VENUE & FESTIVAL UPDATES (Click on More to view all articles): Kroenke Sports Buys Paramount Theatre

Denver-based Kroenke Sports, owner of the Pepsi Center, has purchased the lease of the Paramount Theatre from owner Randall Ship. The lease runs through 2026. House of Blues, Paramount's primary booker, will continue in that role, at least through 2005 when its contract expires.

"We're very excited about getting involved in the Paramount Theatre for the next 20 years-plus," said David Ehrlich, executive vice president of Kroenke Sports in the Rocky Mountain News, which also owns the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and the Universal Lending CityLights Pavilion amphitheater next to the Pepsi Center.

"This is a wonderful building and a wonderful opportunity to expand our reach into downtown," Ehrlich said. "I think it is a win-win for everybody."

Kroenke Sports will launch a decade-long renovation effort. First on tap for the 62-year-old building is a new air-conditioning system and roof repairs.

"We're really going to polish this gem," Ehrlich said. "It's an old, beautiful historic building and it needs some work. But we don't have a dollar amount yet. But we're committed to restoring it to its former glory."

Ehrlich said both CityLights Pavilion and the Paramount will remain open. Paramount owner Randall Ship was trying to get an ordinance to keep the 5,500-seat amphitheater from being built, claiming it would take business away from the theater and ultimately force it to close (CelebrityAccess, April 16).

Ehrlich says the Paramount has been booked "so well by the House of Blues," but it also has its own charitable foundation "and we may increase the charitable bookings ourselves by booking at the Paramount. As we say, we're afraid of the dark. We don't like dark nights in our buildings."

Latin Nites At The Apollo Launches

The 2002 Latin Nites at the Apollo Concert Series at Harlem's Apollo Theater kicked off on July 12 with Latin rock band La Ley. The series of 10 concerts, promoted by Martinez, Morello and Associates, runs through December 13. Other scheduled artists include Lupin Rivera, which will be the first Mexican artist to headline the Apollo, Olga Tannin and Palo Monitor.

Joe's Pub Up For Two Citysearch Best Of Awards

New York City's Joe's Pub is up for two Best of Citysearch 2002 New York Awards. Joe's Pub has been nominated in the Best Venue and Best Theater To Catch Rising Stars categories. Other Big Apple spots up for Best Venue are B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, Bowery Ballroom, Irving Plaza, Tonic, Mercury Lounge, Joe's Pub, Seaport Music Cruises, Roseland Ballroom, North Six, S.O.B.'s, Metropolitan Opera House, Bryant Park, Back Fence, Cafe Wha?, Jazz at the Cajun, Madison Square Garden, Blue Note, Session 73, Brandy's Piano Bar and Butta Cup Lounge.

Other nominees for the Best Theater To Catch Rising Stars award are Fez, Amateur Night at the Apollo, Greenwich House Theater, Comedy Cellar, PSNBC, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Village Theater and La Mama La Galleria.

Marketing Services Tapped To Sell Richmond Convention Center Naming Rights

Marketing Services, a division of Global Spectrum, the management firm for the Greater Richmond (VA) Convention Center, has been awarded a contract by the Greater Richmond Convention Center Authority to sell naming rights, advertising opportunities and vending arrangements at the newly expanded convention center. The facility is undergoing a $165 million expansion project that when completed early next year will include 700,000 square feet of space, including 180,000 square feet of exhibition space and a 29,000 square foot grand ballroom.

Ordway Center Gets New President/CEO

David Galligan has been named president/CEO of the Ordway Center in Saint Paul, MN, replacing Kevin McCollum. Galligan spent 17 years as the Walker Art Center's administrative director.

In February, McCollum, a producer of the Broadway hit "Rent," publicized his intent to step down from the top post and remain as "artistic producer."