Program 20: Studio 54
Directed by Matt Tyrnauer
Everyone is familiar with the glitz and glamour of Studio 54. We’ve seen photos of the crowds, the celebrities, and the unequaled decadence. Many are even familiar with its flamboyant front man, co-owner Steve Rubell. But until now, no one has heard the whole story. For the first time, the brains behind the operation, co-owner Ian Schrager, breaks his silence and gives us the rest of the story. Buckle up for a crazy ride as we learn how two Jewish guys from Brooklyn, barely 30 years old, reached an unprecedented level of success followed by a spectacular crash back to earth.
Ian Schrager, son of a mobster known as “Max the Jew,” first met his eventual business partner and best friend Steve Rubell at Syracuse University. Several years later they went into business together, renting a run-down theater and turning it into the pop culture epicenter of the world. For 33 months their lives were a non-stop party, but no high lasts forever. They had cut corners – they hadn’t even bothered to get a liquor license – and they had become criminally greedy. The resulting fall from grace would reverberate all the way to the White House, test their rock-solid friendship, and thrust the introverted Schrager into the spotlight
Studio 54 is the story of the world’s greatest party, the consequences of success earned easily, the trappings of greed, gay life in the 1970s and ‘80s, and a lasting friendship. Bringing these remarkable stories to life are hundreds of pictures and videos of Studio 54’s celebrity guests. In much the same way that Schrager and Rubell turned Studio 54 into the ultimate night club, a compelling story mixed with tremendous archival footage and excellent story telling have turned Studio 54 into the ultimate documentary.
— Stephen K. Weisenreder
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- OFFICIAL SELECTION, CLOSING NIGHT – Frameline San Francisco Int’l LGBTQ Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION, OPENING NIGHT – Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Sundance Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Sidewalk Film Festival