th Birthday at Studio 54
Elizabeth Taylor is still everyone’s favorite. No matter where she appeared, she was always a big hit, and the crowd would go crazy. It seemed only fitting for Studio 54 to offer their capacities to provide her best birthday celebration for the 46th birthday.
Studio 54 presented her with a cake with her own face. Taylor invited friends and family to her NYC celebration, where they all rang in the joy of a new year of life.
12. Richard Gere Proved He Can Dance
Richard Gere was already known as the American Gigolo when he started visiting Studio 54. He spends his night at this popular club dancing and having fun.
In the ’70s, Gere partnered up with gorgeous women in NYC for a night of disco. As a real fan of disco, Richard proved more than once that he’s totally capable of busting a move.
11. Bianca Jagger and Liza Minnelli Teamed Up For More Fun
Studio 54 was everything but an ordinary club. We have mentioned earlier that famous people would act as DJ’s from time to time, and Bianca and Liza were one of them.
Liza Minnelli and Bianca Jagger once performed a duet while Andy Warhol documented the experience in photos. What many hope to experience in a lifetime, was simply another night at Studio 54.
10. Jerry Hall Was All About The Elegance
Just like many celebrities of the ’70s, Jerry Hall spent her fair share of time at Studio 54. Opposite to others who danced there, Jerry was all about luxury.
She was often seen in luxurious outfits. Back in the days, silky hair and elegance weren’t so often seen in clubs, so Jerry was a bit of refreshment.
9. Bianca Jagger Had a Thing For Animals
A white horse, mules, chickens, and Bianca Jagger with doves – Studio 54 had it all. It seems that Bianca knew how to party. Next to extravagant birthday activities, Bianca was very creative when it came to her appearance. One night she appeared with two doves perched on her hands, and a gold crown atop her head resulted in a Grecian look.
This wasn’t a regular outfit, but an outfit with intention. Steve Rubell, the owner, decided to act as a bouncer, so he determined that only the best of the best could enter. This way, Bianca was guaranteed to enter the club.
8. Robin Williams Used To Come With His Wife
Many A-listers went to Studio 54 alone, with friends, or just to have fun and be with someone. Most of them, but not Robin Williams. He did get to the club, but not alone.
Robin spent Studio 54 nights together with his wife. Photos of Williams and his wife show a couple who had fun together and shared happiness. The couple welcomed their first son three years after the club shut its doors forever.
7. Elton John Really Liked His Sideburns
Elton John is known for his wild costumes and boisterous personality, so just imagine how shiny his appearance was in the ’70s. Paired with disco fashion, Elton also boasted dark sideburns that sat prominently on his face.
However, the singer has never been able to give up his sideburns completely. However, that didn’t stop him from becoming a music star, plus it’s Elton John he can pull off anything.
6. Studio 54 Was the Best Party In NYC
Studio 54 was a big deal. It was loved by many, and many loved the opportunity to party different and challenging every night. Have you ever been to a club where a horse roams freely?
To celebrate the premiere of ‘Grease’, Studio 54 hired men to ride motorcycles through the crowd of patrons and many more. At one point, the Alvin Ailey American dance theatre performed in the middle of the club. Whatever the occasion, they always found a way to go big.
5. The Rubber Room Was Another Interesting Club Addition
Along with the notorious basement, Studio 54 also featured one room entirely made of rubber. Many claimed that the rubber was practical because it was easier to clean.
With topless dancers and women running around in see-through garments, it’s only logical that the fundamental instincts might get the best of people. If a rubber room truly existed, we cannot imagine what was going on there.
4. Sylvester Stallone Loved This Club
Stallone rocked Hollywood with ‘Rocky’. Ever since the movie appeared, Stallon hit A-list super fast. He capitalized on his fame by taking a quick jaunt over to Studio 54. At the time, he spent time with fellow actor John Travolta.
Successful people surrounded Stallone for years. During the day, he was busy filming and creating a significant role, while during the night, he was busy dancing at Studio 54. His wife, Sasha Czack, often joined him. The pair would dance all night long.
3. Disco Sally Loved Showing Off Her Moves
Wherever disco music was on, Sally Lippman was there. She was always present among many fresh faces. Sally first visited AStudio 54 after her husband passed away while searching for a new life purpose.
She fell in love with the club and visited it frequently, despite her age. The dance moves Sally brought to Studio 54 earned her the name “Disco Sally.” She was so loved that she could enter the club whenever she wanted.
2. The IRS Visited the Studio
To many, Studio 54 was like a dream place. It was filled with the rich and famous, and not everyone could enter the place. However, the IRS had a different view.
To the government, the club was an illegal operation run by criminals. In 1978, the IRS confronted club owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager about their actions and illegal earning. Eventually, the IRS closed the club.
1. Rubell and Schrager Almost Didn’t Have Booze for Their Opening Night
Rubell and Schrager poured their heart and soul into their club. Although they were hoping for success, no one could expect that massive popularity.
Studio 54 was an old television studio that these entrepreneurs transformed into a light-filled ballroom perfect for dancing. Due to preparation, the couple forgot to deal with their liquor license. They failed to apply in time and found that they were left without booze just a few days before the club was meant to open.