After more than a year of speculation, the Echo's Mitchell Frank has confirmed the acquisition of a new venue -- the Regent Theatre in downtown Los Angeles' historic core.
Frank, whose concert-promotion company Spaceland Productions began hosting events in 1993 at the club now operating independently as the Satellite, said in an open letter that his company had signed a long-term lease on the Main Street space, which he plans to run as the Regent Theatre DTLA, and adapt into a live entertainment venue and restaurant. The letter includes a list of permit requests, among them a planned capacity of 1,289; full liquor license and operating hours of 8 a.m. to 4 a.m., which suggests a broad mix of hospitality and entertainment.
The Regent joins Frank's portfolio of restaurants, bars and music venues, including the Echo and Echoplex, contemporary Mexican restaurants Malo and Mas Malo, the latter a few blocks from the Regent, and Echo Park's El Prado beer and wine bar (all of which he co-owns with business partner Jeff Ellermeyer, save for the Regent). The Regent, once an adult movie theater, has officially been closed since 2000, but it has occasionally opened as a pop-up venue for art shows, movie screenings and as a record store. However, the Regent could profoundly affect downtown's nightlife culture in its new incarnation.
[For the record 2:06 p.m., Feb.2: An earlier version of this post listed Jeff Ellermeyer as co-owner of The Regent. Ellermeyer partnered with Frank at his other venues, but not The Regent.]
Frank indicated in 2010 that, after splitting with his former home venue, he was interested in an electronica and DJ-focused club. "Live indie rock music isn’t going to make anyone much money today. Bands need to get paid," he said in a 2010 interview. "But by us being able to have this new space and focus on the coming wave of dance music, and what we’ve seen with DJs and indie rock converging, people today want to shake a leg."
Frank will host a public meeting at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Regent to talk about the future of the space and take comments from locals. The full letter is below, after the jump.