Roseland Ballroom Closing in April 2014
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Photo: Global Graphica
The late breaking news last night was that midtown music standby Roseland Ballroom is set to close next spring. April, in fact. Billboard Magazine broke the story after getting its hands on an internal email, though no official word has been announced yet.
The iconic 3,500-seat venue is owned by developer Larry Ginsberg, with booking duties handled by Live Nation. Before becoming a performance space in 1958, the building operated as a skating rink. However, Roseland actually began life in 1919 just a few blocks away at 51st and Broadway.
Evolving from ballroom dancing in the ‘20s to popular music, Roseland has for years been a favored New York play for a wide range of bands from the early days of rock, through disco, grunge, modern rock, jam, pop, urban and EDM. The venue found a new gear with a $1 million production/rigging renovation in the early ‘90s, funded by Ginsberg, which led to more high profile bookings of multiple dates on bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, and other hot acts when competition in that cap range was not as fierce.
Author Ray Waddell posits that the decision to close Roseland Ballroom probably has more to do with property values than the bottom line of the club. After all, there’s always a steady stream of A-list talent playing the space. We can likely expect the spot to sprout a huge tower in concert with its surroundings.