The basement of Studio 54 is where the more racy, clandestine events took place. But nowadays, the walls that used to house saucy celebrity secrets have been turned into a supper club/restaurant called Feinstein’s/54 Below. The place offers a classic American menu with some interesting cocktails and nightly cabaret shows.
And, of course, the experience of being in the same room where most of the world’s hottest celebrities once partied. While the space may be a far cry from its wild and scandalous past, the energy and glamour of Studio 54 still linger in the air. It’s a true New York City landmark.
Warhol Gifted Rubell With a Money-Themed Sculpture
As repayment for his garbage can full of money, Andy Warhol gave Steve Rubell his own money-themed gift. When Rubell was sentenced to prison for tax evasion, Warhol presented him with a brass sculpture filled with cut-out dollar signs. While some may have thought the gift was in poor taste, it was a Warhol original.
It perfectly commemorated Rubell’s long friendship with the artist and his well-known love of money. No one could say it wasn’t personal. The gift was a testament to the personal relationship between the two men and the unique culture of Studio 54, where art, music, and money intertwined in unexpected ways.
Woody Allen and Michael Jackson Partying Together
Now, this is something you don't see every day: a neurotic, introverted Woody Allen having a drink next to Michael Jackson..at Studio 54! But that's exactly what this photo is. Taken in August of 1977, a young Woody Allen with an even younger Michael Jackson attend the Carter Burden Party at the club.
Obviously, the famous nightclub had a very strict and flashy dress code, which it evidently decided to ignore when they let Allen in while looking like that. The funniest part is that Woody was the one hosting the entire event! All this just goes to show the power and influence that Studio 54 held over the cultural elite of the 1970s.
Rubell and Schrager Threw One Last Massive Party Before They Went to Prison
Before Rubell and Schrager left to serve their sentence for their crimes, they decided to throw a final farewell party in their renowned club. They entitled their bash “The End of Modern-Day Gomorrah” and invited 2,000 of the club’s most faithful attendees. Rubell and Schrager parted next to Liza Minnelli, Reggie Jackson, Richard Gere, and other A-listers as everyone mourned the loss of the club.
The next morning, Rubell and Schrager left straight from the club to meet the authorities, leaving Studio 54 behind forever. The club was soon sold, and the new owners tried to keep the Studio 54 legacy alive, but it was never quite the same. Today, the building still stands on West 54th Street, a landmark of New York's nightlife history and a reminder of a time when disco ruled the world.
One Night, the Club Only Served Juice and Soda
After Schrager and Rubell were caught using their illegal liquor licenses, they were forced to close down for a night. However, they refused to let that stop their fun. They opened their doors the very next evening and posted a sign outside that explained their situation. That night, Schrager and Rubell only served juice and soft drinks. Still, people arrived ready to party.
Considering the illicit activities that occurred at Studio 54, people might not have even noticed the loss of alcohol. Schrager and Rubell's risky move made headlines the next day, and the club's popularity soared even higher. The incident also brought Studio 54 under closer scrutiny from authorities, eventually leading to the club's downfall.