January 15, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – The City of New Haven and the local not-for-profit organization New Haven Center For Performing Arts (“NHCPA”) today announced the reopening of the former Palace and Roger Sherman Theatre as the College Street Music Hall (“CSMH”), slated for Spring, 2015. The City of New Haven Building Official issued a building permit in January 2015 and renovations are under way.
Located in the heart of College Street in downtown New Haven’s arts and entertainment district, CSMH joins the scene as the hub for live music performance in New Haven and all of Southern New England. The theater will feature multi-capacity configurations for up to 2000 patrons: general admission concerts with open orchestra level and VIP balcony seating; seated theater shows; cabaret table-style seating; or, a blend thereof. The seating arrangement will be dictated by the type of artist or performance. Programming at CSMH will focus on a wide range of music including Americana, Indie Rock, Classic Rock, Adult Contemporary, Alternative Modern Rock, Country and Neo Soul, as well as Comedy.
The theater is known for its rich lineage. It was built as the Roger Sherman in 1926, on the site of the Rialto movie theater, which burned down in 1921. The Roger Sherman famously held New Haven’s first movie premiere, for “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid,” which was attended by Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Joanne Woodward and Barbra Streisand. The venue was reborn as the Palace Theatre in 1984, operating as such until 2002.
During its heyday, the Palace showcased artists including B.B. King, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blues Traveler, Primus, Phish, The Spin Doctors, Lyle Lovett, Sonic Youth, Bob Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary, Lou Reed, The Black Crowes, Meat Loaf, George Clinton & The P-Funk All-Stars, Tori Amos, Peter Frampton, Fleetwood Mac, They Might Be Giants, Dave Matthews Band, Sheryl Crow, Counting Crows, Run-DMC, Ani DiFranco, Widespread Panic, Fiona Apple, Bob Weir & Ratdog, The Monkees, Robin Williams, Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, Melissa Etheridge, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones and others.
Since the late 1990s the theater has been owned by NHCPA, a 501(c)(3) organization. When an opportunity arose for Premier Concerts to lend financial and managerial support to the NHCPA Board of Directors, Premier Concerts’ President Keith Mahler was happy to join the mix.
“We are extremely pleased that Premier Concerts can be part of the team that is revitalizing the former Palace Theatre and are looking forward to not only the venue’s rebirth but the return of New Haven to its place on the national touring scene,” says Mahler. “We’ve already begun receiving booking queries for College Street Music Hall. And we’re looking forward to working collaboratively with NHCPA’s Board to be able to provide internships and other educational opportunities to local students once we open our doors as College Street Music Hall.”
With the revival of College Street Music Hall also comes the news that local indie concert promoter Manic Productions will be joining forces with Premier Concerts and CSMH. Head of Manic Productions, Mark Nussbaum, will become Premier Concerts’ Senior Talent Buyer, while continuing to promote events throughout Connecticut as Manic Productions.