Weird History

20 Vintage Photos From NYC's Notoriously Wild Studio 54 

Kellie Kreiss
Updated July 29, 2019 119.5k views 20 items

Studio 54 is known for having been one of the world's most high-profile, exclusive discotheques during the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, the notorious New York City nightclub encountered a fair share of obstacles while party-goers ravaged the dance floor and their bodies, enjoying every drug imaginable and rubbing elbows with New York's most in-demand celebrities.

Studio 54 celebrated two opening nights. The first was in April of 1977 after the building that once housed a prestigious theater was converted into a dance hall; the new club suddenly broke onto the NYC nightclub scene with no idea of what the future might hold. In just under three years, Studio 54 garnered the attention of a variety of celebrities from Michael Jackson to Truman Capote - as well as some unwanted attention from the FBI. After evidence of money laundering and drug conspiracies put the two original owners, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, in prison with a hefty sentence, a new owner, Mark Fleischman, came into the fold and reopened the club shortly there after.

As a result, Studio 54 got a chance to throw itself a second grand opening on September 15, 1981, and a host of other parties afterward, continuing the legacy and exclusivity of the New York nightclub scene for another generation of party-goers. Here is a collection of photos from only a few of the many successful events thrown at the venue, providing a glimpse into the nocturnal thrill that was Studio 54.

New Years Eve Celebration Party (December 31, 1977)
New Years Eve Celebratio... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 20 Vintage Photos From NYC's Notoriously Wild Studio 54
Photo: Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images
At A Performance By Grace Jones (January 1978)
At A Performance By Grac... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 20 Vintage Photos From NYC's Notoriously Wild Studio 54
Photo: Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images
At A Performance By Grace Jones (January 1978)
At A Performance By Grac... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 20 Vintage Photos From NYC's Notoriously Wild Studio 54
Photo: Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images
"Interview Party" Attended By Jerry Hall, Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry, Truman Capote, And Paloma Picasso (June 1979)
"Interview Party&qu... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 20 Vintage Photos From NYC's Notoriously Wild Studio 54
Photo: Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images