Disco Nights (Block Crown Club Mix) !!TOP!!
Studio 54 is a Broadway theater and a former disco nightclub at 254 West 54th Street in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. Operated by the Roundabout Theatre Company, Studio 54 has 1,006 seats on two levels. The theater was designed by Eugene De Rosa for producer Fortune Gallo and opened in 1927 as the Gallo Opera House. The current Broadway theater is named after a nightclub on the same site, founded by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, which operated within the theater's space in the late 1970s and the 1980s.
Disco Nights (Block Crown Club Mix)
Schrager and Rubell took over the venue in 1976, retaining much of the former theatrical and broadcasting equipment while turning it into a nightclub. The club opened on April 26, 1977, at the peak of the disco dancing and music trend and quickly became popular. The original iteration of Studio 54 was noted for its celebrity guest lists, restrictive and subjective entry policies, extravagant events, rampant club drug use, and open sexual activity. Schrager and Rubell's club was short-lived and controversial, and it closed in early 1980 after the men were convicted of tax evasion. Mark Fleischman operated a scaled-down version of the nightclub from 1981 to 1986, after which it continued to operate under new management for three more years. Studio 54's space housed the Ritz rock club from 1989 to 1993, then the Cabaret Royale bar from 1994 to 1996.
After continued delays, Harden met with entrepreneurs Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, who agreed to partner with him in the nightclub's operation. Harden was eventually forced out of the club's operation, while Polany left on his own volition. In November 1976, Billboard magazine reported that Schrager and Rubell planned to convert the theater into a nightclub called Studio 54. It would be one of several discotheques to operate in Midtown Manhattan during the late 1970s. Rubell and Schrager formed the Broadway Catering Corp., which spent $400,000 to transform the theater into a nightclub. Rubell, Schrager, and Jack Dushey each owned a one-third stake in the venture, and they had hired several people to create the club by early 1977. These included architect Scott Bromley, interior designer Ron Doud, lighting designer Brian Thompson, and set designer Richie Williamson. Lighting designers Jules Fisher and Paul Marantz were hired to design the dance floor and rigging system. Rubell and Schrager retained D'Alessio to promote Studio 54.
The renovation involved the construction of a dance floor, a balcony, and a disco booth, as well as the addition of mirrors, light bars, and floating vinyl platforms. The orchestra seated 250 people, and the balcony had another 500 seats. The lighting system, which required three people to operate, included a dozen 16-foot-high (4.9 m) poles with flashing lights. Fisher and Marantz adapted the existing rigging system to generate special effects such as confetti, snow, fog, and weather. On the ceiling was a 30-by-40-foot (9.1 by 12.2 m) cyclorama, which could project images of many different galaxies. Other decorations included depictions of volcanos, sunrises, and sunsets. Aero Graphics designed a backlit moon and spoon, which became an icon of the Studio 54 nightclub. The club's promoters mailed out 8,000 invitations and made phone calls to numerous figures on "a good social list". Studio 54 officially opened on April 26, 1977, with workers rushing to finish the decorations just hours before the grand opening. Although the space could fit 2,500 guests, four thousand people attended the club on opening day. Hundreds of prospective patrons lined up around the block to enter, and several celebrities could not get in, despite having been invited.
Studio 54 had been launched at the peak of the disco dancing and music trend. Its popularity grew rapidly, especially after the publication of a widely-circulated picture that showed actress Bianca Jagger at the club, riding a white horse. In the month after its opening, the club served an average of 2,000 guests per night, although it was only open on Tuesdays through Saturdays. By August 1977, the club had become so successful that Rubell and Schrager were considering opening similar nightclubs in Los Angeles and London. Rubell ultimately chose not to open similar clubs around the world, saying: "I'm very cautious about protecting the name and not cheapening it." In November 1977, Dan Dorfman of New York magazine quoted Rubell as saying that "only the Mafia made more money" than Studio 54, which made $7 million in its first year.
To be admitted to Studio 54 was a status symbol, even on nights when the club was open to the public. When Studio 54 opened, admission generally cost $7 or $8, but guests could pay for an annual membership in exchange for discounted tickets. Tickets were more expensive on weekends, and all ticket prices were increased on nights with performances. Rubell made the final decisions over whether guests were allowed in the club. Celebrities usually were allowed to enter immediately. According to a 1977 Wall Street Journal article, "very beautiful" members of the public were almost always admitted, while men entering alone were invariably rejected to prevent predatory behavior. Guests were divided into four categories, ranging from the "No Goods" (who could never be admitted) to the "No Fuck-ups" (important clients who were admitted instantly). Rubell bragged about the club's exclusivity, saying in a November 1977 interview with New York magazine: "I turned away 1,400 people last Saturday."
After announcing his plan to take over Studio 54, Fleischman said he would host live shows there and obtain a liquor license from the NYSLA. Studio 54 remained shuttered through the rest of the year, in large part because Rubell and Schrager continued to file legal objections against the NYSLA's revocation of the club's liquor license. The authority would not issue a liquor license as long as the club was involved in active litigation. Mike Stone Productions leased the club from Rubell and Schrager in early 1981, and the club started hosting private events again, albeit without alcoholic drinks and only on Friday and Saturday nights. Rubell's company sold the building to Philip Pilevsky for $1.15 million in cash in August 1981, leasing back space from Pilevsky. Fleischman applied for a liquor license from the NYSLA, which agreed to grant the license on the condition that Rubell and Schrager not be involved in any way. Fleischman also repainted the interior and removed the original club's light fixtures, and he paid the New York state government $250,000 in back taxes.
Studio 54 officially reopened to the public on September 15, 1981. Fleischman and his partner Jeffrey London mailed out 12,000 invitations for Studio 54's reopening, which were delivered on 25-watt silver lightbulbs. Jim Fouratt and Rudolf Piper were hired as Studio 54's new managers. Initially, the club hosted "Modern Classix nights" during Wednesdays and Sundays, while it hosted disco music for the remainder of the week. There was also a 32-track recording studio in the basement, which was used for recording promotional videos and rock concerts. Notable figures associated with the second iteration of Studio 54 included doorman Haoui Montaug, as well as Paul Heyman, who was a photographer, producer, and promoter at the club. A notable guest during this time was Drew Barrymore, who was nine years old when her mother took her to Studio 54. Within three months of the club's reopening, Fleischman had ousted Fouratt and Piper, who opened the Danceteria nightclub.
In 1982, social activist Jerry Rubin started hosting "Business Networking Salons", a networking event for businesspeople, at the club on Wednesday nights. Prospective guests would only be admitted if they had a business card; the networking events quickly became popular, often attracting 1,500 guests. For other events, Studio 54 implemented an invitation system, which enabled its operators to restrict some events to select guests without turning them away at the door. The club's mailing list had 200,000 names by 1984. Frank Cashman acquired the $3 million lien on the club in late 1984. The same year, Studio 54 also hosted special musical performances, starting with a series of concerts by Julie Budd. Meanwhile, the club was gradually losing long-time regulars to competing discotheques, including the Palladium, which Rubell and Schrager had opened after being released from prison. The club also faced several lawsuits from disgruntled high-profile guests, such as football player Mark Gastineau and a basketball player.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Tokyo had previously granted a mortgage on the theater and the adjacent office building to Pilevsky, which it foreclosed upon in June 1994. Later that month, the theater and building were auctioned off. CBS, the Manhattan Theatre Club, and Viacom were among those that showed interest in acquiring the theater and building. Allied Partners, run by the Hadar family, ultimately acquired the properties for $5.5 million. Allied then renovated the office building. Cabaret Royale closed in January 1995, and Allied announced plans to convert the space into a virtual reality gaming venue at a cost of $10 million. In anticipation of Studio 54's conversion, the nightclub hosted a final party on May 23, 1996, featuring disco star Gloria Gaynor and performers such as Crystal Waters and RuPaul. The virtual-reality complex was never built because of a lack of demand, and the club's space was instead rented out for private events. Allied Partners preferred that the Studio 54 building become "anything but a nightclub". 041b061a72