The building had been around since 1927 and it was originally a theater and then CBS ran a radio show out of there then it turned into a television studio for them. The studio was purchased by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager (college roommates from Syracuse University), in 1977 in order to create a nightclub.
A lot of people don't know that the heyday of Studio 54 only lasted 33 months. The FBI raided their facilities and both men were arrested for tax evasion. Another man purchased it from them in 1980 (disco was fading), and it had moderate success so he sold it in 1984 and it's been used as a theater ever since.
I find it amazing that a nightclub was so good that it's remembered by so many people especially considering it wasn't around that long. Even though the owners went down for tax evasion, what they created is amazing. What other nightclub do you know of that has had this kind of recognition around the world? When you have people coming from Paris who wanted to make sure they caught a Broadway play and visited Studio 54, that's quite amazing.