Venue History

Studio 54

As soon as you enter the lobby of famed Studio 54, you’re surrounded by the theatre’s long history of glamour and glitz. Inside, you’ll find a 1,015-seat theatre, capable of transforming from a traditional theatre to one with cabaret-style seating—the only house if its kind on Broadway.
Originally built as the Gallo Opera House, the theatre opened in 1927 with a production of La Boheme. After financial difficulty with the opera, impresario Fortune Gallo soon turned to producing nonmusical shows such as Electra, featuring Antoinette Perry (for whom the Tony Awards are named). But after continued failures, the theatre gained a reputation for bad luck and was sold in foreclosure shortly after the stock market crash of 1929. It changed hands and names many times, eventually becoming the home to CBS radio and television broadcasts like "The Jack Paar Show," "The Jack Benny Show," "The Johnny Carson Show" and "Captain Kangaroo."
In the late 1970s, the space was sold and transformed into the nightclub Studio 54, one of the most famed discos of all time. The club was closed in 1986, and except for a few rock concerts in the late '80's, the space was largely neglected until 1998 when Roundabout discovered this jewel in the rough. The funky, decadent space was perfectly suited for RTC’s gritty production of Cabaret, which ran for six years and won four Tonys.
With a groundbreaking commitment from the City of New York and the New York City Council, Roundabout was able to purchase Studio 54 in 2003 as its new home for musicals and large-scale productions. The first show under Roundabout's ownership was Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, which opened to great acclaim and went on to win five Tony Awards in 2004, including Best Revival of a Musical.