Anyone Ever Go To Studio 54 (NYC) In The Late 70s

I was a teenager in the late 70s / early 80s and Studio 54 was the world famous disco place at that time.

I recall Tom Synder used to do a lot of segments on life and the “scene” on his show.

My question for you is have any of you ever gone to Studio 54 in the late 70s when the studio was in it’s heyday?

If you’ve been there before or after feel free to answer too, but I was most interested in what it was like during the peak of the disco period.

Secondly, if you were alive at the time, did you ever want to check it out, but never got around to it or weren’t able to? Or were you the type not to care about it at all?

Note: I’m putting it in Cafe Society 'cause it seems like it’s a quesiton about music, and culture, but feel free to move it if needed.


I was involved in building discos during that period and attended and exhibited at the Billboard “Disco Forum” in New York City. Presumably other people went, but I couldn’t have gotten into it as I was only 17 at the time and under age. I did go to the Roseland for a vendor-sponsored concert featuring Voyage and Sylvester (I think it was sponsored by Numark or Technics.)

Evidence of this odd period of my life was unearthed by my wife when she was going through magazines before our last move and she was trying to figure out why this one specific copy of Billboard was around, and I was able to leaf through it and find a picture of my boss and myself demoing our mobile disco rig and fog machines at the trade show.

So sad to report no, I was too young to go to 54 in its heyday, but wanted to chime in to say it was like a legend in my mind. I sometimes went to The Ritz, which was the meh nightclub that operated in the 54 space in the late 80s, and I remember that one of the reasons people went there at all was in a kind of tribute to the 54 we never got to experience. During that time, I knew people who were a little bit older and did remember 54 firsthand, and I don’t think any of them bothered with The Ritz at all.

One thing I do remember, which I understand was pretty much the same at the actual Studio 54, is how huge the dance floor was, and how it was packed. The only NYC club I remember coming even close in size was the main dance floor at the Saint. You would think that even in a popular club, people on a dance floor that large would be more dispersed, but no.

I’m absolutely fascinated by the whole Studio 54 culture, so I’m definitely going to be subscribing to this thread to see what anyone’s inside take would be.

Went there after. It was called something else but I don’t remember what. The occasion was a holiday party given by a large furniture dealer to thank it’s clients. I was a partner in an interior design firm at the time.

The furniture dealer took over the entire space for the party. Lavish food and drink celebration. That party must have cost a fortune. The thing I remember most was that on the first floor there was a large pool with a woman/model dressed like a mermaid sitting on a swing over the water. I think at some point she wound up in the pool but it’s been too long for me to remember all the details.

If you have the means & the drive to seek it out, the contemporary equivalent (in terms of scale & quality of programming, but not at all in other respects) exists in London at Fabric and in Berlin at Berghain.

A high school teacher of mine went around 77, he only saw a few celebs there. He didn’t think it was that big a deal.

I went there several times with my then-bf, who was way closer to the “in-crowd” than I ever was (though one time, I got in and he didn’t). My memory of the place is very sketchy, due more to time than drugs . . . I may have been the only person who wasn’t on anything. But I do remember that a whole lot of sex was going on . . . after all, this was the peak of the “sexual revolution” . . . . I was used to public gay sex, but this was my first exposure to public straight sex . . . with people either watching (sometimes masturbating) or casually walking by and pointedly ignoring it.

Whatever you were there for . . . music, dancing, sex, drugs, celebrities . . . it was there for the taking. My bf was there for the dancing and celebs; I was there more for the sex, which was pretty much guaranteed if you wanted it.

And no, I never saw Bianca on a white horse, or Jackie O, or Liza. But once, while standing in line for the men’s room, I had a nice conversation with a strange little man, who I later found out was Truman Capote. And I had one memorable sexual encounter with a ***VERY ***big name on Broadway.

For me, it was never as much fun as the gay discos of that time, even on their “gay nights.” And I never left any disco without a pounding migraine.

I saw Bob Dylan at Roseland years back (I was just a 22 year old kid from Salt Lake) and for his encores he brought out Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen to jam…

It was pretty cool. :wink:

That’s amazing. Do you recall any of the details of this encounter / conversation?

Details re: Berghain, sourced from the book Lost and Sound by Tobias Rapp:

The Berghain ‘compound’ is also host to a leather bar / “sex lab” called lab.oratory.

Reminds me of an episode of Sex and the City (but then again, what doesn’t)

Samantha’s assistant to Samantha - “That’s the difference between you and me. You stood in line at Studio 54. I stood in line at Studio 54…THE MOVIE.”

I don’t remember anything about the conversation. But the amazing thing is that, at the time, I didn’t recognize him . . . especially his voice. Until someone who did recognize him interrupted to introduce himself. As soon as I heard “Mr. Capote . . .” I felt like a total idiot, not knowing who I’d been talking to.

Well, I would venture to guess that your mistake (?) was seen as something worthy of respect. Few people *truly *like to be fawned over, you know? Even Capote.

I’ve been, twice. Me and my high school girlfriends would get all tarted up and go out dancing from Thursday until Sunday morning. Amazing the places that would let in a gaggle of tarted up 15 and 16 year old girls back then.

We saw Chaka Khan there. She was definitely enjoying herself, dancing her ass off. She looked terrible though. All sweaty with her matted. Made us all rush to the bathroom to check ourselves. We only went twice though because, we girls would get in but the guys-- never.