Unfortunately, the party would end in 1979 because co-owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager were found guilty of tax evasion. The club did re-open in 1980, but many people felt that the magic was gone. By 1986 Studio 54 closed it's doors again because of problems with lawsuits and drugs. In 1985, Rubell, who was closeted for most of his life,discovered he had AIDS and began taking AZT, but continued taking drugs and drinking, which, according to a published biography, furthered his illness and affected his already compromised immune system. He died on July 25, 1989, aged 45, with the official cause of death listed as hepatitis.
Most of the magic of Studio 54 left with Steve Rubell. He was the genius behind all the glitz and glamour and created the most memorable and exclusive nightclub ever. In 1998, a movie about Studio 54 and Steve was released, chronicling the rise and fall of Studio 54 with all it's drugs, hedonism and glamour.