April 18, 2013

Portland music venues become a duet

State Theatre is acquiring Port City Music Hall with plans for renovations and more local music shows.

By Randy Billings rbillings@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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The State Theatre, with a capacity of 1,450, tends to draw more well-known performers while Port City Music Hall, right, a few blocks away on Congress Street, features up-and-coming acts in a more intimate space.

Photos by Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

The new ownership will be good for Portland's music scene, said Nick Rosenblum, events programmer for Space Gallery, a smaller venue on Congress Street that features music by local and regional bands and puts on art shows and other events.

Space Gallery and the State Theatre occasionally co-sponsor shows. Rosenblum said he is not worried about added competition, especially because Space Gallery books different types of bands.

"(Wayne) is aware of a lot of touring bands and she can help feed the right shows to the right venues," he said. "In a town like Portland's size, I think it's great when venues and promoters can work together."

Port City Music Hall, which opened in 2009, is one of the few venues in Portland with after-hours dancing. It can stay open until 3 a.m., although alcohol cannot be served after 1 a.m. so it offers an alcohol-free place to socialize after other bars close.

City code limits after-hours events at each venue to two a month, but Port City Music Hall is not subject to the limit because it applied for its license before the council enacted the limit last year, said City Clerk Katherine Jones.

Jones said there have been no issues with the after-hours operation at Port City Music Hall, but the city's staff is reviewing whether its exemption from the monthly limit will be transferred to the new owner.

Evon said he put on only about a dozen after-hour shows, only one of which made money. Wayne said after-hours events will not be a big a part of the future business plan.

Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

rbillings@pressherald.com

Twitter: @randybillings

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