Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Majestic Theatre reopens this week

The curtains will soon be pulled back and a new and improved Majestic Theatre will be debuted. Under new ownership, the theater has been renovated from floor to ceiling.

The theatre had closed earlier this year after the Madison Police Department placed a strict security plan on the Majestic, which was then a hip-hop themed club. MPD chose to intervene after two shootings and one stabbing took place during summer 2006.

"The owners of the Majestic were not forced to close the club, but the enforcement of the new security plan did interfere greatly with their business plan to the point that they decided to voluntarily close," said City Council President Mike Verveer, District 4.

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The Majestic's hiatus was short-lived, however, and the owners are planning to reopen the club at the end of this month.

Scott Leslie, co-owner of the Majestic Theatre, said the changes made to the venue have made it one of the best of its size.

"The interior has been completely overhauled, making it into what I would consider the best midsized club venue in the country," Leslie said.

The renovations cost roughly $250,000, Leslie said, and he and the other co-owners sacrificed nothing when it came to revamping the old facility. The specifics behind this transformation included completely repainting the building and putting in new dressing rooms.

The goal of the makeover, Leslie said, was to turn a "problematic dance club into a great performance venue."

Having invested tremendous time, resources and effort into the project, Leslie and the Majestic's other co-owner Matt Gerding have clearly defined goals for the theater's future.

"On a national level, we want the theater to be recognized as a must-stop venue for touring artists," Leslie said. "On a local level, we want our music to be diverse enough so that we can appeal to everyone."

Leslie also emphasized his desire to get University of Wisconsin students more interested in what the Majestic has to offer.

"While the Majestic might not be located on State Street, we are still directly downtown," Leslie said.

The grand reopening will be on Sept. 29 with a show headlined by Mandy Moore.

Undergoing resurgence from her pop image in 2000, Leslie described Moore's new singer-songwriter image as "a Fiona Apple-Natalie Merchant type."

Opening after Moore will be the popular artist Ben Lee. Tickets are available for $18.

Leslie and Gerding said they are waiting with anticipation for the Majestic's reopening.

"We are really excited to have such household names as Ben Lee and Mandy Moore at our grand opening," Leslie said.

The owners added they are both confident more great artists will play the Majestic Theater in the future.

The Majestic is located at 115 King St., less than one block from the Capitol.

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