When interviewing former Studio 54 employees, the New York Magazine spoke with Scott Taylor, who used to tend the disco’s bar. According to him, he simply came in on the opening night, offered to work, and started taking care of the place.
In fact, most of his co-workers used the opening night as an excuse to party with the rest of the patrons, but Taylor was diligent enough to sweep and take out the trash, which made him pretty popular. He was so popular that at one point, when his coworkers got word of him possibly being fired, they firmly objected, demanding that he stays.
Nightclub Turned Theater Company
After the club was shut down in 1979 due to a series of run-ins with the law and a very serious tax evasion charge, an entrepreneur bought Studio 54. He reopened it in 1981 and sold it again in 1984. After several failed attempts by the new owners to restore the club to its former glory, they finally closed it down.
The space remained largely empty until 1998, when it was turned into the main venue for the Roundabout Theater Company. The Roundabout Theater Company invested $5.5 million to renovate the space and transform it, and they kept many of the original features, such as the balcony, the stage, and the iconic moon and spoon light fixtures.
Elton John Really Liked His Sideburns
While Elton John is known for his wild costumes and boisterous personality, the ‘70s featured a cosmetic choice for the performer that is perhaps better left forgotten. Paired with his best disco fashion, Elton also boasted dark sideburns that sat prominently on his face. While the singer has never been able to give up his sideburns completely, they look especially out of place on his younger self.
Elton, dear, it’s okay to shave your face. Trust us, those sideburns aren’t doing you any favors. Despite some questionable choices, Elton John's music and stage presence remained top-notch, and he continued to captivate audiences with his electrifying performances.
It Was Raining Couture
It seemed that Studio 54 always found ways to surprise its patrons. And it didn't stop with costumes, outrageous amounts of alcohol, and barnyard animals roaming the dancefloor. Apparently, surprises used to fall from the sky, quite literally.
The ceiling of the famous nightclub was equipped with a special net that held items that were dropped on the guests at some point during the evening. Usually, it was just party things like balloons or glitter, but there was one time (that we know of) that it was stocked with gift boxes from elite fashion brands.
The Sordid Rumors Originated In the Basement
While the dance floor focused on having a good time, the salacious rumors surrounding the club had to come from somewhere. Apparently, the truly lewd activities took place in the basement. On one of the three levels in Studio 54, the basement featured secluded corners filled with sweaty bodies. While the lower level was used for storage, security guards constantly roamed the makeshift hallways.
You don’t need security guards to watch over unmoving props, so we’ll let you draw your own conclusions about what went on down there. While the club's founders denied any wrongdoing, the basement of Studio 54 remains shrouded in mystery and speculation to this day.