The documentary, “Studio 54,” directed by Matt Tyrnauer (“Valentino: The Last Emperor”) that premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and played at a number of film festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival, AFI Docs, Provincetown Film Festival, and Outfest, will premiere on A&E on Monday, February 11 at 10pm ET/PT.
For 33 months, from 1978 to 1980, Studio 54 was the place to be seen in Manhattan. A haven of hedonism, tolerance, glitz and glamour, Studio was nearly impossible to get into and socially impossible to ignore, with news of who was there filling the gossip columns daily. Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, two college friends from Brooklyn, succeeded in creating the ultimate escapist fantasy in the heart of the theater district. Rubell was the outgoing bon vivant who wanted to be everybody’s friend and was photographed with every celebrity du jour who entered the club and Schrager was the behind-the-scenes creative mastermind who shunned the limelight. Studio 54 was an instant success and a cash cow, but the dream soon imploded in financial scandal and the club’s demise.
With unprecedented access to Schrager, who tells the whole unvarnished story for the first time, and a treasure-trove of intimate photos and newly discovered footage, director Tyrnauer constructs a vivid, glorious portrait of a disco-era phenomenon, and tells the story of two friends whose mutual desire for success took them to the heights of New York fame, and then to prison when they became intoxicated by their own success. Schrager opens up in a wide-ranging interview for the documentary camera and talks about both the heady and the difficult times.