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

April 29, 2024

Liza Minnelli shuts down 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

Liza Minelli was such a constant presence at Studio 54 that even when the first iteration of the club was going downhill she was seen as an integral part of the nightly operation. In 1978, the IRS brought the hammer down on the club's original owners and found that they were skimming 80% of the profits. Obviously, the club's owners went to jail.

The night before their sentences began the two owners threw the biggest going away party that New York had ever seen. People partied like there was no tomorrow. As a send off, Diana Ross and Liza Minnelli serenaded the crowd with song after song as if Rome were burning.

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.