The Agora Theatre wore its history on its walls — in torn show posters, cracked two-tone columns and decades of grime kicked up in the mosh pit. Now the venue, which has been in its Euclid Avenue spot since 1986, has a new look courtesy AEG Presents. The LA-based live entertainment company bought the Agora’s operating rights in 2017 and spent $3 million on renovations. Today, the historic charm that attracted groups such as U2 and the Black Keys is paired with a new sound system and polished facilities. Spot these updates the next time you stake out the front row.
The Bars: Guests can sip libations at four bars across the Agora. Under gold chandeliers, an expanded black-paneled bar is the new lobby’s hub. Two marble-detailed bars add elegant symmetry and improved functionality to the concert hall. “That improves the patron experience by being able to remain in the theater and have easier access to the offerings of the bars,” says Shawn Trell, AEG Presents’ executive vice president and chief operating officer.
The Mezzanine: This section sports updated lighting and refurbished aisles, plus 564 royal blue seats that look luxe but still have great sightlines. “It was in horrible shape: the seats, the areas between the seats and the aisleways,” says Trell. “In order to make that a viable part of the room, it was necessary to have appropriate seating for patrons [that was] comfortable, clean and safe.” The section also enjoys the benefits of the state-of-the-art Adamson IS10 sound system.
The Entryway: Ceramic tiles handmade for the lobby in 1913 by Boston’s Grueby Faience Co. were found under the flooring and on the walls. Teal, peach and midnight blue, the tiling now lines the entry hallway in a bright hello. The blue inspired the lobby’s new deep color and ties together the rest of the decor. “When we saw that, we shifted gears and recognized that as something we really needed to restore,” says Trell.