More than 20 years later, a new film dances into theaters, letting some people relive the golden age of disco where, CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Mark McEwen reports, the party of your life began - if you could just get past the velvet rope.
"The hype was there," he recalls. "It was exciting. Once the doors opened, everyone wanted to come in from the get-go. We didn't have the [velvet] rope when we first opened up."
Getting chosen by Rubell to enter the nightclub became the hardest game in town. Sometimes, someone would get in on a Monday, and they couldn't understand why they couldn't get in on a Tuesday. Some say that scene made even the most conservative person defenseless against the music.
Myra Scheer, who used to work as Rubell's assistant, says even independent counsel Kenneth Starr would have had difficulty resisting the party atmosphere in Studio 54.
"I'm not saying he would have gotten in," she says. But, she adds, if he had, "Before his mind had a chance to think, his body would react, and all of a sudden he'd be taking off his tie, and then he'd be taking off his shirt, and then he'd be taking off..."
That party ended in 1980 when Rubell and Shrager were accused of tax evasion. Rubell died in 1989.
Says Scheer, "I worked there, and I'd go there every night, but there is something about getting through the mob, and the doors opening, and every night was exciting. I mean, you got a rush. It was never a dull moment."