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Here's What Studio 54's Infamous Halloween Parties Really Looked Like

In the 1970s, Studio 54 was a palace of excess and hedonism — and on Halloween, this infamous nightclub opened its doors to the costumed ghouls of New York City.

Posted on October 29, 2019, at 5:19 p.m. ET

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In 1977, at the height of the disco craze, the Studio 54 nightclub opened its doors in the seedy underbelly of midtown Manhattan. The club soon gained a reputation with both celebrities and clubgoers as an "anything goes" venue, where its sparkling dance floor and labyrinth of lounges offered refuge to any number of illicit activities. The club soon caught the attention of federal authorities, and within three years, owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager were apprehended and charged with tax evasion following a dramatic raid on the venue.

In 1980, the original Studio 54 had finally shuttered its doors, but not before hosting some of the most outrageous Halloween parties in history. In 1981, the club reopened under new leadership but failed to capture the spirit of its former self. While these pictures only capture a glimpse into this chaotic world, it's what occurred between frames and off-camera that solidified Studio 54's reputation as the king of hedonistic nightclubs.

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Left: Outside Studio 54, an unidentified clubgoer arrives on a horse to the party in 1978. Right: A high-angle view of the crowd dancing at Studio 54 on Halloween.

Allan Tannenbaum / Getty Images

Costumed clubgoers on the dance floor in 1979.

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Left: A woman dressed as a Playboy Bunny dances in 1979. Right: A man, dressed only in a clear plastic sheet, dances with a topless woman in 1978.

Allan Tannenbaum / Getty Images

Costumed women laugh atop the shoulders of their male companions in 1978.

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Left: A clubgoer dressed as Jesus Christ carries a large cross on the dance floor in 1977. Right: A topless woman in a peacock feather headdress dances in 1977.

Allan Tannenbaum / Getty Images

A pair of clubgoers dressed in ancient Egyptian-style costumes attend the Halloween party in 1978.

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Left: A man dressed in a loincloth and a woman wearing a flamenco costume talk during the Halloween party in 1981. Right: A costumed partier at the Halloween Party in 1981.

Allan Tannenbaum / Getty Images

A quartet of mummies at Studio 54's annual Halloween party in 1978.

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Left: Clubgoers inhale nitrous oxide on the dance floor in 1977. Right: A nearly naked couple dance atop a speaker in 1977.

Tom Gates / Getty Images

Two people dressed in costume dance on stage in 1984.

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Left: A woman in a garter belt and stockings dances in 1978. Right: A couple dressed as a bride and groom in 1978.

Allan Tannenbaum / Getty Images

Two clubgoers, dressed in makeshift fetish gear, dance in 1977.

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Left: Halloween revelers in 1977. Right: A woman hits the dance floor in 1978.


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