CLEVELAND (CelebrityAccess) — AEG Presents has sealed a deal with Chris Zitterbart to acquire the operating rights to the historic Agora Theatre and Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio.
The acquisition adds the Agora to its portfolio of over 60 theaters and clubs and expands the company's presence in the Cleveland live entertainment market.
“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. 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,” says Shawn Trell, Chief Operating Officer of AEG Presents.
Located in downtown Cleveland, the Agora includes a 2,000-capacity theater as well as a 600 capacity ballroom. The Agora was launched by legendary club operator Henry “Hank” LoConti Sr., who played a key role in the development of the rise of rock ‘n’ roll and during the 1960s and 1970s, the Agora provided a stage for including such icons as Bruce Springsteen, U2, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, The Clash, Duran Duran and ZZ Top among other. The current Agora Theater, which was renamed in 1986, and is the third venue in Cleveland to bear the name, was originally known as the Metropolitan Theater when it first opened in 1916.
LoConti, who passed away in 2014 after a battle with lymphoma, passed control of the Agora via donation to MidTown Cleveland Inc., a nonprofit organization, and the venue has been operated by Zitterbart for the past 4 years.
“The opportunity to work with AEG Presents and to have them enter the Cleveland music scene is significant. 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,” says Chris Zitterbart