The historic Agora Theatre and Ballroom in Cleveland is now being run by AEG Presents, another step in the company’s efforts to acquire iconic venues in major music markets across the U.S.
The deal means AEG has in its portfolio more than 60 theaters and clubs. AEG Presents plans to restore the Agora – which opened in 1966 – to the glory of its heyday as well as upgrade acoustics, lighting and sound systems, hospitality spaces, dressing rooms and guest amenities.
The Agora is a 2,600-capacity facility that has hosted some legendary names in music over the years: Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and The Clash, according to Cleveland.com. The Agora became a national chain of clubs for a short time, with its flagship in Cleveland. In 1968, the venue opened the nation’s first in-house recording studio that produced live albums.
Cleveland itself is long known for its musical roots. The city, after all, is home to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
“Given its history and the litany of legendary acts that have played the room, the Agora has been the heart and soul of Cleveland’s live music scene for the past 50 years,” said Shawn Trell, AEG Presents COO. “It’s a truly unique concert venue and we look forward to bringing a wide array of artists to the live music loving city of Cleveland.”
Located in downtown Cleveland, the Agora Theatre was founded by legendary club operator Henry “Hank” LoConti Sr. He was a driving force in the early rise of rock ‘n’ roll, the AEG statement said. Duran Duran and ZZ Top performed at the Agora in the 80s.
“The opportunity to work with AEG Presents and to have them enter the Cleveland music scene is significant,” said Agora operator Chris Zitterbart. “They represent the best of having not only the resources necessary to grow the business, but because they also remain independently and privately owned they can afford to be patient and do things the right way. That combination bodes well for the future of the Agora Theatre and the types of shows they will bring to this market.”
The Agora’s calendar is pretty booked with shows, from the Shins July 29 to Stabbing Westward Aug. 16. Click here for more information on the theatre, ballroom and upcoming concerts.
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