Ventura County’s Majestic Ventura Theater will join Live Nation’s Clubs & Theatres national portfolio of exclusively booked properties, the promoter and venue operator announced Thursday.
“Ventura and The Majestic Ventura Theater were the next logical move for us in SoCal,” Live Nation Clubs & Theatres division COO Ben Weeden said in a press release. “The theatre’s team has done a great job with a beloved venue, and we’re excited to be working with them to help grow that property’s remarkable history.”
Echoing Weeden’s enthusiasm, theater owner Robert Antonini said, “This agreement with Live Nation will enhance concertgoers’ musical entertainment choices at The Majestic, while growing Ventura as a competitive music market by attracting shows that would normally bypass Ventura.”
Built in 1927 in the Mission Revival architectural style, the 1,200-capacity venue originally operated as an opulent, Depression-era movie theater. Ventura declared it a city landmark in 1976, and a decade later the venue was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
“We’ve come a long way from organ solos,” said Weeden, referencing the venue’s past. “The Majestic is an amazing venue with an extraordinary history. Its future is going to be even brighter.”
The venue’s new era follows a recent hardship. Late last year, Southern California’s Thomas fire encroached on the theater, coming within two blocks it and forcing the postponement of many December events.
“We have been completely devastated from this fire and terrible lingering smoke, but we will get through it,” the Majestic Ventura Theatre’s Roni Osmer told Pollstar at the time. The venue did that and more, serving as a community hub for donations to victims of the fire. Among the initiatives the theater led were a toy and stocking stuffer drive — held in conjunction with a Holiday Sing-A-Long three days before Christmas — and a sock drive, where the venue partnered with the nonprofit 805Arise and asked attendees of a Chicano Batman show to bring unopened socks with them to the gig.
Under the stewardship of Live Nation, the venue seems poised for more the prosperous times to which Weeden alluded. In an interview published today, President of Live Nation Clubs & Theatres Ron Bension discussed his division’s rapidly expanding portfolio with Pollstar.
“To give you some perspective, in the last year alone, we’ve added 10 venues, which is just an incredible number,” he said. “I think we’ve kind of reinvented the service aspect of this business. We really have focused our energies on not only building the best-in-class venues but providing the best-in-class fan and band service.”
Bension also spoke to how Live Nation teams with established venues. “Sometimes we partner,” he said. “Live Nation as a whole is known for partnering with the local experts, whether a festival or a club.”