Long Story Short: Studio 54

Studio 54 on BroadwayPhoto by BroadwayTour.net

When you think of this small name – Studio 54, it sounds like any place other than a nightclub but this was a popular nightclub in New York. It worked from 1977 till 1981. Then this club was sold off by the owners. The club remained open till 1991 and kept its members and visitors happy.

The 254 West 54th Street of New York, Manhattan was its address for quite a while. Then there were few changes of names and you may find it named as CBS Radio and Television Studio later in the century. The Roundabout Theatre Company got this place in 1998 and it was named Studio 54.

Place before the nightclub

The place changed its way of entertaining people as it stopped being a nightclub but the name remained the same for the people of the city. You will find another nightclub named 54. It’s in the basement of the place where the original nightclub used to entertain. The nightclub Studio 54 was founded initially on 254 West 54th street around 1927 and was a part of the famous Gallo Opera House.

This Opera house was changed into a theatre in 1942 and the place became the birthplace of famous television programs like the ‘Johnny Carson Show’ and many more. In 1976 the CBS broadcasted division to Ed Sullivan theatre. They put up property for sale.

Playground of all types of people

Steve Rubell acquired the place in 1977 along with Ian Schrager and arranged financial support through friends like Jack Dushey. They transformed the theater into something more modern within 6 weeks and it became the grace of the nightclubs in New York. You could find all the famous and well known people in this night club.

The playground of the time invited the rich people and the poor ones too. There were people who were invited for their moody creativity and there were bisexual people in the crowd that grew within the premises of Studio 54. The owner told that they want “everyone to be fun and good looking” while they did not allow drugs within the premises.

Selling off with a heavy heart

The year 1978 saw a great progress in the financial condition of the night club and its owners. There were some problems at their end and they had to close the club by 1980 and people like Diana Ross, Jocelyn Wilderstein, Gia CArangi, Sylcester Stallone and Richard Gere were present when the owners declared the closure of the club. The owners were found guilty of tax evasion and were sent to prison for 13 months. They sold the establishment in 1981 but the club opened its doors in 1981 with celebrities flocking in to celebrate its opening.

Roundabout brought a change in musicals

Schrager and Rubell worked as consultants for the newly opened Studio 54 when it reopened in 1981 and there were celebrities like Calvin Klein, Lauren Hutton, Gloria Vanderbilt, Gina Lollobrigida, Andy Warhol and Brooke Shields among other gems. The new owner was Mark Fleischman and he owned it till 1981. Then in 1988 the name of the Studio 54 was changed to The Ritz where concerts played for its regular frequenters. The next change came in 2003 with Roundabouts. Studio 54 became the home of musicals and different productions.

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