Remarkably Rare Photos From The Infamous Studio 54

By: ScreenGawk Staff | Published: Dec 11, 2023

Opening Night at Studio 54

From its grand opening, Studio 54 was the place to be. The club opened on April 26th, 1977, and was an instant hit. It became an immediate staple in New York City nightlife and was frequented by a long list of celebrities that included Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Muhammad Ali, and many many more.

The club was housed in a former opera house on West 54th Street in Midtown Manhattan. The founders of Studio 54, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, set out to capture New York City nightlife in a way no one else had. Here is a behind the scenes look at some of Studio 54’s hidden secrets in these rarely seen photos.

Brooke Shields and Andy Warhol Hang Out at Studio 54

Studio 54 was a known hotspot for a variety of A-list celebrities, from actors to musicians to famous artists. This rare photo shows a star-studded group that includes actress Brooke Shields alongside the infamous pop artist Andy Warhol, designer Calvin Klein, and Steve Rubell, one of the co-owners of the club.


Robin Platzer/Images Press/Getty Images

Brooke Shields was one of Warhol’s many muses and started hanging out at the nightclub when she was only 16. But according to the actress, she managed to stay drug-free and always make it to bed by 10 PM, even after mingling with the world’s most famous people.

Liza Minnelli and Bianca Jagger Release the Doves

Studio 54 was known for its energy and extravagance. This photo shows the club during one of its most iconic moments, as Liza Minelli and Bianca Jagger release live white doves into the air above the crowd.


The photo was taken at Bianca’s 30th birthday party. The all-white event was hosted by the famous fashion designer, Halston, who was instrumental in creating many of the trends of the Studio 54-era. Steve Rubell even brought out a horse for Jagger to mount, after seeing a photo of her riding one in her native country of Nicaragua.

Michael Jackson and Steven Tyler After Beatlemania

From the very beginning, Studio 54 was always a destination for A-list celebrities. Nothing exemplifies that more than this photo of Michael Jackson, Steven Tyler, and Cherie Currie hanging out with Steve Rubell a few months after the club opened.



The photo was taken on June 9, 1977, at a Beatlemania Party, held in honor of the play of the same name that focused on the Beatles and their impact on the culture of the ‘60s. Also in attendance were Studio 54 regulars like Warhol and Mitch Weissman, who also starred in the play.

Elton John in Socks and Shorts

Another popular fixture of Studio 54 was the legendary singer-songwriter, Elton John. This photo shows that he was clearly comfortable in his surroundings, as he shows up at one of the hippest nightclubs in New York wearing shorts and ankle socks.


At the time that the photo was taken, the singer was still in the midst of a long streak of chart-topping albums, which began with Honky Chateau in 1972. So, he clearly had the confidence that he could wear anything and still be let in.

Disco Sally Hits the Dance Floor

Studio 54 was a place where anyone could let loose and unwind. This iconic photo of Sally Lippman, aka Disco Sally, shows that anyone could find love at the iconic nightclub.

Disco Sally was a 77-year old lawyer who became a Studio 54 regular after her husband passed away. A 25-year-old associate convinced her to check out the club and she ended up falling in love with the disco scene, claiming it gave her a new lease on life.


Rollerena Rolls In

Studio 54 wasn’t just a popular spot for New York’s cultural elite, it was also a club that welcomed all the characters that make the city great. No character on the scene was quite as memorable as Rollerena, a drag queen known for wearing roller skates all around New York.


Originally known as Roller Arena, the Fairy Godmother, Rollerena was well known for skating into gay bars and other popular clubs in Manhattan, including Studio 54, sporting an eclectic collection of hats, rhinestone glasses, and costume jewelry.


Trump Never Danced

Studio 54 was not just a place for actors and celebrities, but also business moguls and New York socialites. Former President Donald Trump was also a frequent guest in the heyday of the club, as shown here.

But unlike most guests, Trump wasn’t interested in showing off his dance moves. According to the club owner, Ian Schrager, Trump visited the club often but was only interested in socializing, not hitting the dance floor. Not everyone who frequented Studio 54 was there for the love of disco.


Grace Jones Hits the Bar

Singer and model Grace Jones was another frequent guest and performer at Studio 54. She famously performed at the club on New Year’s Eve in 1978. But even when she wasn’t hitting the stage, she could often be found frequenting the bar, as shown here.


Jones’s androgynous appearance and cutting-edge fashion sense helped define the look of the Studio 54-era. She was an accomplished singer, actor, and model who was an important figure in the underground art world of New York in the 70s and 80s. Here she is shown in her element, revealing what made the club so hip and iconic.


Tina Turner is River Deep, Mountain High

At the time this photo was taken, there was a lot going on in Tina Turner’s world. Not least of which was the situation with her infamous husband, Ike. So, what better way to rid yourself of a night lost to sadness? Through dancing of course, especially when you’re the queen of shaking it.


If there was anyone who knew how to get on the floor and make the right moves, it was Tina Turner. Not only could she bust a move, she also came to Studio 54 dressed to impress in functional fashion.


Sir Elton John, Diana Ross, and Cher

You might be hard pressed to find bigger stars standing side by side in the 70s than these three. After an incredible night at the Rock Music Awards in 1975, the legends descended upon Studio 54.


Not only were they there to celebrate the night, but clearly, each musician was there to show off an incredible fashion sense. Gold itself couldn’t have shone brighter or have made more of a statement.


"Once I Had A Love" and it was Debbie Harry

Lead singer for new wave band, Blondie, descended upon the popular club on only a handful of occasions. The time she spent there was not much but, Debbie still recollected one moment in particular where she was starstruck.


It was at Studio 54 that Debbie Harry met Truman Capote for the first time. Surely, one of those wild evenings in Manhattan could have been an inspiration for a song from one of her band’s almost dozen albums. Or perhaps we’re just dreaming.


Debbie Harry Hangs Out with Brooke Shields

Debbie Harry took the then teenage Brooke Shields under her wing at Studio 54. She made sure the young actress was having a fun time that was befitting of her age.


Brooke Shields remembers her time at Studio 54 fondly, despite her age not necessarily being appropriate for the setting. She apparently had the wherewithal to get home at a decent hour and get a full night of rest. Impressive at any age.