Galaxy Theatre Returns

When Galaxy Concert Theatre owner Gary Folgner was forced to shutter the Santa Ana, Calif., venue last February after 12 years because he lost his lease, he was optimistic he’d find a new location. His wish came true in an unexpected way.

Folgner, who also owns The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, and staff re-opened the nightclub mid-March at its original location after the previous tenant ran into financial trouble, according to Galaxy GM Lila Sadeghi.

“The people that came in and offered $50,000 [a month to lease] never opened the venue back up and it had been almost a year. They tore the building apart but didn’t … remodel,” Sadeghi told Pollstar. “They were basically in a rut on whether they could get more money to fund what they were looking at doing. It just didn’t happen.

“So the landlord came back to Gary and they discussed what they could do.”

Sadeghi said once the two men struck a deal on the remodeling and lease, it took only two or three months to turn the building around from its demolished state. Working with the city on business licensing and other details was also a priority.

The result is a now-750-capacity nightclub that officially reopened March 21 and continues its tradition of hosting local and national acts on a regular basis. Plans to add R&B, blues, comedy and other genres are in the works.

National acts scheduled to perform through mid-August are Adler’s Appetite, The Tubes, English Beat, Leon Russell, Kings X, De La Soul, Marc Cohn and Warrant.
A new amenity is that the upstairs area, previously 21-and-over VIP rooms, was opened up during the remodel. It’s now available for dinner seating, private parties up to 150 or general show seating when needed.

And the old vibe that fans and bands know and love remains.

“The bands love coming to the Galaxy. It’s somewhere that’s not corporate,” Sadeghi said. “We get e-mails and MySpace [messages from] the fans that used to come to the Galaxy saying they’re so excited the venue reopened.

“We’re really, really happy we got the venue back.”