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Once Neglected Metropolitan Opera House To Open With Bob Dylan
Philadelphia's once decades unused and almost demolished Metropolitan Opera House, also known as "the Met," is opening again after undergoing renovations. Bob Dylan has been announced as its first musical performance Dec 3., with eclectic shows to follow.
The 10-time GRAMMY-winning artist will kick off the performance schedule for the venue which has been under construction for roughly two years, with his band. GRAMMY-winners Weezer, GRAMMY-nominated Charlie Wilson and PnB Rock are other musical performers helping bring the Met back to life later in December. The Met will be a Live Nation venue, with a lineup aimed at drawing diverse crowds.
"We want everybody to come," local Live Nation chief Gordon said in a press conference Sept. 9. "That's why PnB Rock is on there, that's why [old-school R&B singer] Charlie Wilson is on there. That's why the comedy is on there."
The restoration cost $56 million, so far, and will make the Met a "a fusion of signature entertainment, remarkable food, and unparalleled VIP guest experiences,” Live Nation said in a statement. In released renderings, the venue features a red carpet, purple curtains and an open, art deco inspired gold ceiling.
— The Met Philly (@themetphilly) September 10, 2018
When the venue, which sits on 858 N. Broad, opened in 1908, it sat about 4,000 people. In the past, it has been used as a movie theatre, basketball and boxing venue and a church. It is Philadelphia's largest performance stage.
The venue's most recent occupant is the Holy Ghost Headquarters Church, which partly owns the venue along with developer Eric Blumenfeld and will continue services there. Church Rev. Mark Hatcher reminisced about the venue's once planned knock down during the press conference.
"I told Councilman Clarke 21 years ago," Hatcher said. "You can't tear this historic building down. It means a lot to the neighborhood, it means a lot to the City of Philadelphia. That building had a plan and a purpose."
Tickets to see Bob Dylan open the majestic theatre go on sale Sept. 14.