Studio 54 on Netflix
Netflix is a treasure trove of documentaries on every subject under the sun. One recent addition turns the spotlight on iconic Manhattan club Studio 54. Opened by co-owners and Brooklyn friends Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell in 1977, it was transformed in just six weeks into a glittering, brightly lit space that embraced the building’s former life as a theatre.
Moveable sets and extensive lighting circuits allowed the club to be a dynamic, ever-changing environment and despite being raided early on for selling liquor without a licence, it soon went on to become the hottest ticket in town.
This fascinating documentary, with plenty of input from Schrager, tracks the rapid rise and fall of the colourful club and tells the story of how it made $7 million in the first year. It’s said that “only the mafia made more”, and a swift IRS investigation revealed that the owners skimmed off $2.5 million for their own pockets and ended up in prison. From Al Pacino to Dolly Parton, Truman Capote to Mick Jagger, all the biggest stars of the day frequented the legendary club but, as the movie tells it, without the main men behind it there to lead the party each week, it was never quite the same.
Watch the official trailer for Studio 54 The Documentary.