Directed by Matt Tyrnauer
FEATURE DOCUMENTARY 98 Minutes New York Premiere
It’s impossible to recall late-’70s New York without recalling Studio 54, the legendary Manhattan night spot where celebrities (think Liza, Liz, Mick, Farrah, and Andy), socialites, the straight, the queer, and the beautiful danced, drank, perhaps got high, and, most importantly, got seen. Located at a then-seedy part of town, it was the brainchild of Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, two Brooklyn college-buddy entrepreneurs who, over the course of 33 months, became the kings of New York—and then lost it all.

Director Matt Tyrnauer skillfully tells this one-of-a-kind story using never-before-seen footage, period music, present-day commentary by Schrager, and recollections from regulars and staff. Particularly invaluable is the testimony of the all-important gatekeeper: Marc Benecke, who, under Rubell’s command, kept the crowd outside at bay and discreetly selected who would be admitted as celebrities pulled up in taxis and limousines. Tyrnauer also explores the social climate that laid the foundation for the club’s sudden rise, the issues that led to its abrupt closure, and Schrager and Rubell’s post-Studio lives. Studio 54 takes its audiences past the velvet ropes, recalling an unforgettable place where, as Schrager put it, “you go to feel good about yourself.”

—Brian Gordon
New York, LGBT
About the Director(s)
Matt Tyrnauer is a writer, director, producer, and award-winning journalist whose films include Valentino: The Last Emperor, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, and Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood. He is developing a documentary series for Apple and a film about Roy Cohn, the Svengali behind Joseph McCarthy and Donald Trump.

Film Info
  • Section:
    Spotlight Documentary
  • Year:
  • Length:
    98 minutes
  • Language:
  • Country:
  • Premiere:
    New York
  • Connect:
Cast & Credits
  • Music Supervisor:
    Liz Gallacher
  • Editor:
    Andrea Lewis
  • Executive Producer:
    Molly Thompson, Robert Sharenow, Elaine Frontain Bryant, Andrew Ruhemann
  • Co-Producer:
    Andrea Lewis, Noreen O'Toole, Troy Benjamin, Graham High
  • Cinematographer:
    Tom Hurwitz
  • Associate Producer:
    Alison Schnapp
  • Director:
    Matt Tyrnauer
  • Assistant to Matt Tyrnauer and Corey Reeser:
    Will Holt
  • Producer:
    Matt Tyrnauer, Corey Reeser, John Battsek
  • Cast:
    Steve Rubell, Ian Schrager, Nile Rodgers, Norma Kamali, Karin Bacon, Myra Scheer
  • Composer:
    Lorne Balfe