The night lives of New York’s elite have been exposed in investigative documentary, Studio 54.

Notorious Manhattan nightclub Studio 54 opened its doors on April 26, 1977 and in just under three years was shut down amidst scandal and legal battles. In the short time it was open however, the infamous club made an impact in the New York City scene, as a stomping ground for A-list celebrities and predatory paparazzi. Now, footage has been put together by film maker Matt Tyrnauer in an effort to retell, and delve into the high-society world of sex, drugs and disco, while focusing on owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager.

Steve Rubell surrounded by Studio 54 guests, shot by Bill Bernstein

“I think Studio 54 is one of the great untold stories, believe it or not. There’s never been a documentary made about it, and it’s one of those stories that everyone thinks they know, when they actually don’t”, said Tyrnauer. As a filmmaker, that’s a good position to be in. Ian Schrager had never told his version of the story. He was reluctant to revisit it because, although it was this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon, it didn’t end well for him or Steve Rubell. But 40 years later, Ian was finally willing to talk, so that was my chief motivation for making the film. I was interested in documenting the real and secret history of the club, and he is obviously the primary source.”

As the club closed, both Rubell and Schrager were charged with tax evasion, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy for skimming unreported income. The pair only served a short sentence, but Rubell died of complications from AIDS in 1989. Now at 71 years-old, the documentary features an in-depth interviews with Schrager.

Tune into the trailer below. After its release into cinemas last month, you can now watch the action on iTunes, Amazon and GooglePlay, an Australian release date is not yet known, but stay tuned for details. Pre-order the DVD here for August 6.

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