Variety Playhouse

Thursday, July 21, 2016

In the Fall of 2015, one of my favorite music venues here in town, Variety Playhouse, was sold by its former owner Steve Harris (who opened Variety in 1990 in a space that was previously the Little Five Points neighborhood's original movie theater) to Agon Sports and Entertainment. Agon, which also owns the Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA, immediately announced plans for a complete overhaul of the space, tapping architecture firm Perkins+Will for their expertise with the $1 million renovation project. Redesign details published in the AJC include:

  • Both bars will be expanded. The downstairs bar will receive an opening to allow fans waiting in line to see through to the stage, while the upstairs watering hole will grow longer, with room for two or three bartenders instead of the usual single soul.
  • A side bar that is never active will become the new merchandise area.
  • The flooring near the front of the stage will be dug down about a foot and a half to even out what is frequently the “standing room” or “dance floor” area so that patrons seated in the middle of the theater can view the stage unobstructed.
  • The permanent seats — about 300 downstairs — will be replaced with movie-theater-style chairs similar to what is currently in place. And yes, those plastic seats trotted out and placed in the wings for fully seated shows will be swapped out for something more visually appealing.
  • The balcony seats, which are newer, will remain in their current state. The balcony will also be moved forward slightly, and more air conditioning will be installed upstairs and in the lobby.

I'm on the email newsletter list for Variety Playhouse and have been looking forward to receiving the posts with photos of the interior's transformation process.....  Check out below the progress. Variety Playhouse is due to be back open in the Fall, with Tycho scheduled to play on September 28th.

*Images Variety Playhouse

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