60 Forgotten Photos From Studio 54 In The 70s and 80s

May 13, 2024

Hugh Hefner and one of his bunnies survey the dance floor

A glimpse behind the curtain of history can tell us so much about the stars and celebrities that we think we know so much about. Seeing photos of the events as they unfolded, colorized just for you, shows just how decadent the most famous club in the world really was.

Studio 54 was the one club where the famous and the infamous mixed with reckless abandon, with lines of would-be dancers begging to be let inside. What happened behind the walls of this storied New York City club? How late did the parties go, and exactly what did stars like Mick Jagger, Jamie Lee Curtis, and a very young Drew Barrymore get up to at these all-night ragers?

source: reddit

Hugh Hefner was a man about town long before Studio 54 became the must-see nightspot in New York City. At the time he was running his magazine and its branded clubs, but they weren't really a place where someone would go and dance. Hefner traveled to Studio 54 for a change a pace, he wanted to know what young people were doing.

Bill Farley, the former publicist for Hef's magazine wondered out loud about the difference between Hefner's world and Studio 54 to Vanity Fair:

I wonder if the entertainment model hadn’t changed a little because—taking Studio 54 as an example—people had moved on to loud dance clubs, a lot of coke was going around, and that kind of stuff wasn’t happening at the our clubs. Dancing was part of what you could do there, but they weren’t dance clubs primarily.

Brooke Shields and Debbie Harry play dress up

source: reddit

Brooke Shields is an anomaly in the world of Studio 54. She was a teenager when the club was at its height. She dressed up and went into this very grownup world while she should have been hanging out with people her own age.

Shields says that she was able to go to the club and still be home in time to study and get a good night's sleep. Her self-control must be off the charts. While speaking with the Guardian she explained that even though she's led a crazy life, show business helped her keep her world in line:

If not for the entertainment industry, I would have been a train wreck. The movie business kept me afloat and sane.