The original Studio 54 nightclub in New York City was only open for about three years before its owners were charged with tax evasion. During this short time span, it became the hottest nightclub for musicians and celebrities. Everyone wanted to be there, but only a select few got in.
Photographs of celebrities partying are the only evidence that remains from the original, glorious Studio 54 days.
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In the 1980s, Brooke Shields was one of the most famous teenagers in the entire world. In 1978, she appeared as a preteen prostitute in the film, Pretty Baby. Shields was known to party at Studio 54 as a teenager, but said she “stayed drug free and was always in bed by [10:00 PM].”
Cher nearly died before a night at Studio 54
In January 1982, Cher was taking her daily vitamins when one got stuck in her throat. She attempted to dislodge the pill with a piece of bread, but that didn’t work. Director Robert Altman performed the Heimlich maneuver on the songstress and both the bread and pill flew out of her mouth.
Cher was rushed to the emergency room. Luckily, she was discharged after only a few hours, meaning she could still make it to Studio 54 with her friend, Liza Minnelli!
Liza Minnelli was a regular
Speaking of Minnelli, she was the queen of Studio 54! The late 1970s saw the rise of celebrity culture, which was on full display at the nightclub. Minnelli was a celebrity regular, along with Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger and Diana Ross.
Father-daughter dance at Studio 54?
By the time this photo was taken in 1978, Farrah Fawcett had already reached superstar status through the television show Charlie’s Angels. Here, she takes a break from filming to dance with her father, James William Fawcett.
You never knew who you’d run into
You never knew who you’d run into during a night out at Studio 54. Here, Michael Jackson and Steven Tyler – two of the biggest musicians of the 1970s and ’80s – meet up during a party at Studio 54 in 1977.
Some wild birthday parties happened there
Contrary to popular belief, Jagger didn’t intend to ride into her birthday party on the white horse pictured above. In fact, the horse ride was a spur of the moment decision that Jagger made, not a preplanned idea. She later opened up about the viral image, saying, “It is one thing to, on the spur of the moment, get on a horse in a night club, but it is quite another to ride in on one.”
A place for politicians to let loose
Margaret Trudeau was the equivalent of Canada’s First Lady during the 1970s. By 1979, she’d separated from her husband, Pierre. On the night of the 1979 Federal Election in Canada, which her husband was running in, Margaret was photographed dancing at Studio 54. These photos appeared in newspapers across Canada, which called her a “wild child.”
Robin Williams partied there while on the cusp of stardom
Robin Williams and his wife, Valerie, loved to bust a move on the dance floors of Studio 54. In 1979, when this photo was taken, Williams was on the cusp of stardom, and within a few years would be regarded as one of the funniest people on the planet.
Studio 54 was essentially a fashion runway
Studio 54 might have been known for being a celebrity hangout, but it was also known for its fashion. The purpose of the nightclub was to stand out, so attendees wore outfits that would attract the necessary attention.
Fashion staples included velvet jumpsuits, satin dresses, spandex bodysuits, fur coats and bold heels. It was peak 1970s disco fashion.
Studio 54 was a haven for fashion designers who wanted to showcase a new design or look for inspiration. Even fashion editor Anna Wintour made appearances at Studio 54, perhaps silently judging the fashion choices of those around her.
Tanya Tucker shows her spirit at Studio 54
For some reason, people were obsessed with Tanya Tucker’s age. Maybe it’s because she had her first hit (“Delta Dawn“) when she was 13. By 1978, Tucker had drastically changed her image to match more with the young woman she was becoming. She made headlines when she showed up to Studio 54 wearing this catsuit in 1979.
We, for one, think it looks great!
A young Elton John with Rod Stewart and Alana Hamilton
We hardly recognized Elton John without his trademark sunglasses! Here, Rod Stewart, Alana Hamilton and John all enjoy a night out at Studio 54 in 1978. Hamilton was married to George Hamilton until 1975. One year after this photo was taken, she and Stewart married.
Everyone partied there – even Jackie Kennedy!
Even former First Ladies loved a night out at Studio 54! Composer Leonard Bernstein greets Jaqueline Kennedy-Onassis at a Studio 54 party in November 1977. The party was held following the gala premiere of the film, The Turning Point.
Diana Ross on aux
Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager created Studio 54 out of a former studio. One of its most frequent guests was Diana Ross. However, after the club closed its doors, Ross refused to go to another. During a 1981 interview, she revealed “I haven’t been going out to any place since Studio 54 closed up, and that’s the truth.”
Dolly Parton, horse whisperer
Diana Jagger might have made the white horse at Studio 54 famous, but this animal was originally brought to the nightclub for Dolly Parton. Rubell wanted to make sure Parton felt comfortable at the nightclub and decided to bring in the horse to connect her with her country roots.