Many of my readers seem to enjoy the retro New York City, and looking back at places and events that evoke fond memories. One of those places may be the famous discotheque Studio 54.
Located on West 54th Street near Broadway, it’s got a history that precedes the disco era. In fact, it first opened in 1927 as an opera house, then later became a Broadway theater, then a dinner theater, then back to a Broadway theater. CBS purchased the building in 1942, and used it as a radio and television studio until the mid-1970s. It was home to many popular television shows, including Password, The Jack Benny Show, and Captain Kangaroo. CBS sold the building in 1976, and Studio 54 opened its doors in April 1977. It saw many famous names during its 9-year reign, including Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, Robin Leach, Donald Trump, Diana Ross, and Reggie Jackson, in addition to several visits (or raids, if you prefer) by the New York State Liquor Authority.
After the closing of its doors in 1986, Studio 54 became known as The Ritz and then Cabaret Royale at Studio 54, but ultimately ceased operations in 1994. In 1998, the Roundabout Theater Company moved its performances into the building, and has hosted many notable Broadway productions ever since.
There’s a great photo show chronicling the days of Studio 54, set to disco music, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-vkd8ly0g0. Just a little piece of history…
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Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer
Death on Broadway
Death Beneath the Streets
Death in Central Park
Death in The Cloisters (under construction)