For 33 months, from 1977 to 1980, the nightclub Studio 54 was the place to be seen in Manhattan. A haven of hedonism, glitz and glamour, the club was highly exclusive, 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. But the drug-and-sex-fueled dream eventually imploded in financial scandal, leading to the club’s demise.
With unprecedented access to Schrager, who tells the whole unvarnished story for the first time, and a treasure trove of rare footage, director Matt Tyrnauer constructs a vivid portrait of a disco-era phenomenon, and tells the story of two friends who stuck together through an incredible series of highs and lows, in his documentary Studio 54. It screens at 8:15 p.m. on Friday, February 15 at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, followed by a question-and-answer session with Scott Taylor, a former Studio 54 bartender; Myra Sheer, Steve Rubell’s assistant; and Susan Shapiro, one of the videographers who contributed original footage to Tyrnauer’s documentary, A prize will be awarded for the best costume.
Tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and $8 for members. Proceeds from this screening will benefit LEAF of the Hudson Valley, a legal environmental advocacy fund protecting natural resources and curbing overdevelopment. For more info, visit https://upstatefilms.org/studio-54.
Studio 54 , Friday, Feb. 15, 8:15 p.m., $12/$10/$8, Upstate Films, 6415 Montgomery St. (Route 9), Rhinebeck, (845) 876-2515, https://upstatefilms.org