With an eye toward a national branding of nightclubs, John Lyons and Steve Adelman will reopen the Hollywood Palace next week as the Avalon and Gotham’s Limelight as Avalon New York on Saturday. They already own and operate the Avalon nightclub in Boston.
The former Palace will continue to be operated as a dance club and a concert venue, unlike the New York and Boston operations. Brit rock act Stereophonics will inaugurate the venue Monday, kicking off a week of concerts by Lisa Marie Presley, Liz Phair, Spearhead, Hot Hot Heat, David Crowder and Cake.
Clear Channel Entertainment is the exclusive concert promoter for the venue and Eric Herz is the booker.
“In every major city you go to there are three or four nightclubs the size of (the Palace), but in L.A. there’s only one,” Lyons said.
The Palace, on Vine just north of Hollywood Boulevard, was built in 1927 as a vaudeville hall. It’s been gutted to make better use of the space and improve the sound.
Lyons revamped the box office area in the entryway, redid the bathrooms and created a “townhouse” setup for dressing rooms on various floors in the back of the venue. While much has been removed, Lyons did leave a spiral staircase and an engraved shower tile that Jerry Lewis had installed when he did his TV show out of the building.
The main floor of the venue has been opened up by tucking bars into corners rather than in the middle of the venue and a permanent DJ booth has been added to the front of the room. Opera boxes have been repositioned to provide better sightlines.
In the balcony, air conditioning duct work has been removed and Lyons will be upholstering the seatless rows to create sectioned-off couches. The back of the balcony will feature cabanas.
In both the New York and L.A. venues, Lyons and Adelman will run a separate nightspot, the Spider Club, that in L.A. is a combination of an interior courtyard and a third level bar that was formerly used mostly for artist meet-and-greets after shows. Lyons expects to maintain the capacity of 1,450.
Lyons, a sound engineer who also oversees a line of loudspeakers, has installed yards of soundproofing material in the ceiling and across surfaces.
Avalon is the third Hollywood venue to get a makeover in recent years. Thaddeus Smith, Marco Roy and Burt Nelson redid the Henry Fonda-Music Box Theater last year and have reopened it as a concert venue; the Pantages Theater was spruced up prior to “The Lion King” moving in back in 2000.