When I was a teenager bopping away in Dublin's Apartment back in 1977, Studio 54 in Midtown Manhattan seemed liked a distant disco galaxy far, far away. But by the time I reached New York in 1981, it had closed and re-opened under new management. Its star was fading rapidly. I walked by the door and wondered what it must have been like to be there when being there really seemed to matter.

Like so many great things, Studio 54 enjoyed a comet-like rise and rapid decline. I'd read and heard many stories, retold over the years, but this quite remarkable documentary pretty much ties all the knots together to tell a compelling story that bounces ambition off greed, while rubbing shoulders with the rich, famous and even the odd genuine talent such as Michael Jackson.

Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager were the visionaries behind the nightclub, a couple of college pals who, for a while in the late 1970s, seemed to have the entire population of New York clamouring to get inside Studio 54.

Mixing interviews with an admirably candid Schrager (Rubell died in 1989) and other Studio insiders instead of taking the lazy option by using celebs, this film offers a fascinating and illuminating insight into what happened, as well as the how and why.

While there's plenty for ageing disco dancers such as myself to enjoy, anyone with a sense of rhythm who was either too young or not even born when Studio 54 was in its prime will not be disappointed. From gays to gangsters to the greatest of good times, it's all here.

The historical footage is remarkable, and you can really get a feel for the venue – not just in terms of its vibe of freedom, expression and casual sex, but also in terms of the sheer audacity and scale of the venue, a former theatre and TV studio.

Considering what would've been available elsewhere, even in New York City, it was a truly unique nightspot.

Besides, any film that justifiably features Candi Staton's Young Hearts Run Free has an awful lot going for it.

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