Vintage Studio 54 Photos That Crossed The Line

By Sophia Maddox | May 2, 2023

Hugh Hefner and one of his bunnies survey the dance floor

A glimpse behind the curtain of history can tell us so much about the stars and celebrities that we think we know so much about. Seeing photos of the events as the unfolded, colorized just for you, shows just how decadent the most famous club in the world really was.

Studio 54 was the one club where the famous and the infamous mixed with reckless abandon, with lines of would-be dancers begging to be let inside. What happened behind the walls of this storied New York City club? How late did the parties go and exactly what did stars like Mick Jagger, Jamie Lee Curtis, and a very young Drew Barrymore get up to at these all-night ragers?

Look closer, these new colorized rare photos and stories dig deeper into the history that you think you know to tell the real stories and hidden secrets of Studio 54.

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source: reddit

Hugh Hefner was a man about town long before Studio 54 became the must-see nightspot in New York City. At the time he was running his magazine and its branded clubs, but they weren't really a place where someone would go and dance. Hefner traveled to Studio 54 for a change a pace, he wanted to know what young people were doing.

Bill Farley, the former publicist for Hef's magazine wondered out loud about the difference between Hefner's world and Studio 54 to Vanity Fair:

I wonder if the entertainment model hadn’t changed a little because—taking Studio 54 as an example—people had moved on to loud dance clubs, a lot of coke was going around, and that kind of stuff wasn’t happening at the our clubs. Dancing was part of what you could do there, but they weren’t dance clubs primarily.

Rod Stewart and Elton John take in New York, New York


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source: pinterest

To be a star at Studio 54 was to be pampered beyond belief. Co-owner Steve Rubell knew that he had to keep his famous patrons happy to make sure they kept coming back and giving the club free press. To make sure they were always around he resorted to more than a few underhanded tactics.

One anonymous celebrity who was a regular at the club told Vanity Fair:

No matter how tired you were, you’d be there for five minutes and you’d feel really marvelous. The music got to you, and the fact that everybody seemed to be happy and jolly.