Mark Fleischman, the Last Impresario of Studio 54, Dies at 82


Mark Fleischman, who presided over the raucous, drug-crazed denouement of the celebrity-studded Manhattan disco Studio 54 within the early Eighties, died on Wednesday in Switzerland. He was 82.

His spouse, Mimi, stated the trigger was assisted suicide.

Since 2016, Mr. Fleishman had been hobbled by an unidentified degenerative illness that ultimately left him unable to stroll or costume himself and impaired his speech. He died in a clinic close to Zurich operated by Dignitas, a nonprofit group that helps individuals affected by terminal diseases or extreme bodily situations finish their lives.

“At 82, I decided, why keep it a secret? I am not afraid of anything. Not even death,” he stated in an interview with The New York Post final month wherein he described his determination to go to Dignitas.

“I am taking a gentle way out,” he stated.

Mr. Fleischman, a hotelier and restaurateur, purchased Studio 54 from its founders, the previous faculty classmates Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, who had alchemized intercourse, medicine and movie star to remodel a former tv studio on West 54th Road right into a legendary disco. They opened it in 1977 and ran it till 1980, once they have been convicted and imprisoned for tax evasion and Mr. Fleischman took over.

“The reality is that I was thoroughly seduced by the idea of controlling the world’s most important nightclub,” Mr. Fleischman wrote in a memoir, “Inside Studio 54” (2017), “and I proceeded headlong and recklessly toward that end.”

“I became the owner of Studio 54 in 1980,” he wrote, “and from the very first night we opened, in 1981, I was swept up in a world of celebrities, drugs, power and sex. Studio 54 was part of a journey that I was meant to take and one that nearly killed me.”

Three years after reopening the disco, with the onset of AIDS and the inflow of crack cocaine, the novelty was carrying skinny and Mr. Fleischman, the self-described “ringleader” of the all-night circus, was worn out. He checked himself into the Betty Ford Heart in Rancho Mirage, Calif., for drug rehab and offered the membership in 1984. (The brand new house owners shuttered it two years later.)

Mark Harvey Fleischman was born on Feb. 1, 1940, in Manhattan and grew up in Nice Neck, on Lengthy Island. His father, Martin, a Romanian immigrant, was a furrier and hotelier. His mom, Sylvia (Zausner) Fleischman, was a homemaker.

Mark was 10 when his mother and father took him to the Copacabana nightclub in Manhattan. “It colored my world forever,” he wrote.

After graduating from Nice Neck Excessive College, he earned a level from Cornell College’s College of Resort Administration in 1962. He served two years within the Navy managing an officers’ membership and, with a mortgage from his father, purchased the Forest Hills Inn, a historic early-Twentieth-century resort in Queens.

He additionally operated the Manhattan eating places A Quiet Little Desk within the Nook and Robata, in addition to ski resorts in Vermont.

Mr. Fleischman later opened Tatou, a supper membership in Manhattan, whose success led him to ascertain branches in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Tokyo and Aspen, Colo.

He subsequently moved to California. He and Daniel Fitzgerald operated the Century Membership (a disco with a number of eating places) in Los Angeles starting within the Nineteen Nineties; later, along with his spouse, he opened quite a few health golf equipment. The couple lived in Marina Del Ray, Calif.

Along with his spouse, Mr. Fleischman is survived by a daughter, Hilary, from his first marriage; two stepchildren, Adam and Juliet; and a grandson. His first marriage, to Laurie Lister, led to divorce.


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