Iconic independent LA venue the Bootleg Theater will close its doors permanently, after more than two decades of operation. Owners said the closure was related to both an “impasse” with the co-owner of the property and the effects of COVID-19.
The venue played host to a huge number of influential artists. To name just a few, Lianne La Havas and Pussy Riot played their first US show there, and John Carpenter and Phoebe Bridgers both played their first live shows there.
Owners took to Instagram to reveal the news, writing: “It is with deep sorrow that we announce the closing of the Bootleg Theater venue. Over the past 20 years we have all created something truly beautiful from scratch. It would have been impossible to do without all of us contributing to the cause. Hopefully we can all carry forward the legacy of the Bootleg, knowing that together we enjoyed tremendous success over the years while remaining fiercely independent.
“Before the pandemic hit, we had reached an impasse of irreconcilable differences with the partner we originally purchased the property with in 1999, despite our earnest efforts to purchase our partner’s share of the real estate.
“The crush of a COVID closure made the situation even more untenable for us. After resisting numerous outside offers to sell out the Bootleg to conglomerates such as Live Nation, we managed to keep the little-engine-that could chugging along. At its core the Bootleg was a place of intimate celebration for the patrons and a safe space for artists to create and express themselves freely at the highest level”
On a more positive note, the venue won’t be being shuttered completely, and The Bootleg will continue to produce shows at other venues and digitally. According to owners, details surrounding a new performance space taking the Theater’s place (“The Old Bootleg Space”) are to come.
Closing the statement, the wonders thanked fans of the venue “for your loyal support through the years and wherever you go, may you carry the Bootleg Theater in your heart.”
Find out more at bootlegtheater.org.