Animals were life of the party at NYC’s legendary Studio 54

Studio 54 might be an actual zoo.

Although many had been turned away on the door of the late, nice NYC icon — which opened 45 years in the past April 26, 1977 — loads of animals managed to get in.

“The dwell leopard was my favourite — a pair introduced it in on a leash,” recalled Gerard Renny, who landed a gig working safety at Studio 54 when he was simply 18. “They mentioned I may pet it and wanted to maintain visitors away from it.”

“I assume I used to be its bouncer-bodyguard that evening,” mentioned Renny, 63, an Higher East Sider who’s now director of operations on the70s-themed watering gap Ethyl’s.

There was additionally a snake — the plus considered one of one other visitor — slithering on the bar one evening.

“I obtained known as in to come back to the principle bar as a result of somebody mentioned there was a boa constrictor there,” mentioned Chuck Garelick, who was 19 when he began as the pinnacle of safety at Studio in 1977. “It turned out to not be … nevertheless it was a really giant, very lengthy snake that somebody had introduced of their bag.”

However some animals gained entry on the orders of membership homeowners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager.

“There was one Halloween the place the entrance foyer was embellished as a enjoyable home, and it had a maze on the ground that was coated in plexiglass, and there will need to have been a pair hundred white mice,” mentioned Garelick, 64, who now lives in Union Sq. and is a safety government.

“It was all blacklights, in order that they put a stripe of UV paint [on the mice]. After we cleared that out, they had been round that place for a very long time. We had white mice working round for months,” he mentioned.

The enduring Studio 54 opened on April 26, 1977.

Issues obtained a bit of fishy on Valentine’s Day in 1979, when administration put in metallic fish ponds within the foyer.

That evening, a fireplace at a unique Manhattan membership sparked shock FDNY inspections. They ordered the membership to eliminate the goldfish-filled ponds.

“So a bucket brigade was fashioned with all types of workers, safety and the busboys — who on the time had been carrying quick shorts, sneakers, no shirts and angel wings,” Garelick recalled.

“We poured [the ponds] proper onto 54th Road, not even occupied with the goldfish,” he mentioned. “It was actually chilly that evening, and after we left that morning, there have been frozen goldfish all around the curb.”

The membership shut down in 1980 after the founders had been convicted of evading taxes, and operated below new possession from 1981 to 1986. Ex-Studio workers — who name themselves the “Class of 54” — are gathering at Ethyl’s on April 24 for an anniversary and reunion celebration. Some recalled bringing their very own pets previous the velvet ropes.

Dolly Parton with a horse during an after party at Studio 54 in May 1978.
Dolly Parton with a horse throughout an after celebration at Studio 54 in Could 1978.
Photograph by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Assortment through Getty Photos

“Through the day if you happen to labored at Studio you can carry your canine to work,” mentioned Myra Scheer, who was in her mid-twenties when she labored as government assistant to Rubell and Schrager,

There was a trio of canines — Scheer’s English shepherd Mateus; Buddy, a setter who belonged to Neil Wilson on the tech crew; and Pepe, a chow that belonged to Studio’s non-public celebration booker, Shay Knuth — that had free reign.

Scheer, 71, who now co-hosts “The Marc and Myra Present” on Sirius’ Studio 54 Radio, mentioned, “Probably the most glamorous, unique place in New York Metropolis at evening had three common canine that roamed the dance ground.”

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