By: Renee Grant
One of Philly’s historic opera houses along North Broad street is getting a new life. It will become a Live Nation-managed concert venue, set to open in September of 2018.
Originally, the space was built by Oscar Hammerstein in 1908, known as the Metropolitan Opera House. Eric Blumenfeld is tapped to redevelop the block-long building.
“For any historic venue, it takes a while to plan and make sure you restore it in the right way,” says Geoff Gordon, regional president of Live Nation. “Eric has been very careful that the building stayed true to its original form.”
Currently, Live Nation manages several venues in Philadelphia including the Fillmore in Northern Liberties and the Tower Theater in Upper Darby.
“It was an opera house. It was a movie theater. They played basketball on the stage at one point,” Gordon says. “It’s going be pretty remarkable once they complete the renovation. Developer Eric Blumenfeld does A-class work and he’s committed more to this because it’s also a piece of a puzzle of North Broad. It will really make the area light up.”
Blumenfeld is working with several local restaurateurs to bring an array of great food options to the space. “There will definitely be VIP accommodations for those who want that,” Gordon says. There will be separate entrances and parking accommodations, opera boxes and high-end food and beverages for VIPs.
“The story of the Met coming back to life is the story of the growth of Philadelphia in the last decade,” Gordon said. “Philadelphia’s hot right now and Philadelphia is a great music and concert town. We’re just trying to always bring great experiences for people that want to come out and see our shows.”
After hosting the Pope, the DNC and the NFL Draft, it seems he’s right. Philadelphia is making strides to be one of the most popular cities on the East Coast. A new space for great shows is the perfect addition to the North Philly area.