54 Decadent Photos Of Studio 54: A Story Of Debauchery, And Dancing

By | September 6, 2022

Dancers grooved wherever they wanted in Studio 54

Studio 54 has gone down in history as the ultimate nightclub, a place where everyone who was anyone went to get down, boogie, and be seen. For 33 short months the club was the height of cool in Manhattan, with club goers who managed to get past the velvet rope falling into a deluge of drugs and debauchery.

Even after the original owners went to prison for skimming millions of dollars, the club stayed open until 1990, although the magic of the first years never returned. These photos show what really happened at Studio 54, with celebrities like Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, and Andy Warhol leading the way. Groove on! 

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Aside from the dancing and debauchery, one thing that everyone remembers about Studio 54 is the club’s interior design. The moon with a coke spoon hanging over the dance floor along with a giant sign announcing that dancers were, yes, in Studio 54 hooked to rigging material and hung from the ceiling so dancers could grind the night away on top of the designs if thy so felt like it.

Ian Schrager, one of the co-owners and founders of Studio 54 explained his idea behind the design:

We were trying to generate a combustible energy, explosive — a mayhem for people to have fun.

Explosive mayhem is the perfect way to describe this scintillating night club. 

Diana Ross sang from the DJ booth on the club’s final night

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The rise and fall of Studio 54 happened as if an unseen force was holding down the fast forward button on the club’s success. After the studio was raided by IRS agents on December 14th, 1978 they grabbed garbage bags of money, financial documents and five ounces of cocaine. Both Rubell and Schrager were arrested and charged with taking millions of dollars off the top of the club’s gross.

Before the co-owners went to jail they threw a party to end all parties called “The End of Modern-Day Gomorrah.” They only invited a small crowd of about 2,000 revelers – many of them A-list celebrities. The night peaked with Diana Ross singing to Rubell and Schrager from the DJ booth.