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Spaceland music man to head east - plans 1,300 person club at Regent Theater

By Hayley Fox
Published: Thursday, February 02, 2012, at 09:40AM
via Flickr Sean_Yoda_Rouse

A photo of the Regent Theater from 2009.

From the man who brought you Spaceland, The Echo, the Echoplex and other Echo Park/Silver Lake pursuits, comes the projected Fall 2012 reopening of Main Street's Regent Theater.

The Regent, a former adult movie house that closed in 2000, has been spottily used over the past years for pop-up record shops, film screenings and art shows, but a letter from Mitchell Frank indicates his project will be much more permanent.

The businessman said he's signed a "long-term lease" and is working on an "adaptive reuse" of the space, including using it as a "live entertainment, live music, movie theater, special events venue and restaurant."

The letter, that begins "Hello Neighbor," is part of Frank's effort to gather residents at the theater this Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm, where he will take questions and input, as well as share additional details about his plans for the venue.

The email also includes the specifics of Frank's permit requests, indicating that the club aims to have a full bar, live entertainment and have a total capacity of 1,289 (933 on the ground floor and 356 on a second story balcony). House of operation would be 8:00am to 4:00am.

After the Music Box closed suddenly last month some of their previously booked shows were moved to Downtown locations, including the Orpheum and the Mayan theaters. It's possible that the new Regent Theater could give those venues, and others like Club Nokia a run for their money.

The Regent is not Frank's first Downtown venture. He and his partner in multiple projects, Jeff Ellermeyer, have forged Downtown in recent years with the opening of Más Malo on 7th Street (the sequel to Silver Lake's Malo). Más Malo is located in what used to be an expansive jewelery store, and although the space is now used for the hip Mexican restaurant, the high ceilings and many architectural details preserve a bit of the space's historic charm.

Hopefully, this same delicate combination of old and new will be used in the re-purposing of the Regent. However, Frank and his team have a lot of work to do if they are to hit their self-imposed deadline, namely soundproofing the venue that currently does not have a solid front wall.

Frank says in the letter: "Operating a theater venue and restaurant that is compatible with the neighborhood is something that we take very seriously, so we hope that you and our other neighbors can join us for this meeting."

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