Studio 54 (2018) - full transcript

Studio 54 was the epicenter of 70s hedonism--a place that not only redefined the nightclub, but also came to symbolize and entire era. Its co-owners, Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, two friends from Brooklyn, seemed to come out of nowhere to suddenly preside over a new kind of New York society. Now, 39 years after the velvet rope was first slung across the club's hallowed threshold, a feature documentary tells the real story behind the greatest club of all time.

What do wonder if somewhere hot?

What got people to fly to Studio 54 from around the world?

What caused it?

I do not know ... In a nightclub, it's about capturing the moment.

When you walked through the darkened doors, entered it into another world.

Anyone who was shut in, was completely free there.

Steve and I had no idea what significance the club would get

or that it would exist in 33 months.

We did all excited.

You can sit next to Elizabeth Taylor or anyone

and have magnificently.

I love the night life and seeing people enjoy themselves. Nothing makes me happier.

All were stars there.

Thanks, it was great to hear.

There has been so much negative, so Ian, and I am pleased that some find it.

Studio 54s owners, Ian Schrager and Rubell Stephen ...

The police conducted a raid ...

Up to ten years in prison ...

How did you react when you heard that your partner had been arrested?

- Should I just go ahead?
- Yes.

Well, I thought in my mind about

why I after nearly 40 years finally would be just fine to talk about Studio.

For I have not at all talked about it.

Now I have come to a point in my life,

where it is not doing as bad as it did before.

Only two people could have told this story: Steve and me.

So it feels good to tell what really happened.


You have not seen the book in a few weeks,

so we should look at everything, and then I have some questions.

I've never been in a room with so many familiars. It was overwhelming.

Here we use an image.


Steve and I were close friends, almost from the time we first met.

We met in college. We both came from Brooklyn,

from the lower middle class families.

All were on their way up in society. All were ambitious and wanted,

the children to perform better than they did.

Brooklyn made me hungry.

My father was a professional tennis player, so I played tennis and visited estates,

and saw how people lived a completely different life.

It was conscious of the difference between what they had and what they themselves had.

Tennis expanded our universe, and we saw that there were other options.

We chose that we in the best way would strive for success.

Ian was very love of reading in college. He wanted to be a lawyer.

Stevie was social. Would you meet some girl talked with Steve Rubell.

Would you know which courses you should take, talked with Steve Rubell.

He knew everyone at Syracuse University.

Steve was quite social, but he was actually very private.

He never spoke openly that he was gay.

It was not something we talked about.

It played no role.

Steve was outgoing and I'm introverted.

But inside, it came our values, we were equal.

After my graduation I received an attorney's and Steve was a restaurateur.

Steve was passionate about his profession and opened so many restaurants as he could.

It went too fast, and it did not go well.

So I helped him as a lawyer and held the creditors at bay.

How we were companions.

It was I who would enter the nightclub industry.

For I sensed that there were opportunities.

Our ambition and drive cemented the bond between us.

Steve always felt that he had something to prove, like me.

From the beginning they understood intuitively that they would do great things together.

After the Vietnam War and Watergate scandal

were all tired of worrying. People wanted to enjoy themselves.

They were tired of gravity, so everyone went out and gave it gas.

We went at night clubs in Manhattan

To get an idea of ​​which club we would create.

Gay bars were some of the first that played disco music.

But disco was black music came from black clubs.

The beautiful models took on gay bars

with designers, hairdressers and Makeup artists who were gay.

Heterosexual went there to meet the models, so everything flowed together.

As a New Yorker I can say that it was revolutionary.

For the first time it felt as if people did not judge one.

All accepted each other's culture.

At that time gay bars behind closed doors, in secret.

It was a little like speakeasy in the 1920s.

It was subversive, and there was an incredible energy.

We would draw on the liberated, intense sweaty dancing and joy

and screwing up a bit before it.

We wanted to create the ultimate nightclub and overwhelm anyone with it.

Change the world.

Ian and I saw an old opera house, we immediately rented.

Some thought we were crazy. 8th Avenue on the West Side was completely dead.

Yes, back then.

Mayor Beam said he would clean the streets.

But here is still dirty.

I remember how beautiful here once, but now it stinks there.

Disneyficeringen had not reached the area yet. There was sleazy.

Theater District West Side was enough citys dingy quarters.

If you'd attacked, you would just go there.

It was astonishing that someone would open a nightclub there.

In the 1920s it was an opera house. Later it became a TV studio for CBS.

Several big shows were recorded there.

It's time for everyone's favorite guessing game: What's my line?

What's my line ?, Captain Kangaroo, Double or nothing.

It was great TV programs.

But they had moved to Los Angeles and had been empty for long.

It is now 40 years since the studio opened.

It feels as if it were yesterday.

Now here are a sloping floor, like when we were here 40 years ago.

But you can not have a sloping dance floor. It should be level.

We did not have time to get a permit. We should immediately begin.

So we just did it.

We had a guy up on a high rise

with a brush with a ten meters long handle ...

He painted the ceiling, while people moved on the ladder ...

I had 30-hour working right up to the premiere.

Yes, there was that kind of energy,

which made it possible to get the place built finished in six weeks.

We competed with probably the world's best nightclub people.

And we would have the best club of all.

We tried to get help from professionals.

But they may not work with us for our competitors.

So because of the problem we hired Jules Fisher and Paul Marantz,

who was Tony Award-winning lighting technicians.

We took advantage of that it was a theater. It proved to be a good idea.

We were primarily using thespians,

for it to go as fast as with a theater production.

We hammered and nailed. We pulled wires. We did everything.

There were no trade unions in the game.

I was scared for the workers back here was 65 US dollars per night.

It was a lot of money. I was afraid that the budget would not hold.

I would not want them back here. No nightclubs had lighting technicians.

DJ took care of light. He played records and took care of the light.

So we had a DJ, one light technician, two stage technicians ... Four persons.

There are still things here from CBS-time.

CBS leaving much as just lying around here for years.

We have tried to preserve the theater feeling.

The lighting is not designed just to look great,

but to remind a theater.

The dance floor was built in great detail.

The same applied to all interior.

We had a razor-sharp mind and did everything instinctively.

It was Ian's task of creating the club.

Steve did not interfere in such things.

But they both worked on getting the right clientele to the club.

Ian and Steve shared office. Steve was always on the couch.

They were agreements in place, phoned, sent limousines, invited well-known ...

We sent thousands of invitations.

All this contributed to the atmosphere and the conversation.

amid the chaos it was impossible for us to get a licensed premise.

We forgot it. It was lost in the middle of it all.

So we decided to get catering appropriations for a day at a time,

and we contacted the company Broadway Catering Corp.

This is the first article ever written about Studio.

"Stephen Rubell shows us around in the forgotten theater,

which is currently being done to New York's newest nightclub. "

- How much did it cost?
- 400,000. I remember.

No, it was more. We owed them money. We did.

- How much?
- Sure 350,000-400,000 more.

- Yes, it was close to 700,000.
- I remember it as 400,000.

- Who owed you money?
- Construction contractor.

It made me nervous, because it was me who took the risk, not you!

- We did not know anything!
- Why did you do that, Jack?

Steve and Ian had a club Enchanted Garden. There I met them.

We arranged a bar and bat mitzvah for him.

It was probably the first time anyone held a bar and bat mitzvah at a disco.

Enchanted Garden was Steve's and my first nightclub.

It was a club for young people in Queens.

The first evening hung Steve out with the people at the bar,

and I took care of the lights in the DJ booth.

It's not over yet. Our friends from Fibonacci has more to offer.

Join with them on the dance floor.

It was in the Enchanted Garden, we started on our extravagant parties.

We learned to commit us in the industry in Queens.

But we wanted a nightclub in Manhattan, which was the popular place.

Starting with tonight's disco guests in the limelight.

There are sunsets, sunrises, smoke machines, snow machines, wind machines.

- Kl. 1:30 comes a tornado ...
- Every night at. 1.30?

Yes, at. 1:30 comes a tornado.

- Where seeks shelter here?
- We'll save us up on the balcony!

One can also seek shelter on the balcony to avoid ending up in the spotlight.

They encourage one to it, for they shall provide binoculars.

Kristy Fair, Channel 11, on the balcony of Studio 54th

We had staked everything on the club.

If it was a failure, it would be a huge failure.

Was it a success, it would be a great success.

On opening night there were so many people that you could barely reach the door.

We had no fløjlsreb in place, and we had too few guards.

We had to put all the guards in the hallway.

We were afraid that the door would be smashed.

Stand back, everybody!

I had to be a security guard, but Steve made me doorman that night,

and I stayed doorman.

Marc Benecke was only doorman, because he was the best looking of the guards.

I had never worked in a nightclub. I just had to improvise.

It was napkins wrong.

I remember that I got past the bouncer.

And there was something that resembled a catwalk with mirrors.

The wardrobe was right.

I remember that I heard the music and threw his coat.

There was chaos in the wardrobe. I shared wardrobe tickets in one piece away ...

We had to put jackets on the floor. Many must have lost their jacket that night.

There was pandemonium.

Bum, bum, bum ...

The sound of the music further.

All rushed towards the dance floor.

The sound hit one like a big wave.

It poured with drugs.

And there was only opkvikkere. No one was down the evening.

It was carefree. It was hot. It was sexy.

Something happened right from the first premier evening.

The message was sent out. It was here, it snowed!

They invited people who all wanted to be in the same room with.

I was deeply shocked.

Steve was only 33 years old, I was 29 years old, and we had created a resounding success.

We were on the front page of The New York Post. It had no other club has been.

It was like a dream.

So the only concern to keep the monster running.

Are you not shaved, do not you come in.

It does not matter. Just go home.

I try, when some go.

The hat. Come here never with a hat!

Check out the page, Marc.

Dim the lights. I can not see anything.

How it looks outside the discotheque Studio 54 in New York.

The place is in one discounted enthusiasts, but these people are still outside.

Known as Liza Minnelli are of course just past the doormen.

We had to put up ropes to keep the prostitutes out.

Then the ropes just part of the site.

- Closes I only knew in?
- No, we close all in.

How do you choose them? What are the criteria?

The fact that you are there to have fun, not to make trouble.

- If you prefer couples or singles?
- We have a couple, gay ...

When you went into town back then, it was all about ego.

It was one way of life.

If someone was not in Studio 54, were there because they were not allowed in.

And what did it mean?

There hung a guest list at the front door every night.

It said the name, and then stood there "paying", "free pass" or "NFU".

And "NFU" meant "no fuck-up". This meant that those were Marc closing in.

"GN" o "NG" meant "no good".

If they behaved badly, did not let them in.

Some famous get special treatment, as the Stones.

- If they come in for free?
- Most, not all.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were admitted. The others in the band had to pay.

Friday and Saturday evening a "bridge and tunnel people."

They did not come into Studio 54. They went to New York, New York,

Infinity, The Ice Palace, Hurray's and other clubs in the style.

But they did not come into the Studio 54th

Steve came up with the term "bridge and tunnel people".

How he explained,

that we would not have people with polyester shirts and gold chains.

"The lamps will polyester to melt." The we heard often.

He shared pair up. He said to a girl: "You are beautiful"

but your guy to go home and switch to a cotton shirt. "

Would you shut yourself into the shirt?

The here shirt ... Yes. Hawaii T is possible.

But I doubt that I had shut myself in at the beginning.

No, it does not work. It has nothing to do with money.

- Are you being offered sex?
- Yes.

- Are you saying yes?
- It depends on the offer.

But they must be sexy enough to get in, so it does not matter!

One sees a hopeful crowd in the picture.

Some beckons. Some try to catch Marc Benecke or Steve's gaze.

They are the damned, standing outside Paradise.

Last time I was immediately admitted. It will probably depend on the appearance.

If I knew the criteria to enter the Holy of Holies,

I would probably change my personality and style of dress to be approved.

But it's been a secret.

People wanted passionately to get in and were hateful, if they were refused.

We did not care. We just wished success.

Ian and Steve were excellent PR.

Steve loved to tell the press as to who was there and what they did.

We got more attention than others.

Ian called to strike a deal.

Jeg ville blive bet alt
for om tale af de kendte.

If I created at about a given person,

I got 500 US dollars for the Daily News front page.

The New York Post gave an additional $500.

I got them on page six, I received $150.

So virtually all known that came in, ended up on the front pages.

Everything that happened, ended up on the front pages and in full-page reports.

And who came knew each evening.

All felt that they were going there, otherwise they would not miss anything.

There was a paradigm shift from reading about crimes and sports.

People were fascinated by the known.

It was the beginning of the celebrity age.

We were there at the right moment, and we took advantage of it as best we could.

We closed the photographers into that would comply with our rules.

Here is Studio 54 checkouts.

Here are some of my photos. This is really good.

Here are Elton John, who takes Divine on tits.

I missed Bianca, but here's Dolly Parton when she kissed the horse.

Here's a cool photo of Liz Taylor in the limo. I call it "Thick Liz".

Here is Truman Capote in a dressing gown. He also had slippers.

I have another photo where his initials can be seen on the slippers.

This is Ian Schrager at staff entrance.

He waits for a known to arrive. I do not know.

Ian was very nice. He was introverted.

He was seldom there. It was fortunate that I got the photo.

He did not care for attention as opposed to the here braggart!

Here we pralhalsen Steve Rubell.

"Here I am. Look at me!"

He is present with the stars, both large and small.

He would be seen, and it was he. He is with many photos.

What came first, the photographers or the known?

I think that the premises are of great importance. That it is an old TV studio and theater.

You have to build a good mouse trap to lure the mouse.

Steve took good care of the known.

He became good friends with fashion designers like Halston.

The press wrote "Halston-Liza-Bianca Andy" with hyphens between.

They were as a unit. They were the core.

Studio got so much publicity that these people were nationally famous.

Hello, Stephen.

I'm striving to make them feel welcome. That I enjoy.

He wanted to be friends with everyone he had seen in the newspapers during his childhood.

And it happened.

Hello michael! Come in. How are you?

You came straight in, what? Come and sit over here.

- Hello, Michael Jackson. Are you here often?
- God, yes.

- Why?
- I love the atmosphere in Studio 54th

I have been in many clubs around the world, but I do not like them.

There's something about the atmosphere. The props, the balcony ...

It is exciting.

- Are you treated well?
- Yes, Steve is very nice.

- How's Steve?
- A great human being. He is genuine.

And honest. That I appreciate.

What happens when you hear "Studio 54"? Will there be time in the pulse and feet?

Yes, I'm ready to enjoy myself.

You get to escape. It is about escapism.

That I am also after. Escapism.

They can come here and forget everyday worries.

Here you can be yourself and dance.

Here you are free and can dance with anyone.

You settle just loose!

There are not many times in life where one is completely free.

Everyone felt safe and secure.

It was felt that one could relax.

You saw gay men kissed for the first time.

Known in the company of gay men ... Now convicted each other.

One could be themselves.

The light and everything else gives a sensual mood.

A lot is happening. People drink, music thunders,

and there are beautiful people everywhere. One wants to have it that way.

I went in underwear and high heels. And I could go out on the dance floor

and dance with everyone. I hovered on the dance floor. I was friends with everyone.

We did not know each other, but we gave a damn!

How they danced in Studio. You danced with the whole club.

Disko environment was an inclusive and accepting sanctuary.

So it was not out on the streets. There was homophobia worse than today.

Trans people were in mortal danger when they walked on the streets of New York.

But as soon as they entered the disco, they were safe.

And they were included, accepted and part of unity.

Insult people you ever?

- No, they are afraid.
- They think we're escaped from Broadway.

So New Yorkers are open and friendly?

No, only on Studio. Here we feel at home.

We pay rent. I see 14 US dollars as rent.

In Studio 54 there was a strong homo energy.

The permeated instead.

The mantra was that the Studio was one in a fantasy.

There could be anyone, and there were people too.

Thanks, Rollerina. That I needed.

Rollerina was Wall Street banker by day and good fairy in the evening.

Disco Sally was a lawyer and about 78 years old.

At first, I did not like about Disco Sally. It felt like a gimmick.

But Steve said: "No, you're wrong. It's good for the club."

Potassa was the era's most famous drag queen.

She was 1,8 m high with no high heels and 2 m high with.

You never saw her without ever drag.

And she was the center when she wanted it.

The beauty of the Studio was the combination of people.

If only brings together the beautiful, they are so used to each other that it can bore them.

But if you mix people right, as the Studio,

with originals and trances, so do they think about it. It was a wonderful mix.

The diversity created a burning energy. It seemed almost primitive.

The wild devotion and freedom were important ingredients.

It was like an amusement park for adults. They knew what people wanted.

What adult would have.

70s were opportunities decade after the pill and before AIDS.

So even if you did not go to bed with someone new every night

so they felt that they had the opportunity. There was love and sex in the air.

It was dark on the balconies. People kissed, and some were perhaps sucked by.

The same applied to the toilets.

There were mattresses in basement.

I had sex with many down there. Many.

Gay had the advantage that none became pregnant.

So you could go wild and uninhibited sex without consequences.

It was supposed to be. It was the free. One could try everything.

Steve had a big coat, which he had money and drugs.

He recalled Daddy Warbucks.

Steve loved metakvalon that he would like shared out.

Said no thanks, he said: "Take just a half."

I do not think you're a cop. There you are too bad to.

He always wanted the party to a new level.

Both higher and lower. You can interpret that as you like.

Do you think such a thing happening elsewhere in the world?

No, I've been everywhere in the world. I am happy.

Music, light, shapely young waiters wearing only shorts.

And the drinks cost 1.50 pounds.

The recipe has been the owner of a very rich man.

He enjoyed every night. Steve had probably more fun than anyone else.

In our environment, he could feel comfortable with his sexuality,

perhaps for the first time in their lives.

He was in the sit es.

I felt different.

I would not go through the crowd, being pushed and saluted.

All this time, Studio 54 was found,

so you rarely saw a picture of Ian or read anything about him.

Ian remained behind the scenes,

but he was in a way the brain behind it all.

People were obsessed with what he mon would find next.

It was a theatrical environment, the like I had never seen before.

It was an experience that almost touched all the senses.

It is an instinctive industry.

One's only noticeable product was magic they created.

We moved the lights and scenery

and changed the environment in an instant.

It had not done before.

Ian created a fantasy world.

Individuals were changed to a collective and violent energy.

Ian is really a genius in terms of creating experiences.

We were extreme in every way.

The building, modality, taste, moral decay ...

Everything was extreme.

It would cost 40,000 to 50,000 dollars to arrange a single evening.

We would break down the barrier between the audience and the artists

and show that anything could happen. And it did.

All of us who worked there knew we were having role.

Everyone had to deliver a great performance and service.

I was dependent on Studio 54. Undoubtedly.

I and many others had to just go there every night.

Studio 54 is probably the world of discounted Olympus.

Center of the universe for all who will dance to 125 beats per minute.

Studio 54 is the ultimate disco here in New York.






We were so intoxicated due to the success,

I counted the money at night. And I enjoyed!

I poured out leaflets and put them into three piles.

So did Steve and Jack each pile.

When you hang out there, it was noted

they replaced the cash register receipt roll middle of the night.

It was rumored. People paid attention to it.

We enjoyed the success. Having realized the dream.

We had the best guests, the best press and was the world's best club.

Suddenly they were in the world top. They lived almost in a dream.

It was so funny that they gradually lost the sense of reality.


I was up at the office with a girl when the music stopped.

When I came down, Steve was there already.

It was in his own world when the light was turned on, and there were cops.

Reality hit one hard.

We were both arrested.

We had no licensed premises. We were catering grant every night.

But they saw through us. All knew that it was a nightclub.

Roy Cohn was our lawyer, so I called and asked him for help.

Their lawyer Roy Cohn, who was also a lawyer for the Mafia in Manhattan.

So They understood why they were not afraid.

After a few hours we were released.

We could stay open for half a year off the premises,

until we finally got it.

I have a photo of me and Steve with the grant, when we had it.

After what felt like we had conquered the world.

They thought they were so important that they could afford anything.

But people became increasingly angry at Steve Rubell and Studio 54,

because they were not allowed in.

One can not be so popular,

without someone somewhere being envious or wants to get at one.

It is in human nature.

In a Dan Dorfman article said Steve:

"Only the mafia is doing better, but do not tell anyone."

Steve var en pralhals.

"Watch us. We have fun and earn lots of money."

He was so proud.

It was cod stupid. I called him and said:

"You're asking the taxman to come and knock on your door."

And he said: "No, it'll be all right."

Agents from the IRS struck against disco in the morning

to seize all the club's financial records.

They stormed the place on Dec. 14, 1978.

It was a terrible day.

The case began with allegations of widespread embezzlement,

and that there would be cash and substances stored in Studio 54th

I was told there was a search going on, so I contacted Steve.

Steve said there was metakvalon in the safe and asked me to remove them.

I came across agents in the cellar.

"Are you the manager here? Open the safe."

27, 42, 37 ... Two the way, one that way ... So it was open.

"Is that all?" "There are also some boxes up here."

I tried to open the door, but someone pulled it back. They were here already.

I tried with a key, but they pulled it back.

Finally, there was an officer who opened the door.

It was at. 9 in the morning.

He said something like: "Are you in or not?"

So I put all the papers, I had, on the floor, and I went inside.

Ian Schrager, one of Studio 54s owners went into a little later,

and police found cocaine among his documents.

It was about my books. I had to put them on the floor.

It was perhaps from the night before.

The sample showed that it was cocaine.

The sample was not just positive. It was a high figure. It was pure cocaine.

If you go into a room that crawled by 50 agents with cocaine forearms ...

So stay away! Turn around and go somewhere else.

I was arrested, so I called Roy Cohn.

He was immediately there and advised us to knock down all the furniture,

so it looked as if the agents had acted like the Gestapo.

They threw around with my birthday presents.

So they became even more angry with us because it was not true.

They had taken care to keep everything nicely.

It was the beginning of many mistakes,

it made the front page of the daily news.

I do not think we understood the seriousness of what we had been involved in,

we got off very well from everything.

When they inquired Ian, he sat on a chair, which was turned on, leaning forward.

Defiantly. As he said, "Fuck you!"

One would think, he was upset, but he was furious.

Seven hours after the raid began, Steve Rubell came out with the lawyer Roy Cohn,

criticized as the tax authorities.

Mention one case in which 23 IRS agents at the beginning of an investigation,

before they have spoken with a company's accountants or lawyers,

storm somewhere, make a mess and opens everything in there.

I've never heard of in the US before.

There was cocaine in his briefcase?

It was not in his briefcase. It claims they are not even.

I have read the application. It has not.

We had to fight to get a lawyer in here.

I had to go ind ad entrance door. It was the first time.

Here is a part of the building.

Steve, what's your reaction?

- What about cocaine?
- I know nothing about.

- Are there other substances on site?
- I do not know.

- Do not you know there are drugs?
- No not at all.

How did you react when your colleague was arrested for cocaine possession?

I love Ian. We went to college together,

and he is a clever guy.

Was it normal to take cocaine at Studio 54?

No. As Roy said, I will not comment on a legal case, but ...

- Look here, Steve.
- I feel like the president today.


We had hired all the great lawyers.

We had one of those who represented John Mitchell in the Watergate affair.

We had James Neal, who sent Jimmy Hoffa in prison.

We had Arthur liman.

We had Mitchell Rogovin from Arnold and Porter,

where Abe Fortas of the Supreme Court came from.

We were ready to fight against the authorities.

Schrager and Rubell has incidentally 37 lawyers.

The raid against them aroused great gloating here in New York.

People thought that they had finally been paid as prescribed.

They had loyal friends, but no one thought it was a pity for them.

People seemed almost about it.

Our correspondent Loraine Newman is now outside Studio 54th

Thank you, Bill. I stand here with Steve Rubell, one of the nightclub owners.

How did you react when you were told that there were found cocaine here?

I was shocked!

It was more about taking a stand against the system,

which fitted the mystique Studio 54th

it was all on, and there was a party afterward.

People were drawn like moths to the flame.

It grew bigger as it often is with controversy.

Many believe it was because Rubell had said "do not tell the taxman".

That's not true. It started solely because of

an informant who was very unhappy with his treatment at Studio 54

and who knew where accounting materials were.

There was a false ceiling in the cellar.

Over the roofing sheets we found envelopes with the alternative accounts.

There was also garbage bags with cash.

There was never any saved millions in Studio 54s ceiling. It's just a myth.

They took bags of money down, which was described in the warrant.

The combination was complicated, so we kept swapping money up there.

So simple it was. It was the said money in the ceiling.

There were also cash in a safe deposit box belonging to Steve Rubell,

we drilled up.

He also had cash in his apartment.

There were secret rooms behind bookcases.

Steve had 900,000 US dollars in five-and tidollarsedler.

They were seized.

I drove around with 400,000 US dollars in the trunk.

The car might have been stolen or towed away.

I parked in underground car parks. It was ridiculous!

Steve's mother took care of the accounts.

Steve always had a budget of party drugs,

which he shared out free for certain people.

Steve's mother knew nothing about drugs, but she had mastered every one clinker.

If there were 100 US dollars for a known substance or anything else,

as it was written down. Everything was there.

There was an envelope with three columns outside, Ian, Steve and Jack.

And then there was a fourth column of the evening's total revenue.

Then there was a fifth column to "hide". Or "SK".

So there were daily accounts of what income they had,

and what the hidden and not paid tax on.

Who created the books?

Not me, because I did not take me by bookkeeping.

But one of us did it.

Who ordered that the books had to be created?

Thus, I do not remember ...

Are you sure you are not accusations? I...

I just know that I took advantage of it,

and that I was a co-conspirator.

But who, exactly did what, I have no idea.

AUTHORITIES investigating the misappropriation of STUDIO 54

In the 33 months instead existed committed the embezzlement of 2.5 to 3 million dollars.

An astronomical amount.

It's ridiculous. Want to embezzle, take 10-20%, not 80%!

They behaved really filthy.

It was misappropriation of Richard Nixon level.

It was far beyond what could take place in obscurity.

Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager are completely innocent

into all allegations of tax evasion.

Cohn believes that only one person to blame for the problems:

The bookkeeper Jack Dushey.

He pleaded guilty last week and can now get up to five years in prison.

Jack Dushey agreed to testify against Rubell and Schrager in front of the grand jury

and in the trial, if such were needed.

What happened was not his fault.

He had family. He had never done.

I never asked you, but that I have always had it.

What do you say, Jack?

It is very difficult to rein success.

I was older than them, and I did not need the money.

I did not do it for money, but it was a huge success.

I would not try to control them.

We paid all the price.

Did you know what was going on in the books?

I found myself the middle of it. In the midst of it.

I'm just as guilty as Steve and Ian.

You seem so reasonable. Why did you let this happens?

- The success exceeded all of us to head.
- Yes.

I was placed in the unit against organized crime.

They take most of organized crime.

At that time it was primarily the Italian Mafia.

In Studio 54 case it was thought there was a connection to organized crime

by Ian Schrager, whose father was Louis Schrager.

Colloquially, he was referred to as "Max the Jew".

There had always been a lot of my father in the newspapers.

But I knew nothing about it.

I adored my father. I knew he was not like other fathers.

He had a different schedule.

I was always worried that it could be problematic for me.

Louis Schrager, who had died at the time

Had collaborated with Meyer Lanky.

But we never found connections between Studio 54 and the mafia.

Ian would probably not have something with his father's business to do.

His father enjoyed success in its field. He had power.

And I think that Ian wanted power and success

in another industry.

Studio 54s three owners and the manager was today charged with tax evasion.

Rubell and Schrager has been indicted on 12 points.

They now risk up to ten years in prison and 20,000 dollars in fines.

2.5 million WOUND

They had this fire that no one else in the world had.

They had something that was coveted around the world.

They would not lose.


In one of the meetings said the lawyers that we should try to negotiate.

It was on August 25, and Steve said, "I wish there is a war in Iran."

I said, "What do you mean?"

"I hope that another news overshadows this."

The Ministry of Justice is investigating a claim

that White House Chief of Staff, Hamilton Jordan,

took cocaine during his visit to Studio 54 last year.

The White House denies the charges and says,

the people behind the prosecutors want the culprits must have milder sentences.


Accusing White House Chief of Staff for having bought cocaine at Studio 54 ...

Steve understood not that he would get the White House against them?

I thought, that Steve was going to fit in.

This is mighty people. He's just a nightclub owner.

He has power among known, not politicians.

He laid out with the wrong.

President Carter's comment about Jordan were:

"He speaks as true as my wife and my children."

The Ministry of Justice examines not normally matters of personal use.

but they are forced to do so under the new law,

adopted after the Watergate scandal.

It requires an FBI investigation of up to 90 days,

when government persons accused of crime.

Attorney Mitchell Rogovin made a big mistake that hurt us.

He did not understand how Watergate had changed the law.

It became public.

The train left the station and got his own life.

There was no turning back.

- You saw Jordan take cocaine?
- Yes.

- There is no doubt?
- No.

We did not realize how big it was.

We thought, "It is enough."

We had the Roy. We should probably fix the situation.

We began even to renovate the club

to signal that everything would be all right.

What do you do when one is accused of tax fraud and fighting against Jordan?

You can create a new architectural image.

600 workers have worked hard since last Wednesday to finish the job.

The work is expected to cost 1.5 million US dollars,

three times more than what it cost to open Studio 54 three years ago.


Ian got a lot of ideas after seeing Sweeney Todd. Now he would have a bridge.

Are you tired of Moeve you across the dance floor? It can solve this bridge.

It can lift 25 tons and can move 250 people across the dancers

to the room's opposite end of the balcony or 13 meters per minute.

They had to cover the balcony of rubber, so they could more easily wash it cleans.

Were you aware that you were building a sexhule?


The answer is yes.

I love Studio 54 as high.

Thank you for doing my evenings very enjoyable.

- What can I say?
- Just say thank you.

- Realize you guilty of flattery!
- I'm not guilty of anything.

Studio 54 owners RECOGNIZING guilty

Two of the discotheque Studio 54s owners have today pleaded guilty in

Having besveget state for more than 400,000 dollars in taxes.

Today was Rubell and Schrager accused of taking 2.5 million

and lying about it. 12 points in total.

They acknowledged twice evasion. The rest of the charges was dropped.

Sentenced, for any crime, you can not get licensed premises.

So it was about protecting Studio, but the situation ratcheting.

We were out in deep water, and we had to recognize guilty.


Went there something wrong during the negotiations, Roy?

When 37 lawyers involved in a case, there is always something that goes wrong.

- Why did you do it? Greed?
- I made a mistake. Do you do it?

- Are you and Schrager still friends?
- He is my best friend. I love him.


When we got problems facing the press against us.

For the first time Steve and I did not talk our way out of a problem.

We could not shake it off.

We were backed into a corner.

When you live through such a case related to either stronger ties

or also destroyed the friendship. We clenched stronger ties.

We walked together in the success and the fall.

Stephen Rubell and Ian Schrager, Studio 54s owners, was today sentenced

3.5 years in prison for tax evasion of almost half a million dollars.

Each of them also received a fine of 20,000 US dollars.

I perceived it.

I was completely emotionally cut off.

I was dumbfounded. Our life was over, and we did not know it.

The party the night before they were in the clink

was probably as exciting and fun as the premier party. Perhaps more fun.

Andy Warhol and Calvin Klein attended.

Diana Ross sang. It did Liza Minnelli as well.

I remember that Steve had a Frank Sinatra hat on,

and that they played "My Way".

What did we mean by that?

When I look back on it now, it seems so absurd. What did we go doing?

The evening was the music and the dance still intense.

It was amazing!

The party that night ... I just wanted to dance.

I was so lopsided that I had no idea what was going on.

I did not think the party would join.

The feeling of invincibility permeated everything.

There was so much denial from start to finish.

I do not know if I had partied if I was going to jail the next day.

They prepared themselves enough not on it.

That they were in prison was just a huge shock to them.

Studio 54s owners surrendered to police today.

They volunteered this morning in state prison.

At the same time, they have been declared for seven violations of the Law on alcohol.

How was the first night in the federal prison in New York?

As the doors went in,

it is amazing how quickly you realize that you are not free anymore.

Nothing is worse.

We did not share the cell, but we were in the same prison.

The desired course we both, but that was no guarantee.

I do not know what I had done without Steve.

We were treated like everyone else.

- They were indifferent to the known?
- It's another world.

That's the way it is. One should learn to keep his mouth.

If you say something, then die Mon.

There was a guy, which sad cell opposite min

who had killed anyone with a bowling ball.

So I thought that it was good to be friends with him.

We agreed that we would give his wife money if he protected us.

We acted simply instinctively to survive there.

We continued a few more months, but it was not the same without them.

When we lost serving grant, there was not much to do.

As we sat in jail, we sold Studio 54th

I negotiated the contract to maintain my sanity.

To sell Studio 54 was the hardest thing I've ever done.

I loved Studio 54th

Now it's all gone forever.

I sell my share of paying my tax debt

I should have paid before.

Sincerely, Ian Schrager.


The whole thing was like a vortex that just disappeared.

All returned where they came from.

It felt as if we were friends for life. They loved one.

Then it was discovered that it did not fit.

There were no more calls. Party invitations ceased.

It all stopped, and it was a rude awakening for me.

Diskoæraen was over.

Disco music was a joke.

In Comiskey Park was disco music crushed between matches.

Radio host Steve Dahl sings with the audience

and ends with the blowing up disco records that fans have taken.

"Disco sucks" movement was almost a backlash against Studio 54th

You have to think of how the US economy appeared.

It was the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Think of how the Studio 54 disco and life seemed

for anyone who had been unemployed and would never get another chance.

So blame to a lot of people: the homosexuals, blacks and women.

There was a bitterness which gained momentum.

People were outraged.

We disturbed the status quo.

We knew that Rubell and Schrager could help us

and give us more information about others whom they knew committed tax evasion.

So we got the idea of ​​the "big china breakfast each scenario."

The prosecutor's office is located in Chinatown,

and IRS-professionals know which restaurants are best.

So they ordered a lot of different Chinese dishes.

I got Steve and Ian there and got two chairs made from outside the office,

so the smell floated out into the hallway.

And they sat there and were hungry.

We tried everything.

We were subjected too much pressure.

The authorities had all our documents.

It was not that we mentioned names.

But we would commit perjury if we did not respond to questions

the owners of nightclubs as Bonds, Infinity and New York, New York.

They were almost our enemies.

We always had a suspicion that they still were out to harm us.

So it was probably an easy way to rationalize it all on.

But my father would not have liked it.

- Why not?
- Because such a thing makes you just can not.

So ... You have to serve his punishment like a man.

He would not wish that I did something.

- Burdened you?
- Of course.

I had a hard time with it. I am ashamed still.

It's one of the things that I hoped you would not ask, but I ...


It's probably part of the story.


We could not sit in jail for 3.5 years. So we made it necessary

and were reduced our imprisonment.

When we were released in 1981, it was a completely different world.

Governor Reagan, we'll just show you how the US card looks at. 20th

We got a new government in the early 80s. Now was all about making money.

It was not about emancipation and equality.

It was about success. Dollar above all.

The center was more concentrated. Mudd Club was leading

in the protests against yuppies and Reagan administration.

When we were freed, we were very vulnerable.

We felt both unsafe.

It's hard to describe the despair.

You lose everything.

I lost my law license and had no voting rights.

I lost even driving license and credit card.

To become disenfranchised ... You do not understand what it means.

And the shame was the worst.

It is strange that imprisonment does not work stigmatizing you.

There is not a day without my thinking about it.

- Is that hard?
- Yes.

Until a year ago I had nightmares about being stranded on an island,

and I woke up bathed in sweat. The kind of get themselves do not.

Steve was hesitant, because he did not know how people would react.

People did not know whether they could trust him by Hamilton Jordan and all that.

To be successful is easy. That defeat is hard. I've tried both.

It was the worst thing that had happened to them. Not knowing whether they would move on.

In the beginning they had nothing to lose. Everything was an improvement.

Getting back took courage.

Ian would not give up.

Stevie would not give up, in a way.

They had the same DNA as they went in, and when they came out.

They took on every challenge.

And they planned demonstrated their comeback in prison.

Of course! When they went in, they thought about what they would do.

Despite Rubells plans were post-prison severe.

Three years passed before they found capital for their next project.

A number of luxury hotels with the same eclectic audience as Studio 54th

They immediately bought fine addresses in Manhattan.

They were co-owners of several fine hotels

as Royal ton and Morgan's Hotel on Madison Avenue.

We would enter the hotel industry,

but we had to show the banks that we could borrow and repay 14 million US dollars.

So we opened the nightclub Palladium.

The bold, the brave and the beautiful came to Palladium's premier evening.

It is unbelievable that Steve and Ian have been away for six or seven years,

and no one has been able to replace them. Now they are back, better than ever.

I hesitated all the time.

For I made a mistake and have not had it well.

I got a chance to. I could not wish for more.

When we opened the Palladium, it was here our first front.

I came out of the shadows.

Article was as much about me as about Steve.

It made Steve a little outraged.

The article disturbed the balance between us who had been there all year.

He had gotten all the attention while I kept myself in the background.

The dynamics were changed. It took him some time to get over it.

We should probably point out that Studio 54 is no more.

- I read that they have just closed.
- How does it feel?

It belongs to the past, and I will not dwell on the past.

I always look forward to seeing what options Ian and I have.

Life is exciting.

How did you find out that Steve had HIV?

I took a blood test on him.

Did you have the feeling that he was about to be sick?

He had symptoms, not HIV, but there were vague symptoms.

It was me who told him that he had AIDS.

One should remember that at that time AIDS was not a disease. It was a death sentence.

So I had to say anything to our parents.

He held the mask, but certainly not after I was gone.

All were sick.

It was scary.

I am still very affected by it. The grief was deep.

A lot of young guys simply vanished.

Half of all the bartenders, half of the craftsmen.

The young guys who painted, here no more.

It was horrible.

The impact that these people had on society and culture

and New York ... It was a huge cultural loss.

It changed everything.

Steve was the type who, if he had done something embarrassing night before,

would pretend that nothing the next morning, and that was that.

He never got his tail between his legs. He always squirmed good at it.

This time he let go not away with it.

Steve Rubell changed New York's nightlife,

when he opened Studio 54 a few years ago.

Rubell died this morning of complications from hepatitis.

Steve Rubell died of complications from hepatitis and septic shock.

Steve Rubell died yesterday of liver failure.

There were rumors AIDS, but officially dead Rubell hepatitis and septic shock.

He did not want the press to write that he died of AIDS.

It was excluded.

I wanted to make sure that all came to the funeral. It had Steve wanted.

As a big farewell party. I called and made sure that everyone came.

New York's most elegant participated, such as Calvin Klein and Bianca Jagger

Ian Schrager and his colleague, which is then shaken out.

Losing Steve was like losing a family member.

So it was a very difficult day and a very difficult time.

All in Studio family felt the same way.

Some of Rubells friends said that an era went to the grave with him.

He gave the city of magic, and the city has always needed magic.

It always finds its sources and it was Steve for many years.

Steve Rubell is dead as 45-year-old.

Ann, Steve's mother, said to me: "Why was he never married?"

Then it hit me that she probably did not know that he was gay.

How was it then. One's mother was perhaps the last, who was told.

Steve's death and disease was a severe blow for Ian.

Their mutual love and their ties to each other was so strong,

that it probably affected him for a long time after.

I was 18 or 19 years old when I met Steve. We immediately became friends,

and we remained friends all the time until the 1989th

I am lucky that I had such a friendship. It is only vouchsafed.

Steve and I bought this house in 1985.

The house has a rich history.

It's like a family treasure.

It makes it beautiful.

How were you affected by your best friend's death?

It was a crushing grief.

Steve and I were actually as husband and wife.

I do not know who the man was, and who was the wife.

We went on holiday together, we had a house together, we worked together.

He was the last I spoke with before I slept.

So it was above all a personal loss.

Business-wise, I had the same passion after Steve died.

I still have the same hunger, so we've just scratched on.

It's not as much fun. I have no one to share it with, but you continue.

- Have you doubted that it would go?
- I do still. It drives me.

It does not surprise me that Ian over the years has evolved and reinvented itself

and used his personality to become the person he is today.

I tried to catch the hotels' energy

in the same way that one can capture the energy of a city's streets.

There is an energy that lifts everything. A high tide coming in.

It was the same with Studio.

Studio was everything to us. Everything we went through together.

We both were pervaded by a quest for success.

I was not successful as a lawyer, and he's not as restaurateur

but we got success with Studio.

No one has since come close to that which they created.

It was short. There was something that was lost.

A paradise lost.

I do not think they knew they created something that would become world-famous.

That it would be important for our culture, for New York's history

and perhaps what happened around the world.

Studio was not a nightclub. It was a kind of social experiment.

Therefore, no one could recreate it.

It was fun to achieve a unique success.

Steve and Ian opened two hotels and created the concept lifestyle hotel.

Schrager has since opened 38 to revolutionizing still hotel business.

Schrager was pardoned by President Obama in January 2017.

The prosecutor in Studio 54 case recommended this and wrote:

"He is a good man who has achieved much through talent and hard work."

"I support completely his pardon."

"His mistake was because he was young was sudden and overwhelming fame."

"Studio 54 was a phenomenon that was unprecedented."