Cleveland's iconic Agora Theater gets a new owner

New ownership at Cleveland's Agora Theater

CLEVELAND - Ian Hunter sang the anthem “Cleveland Rocks” at the Agora back in 1979 when a ticket cost just $5.

Over the years, the acts to follow included Metallica, Bob Marley, the Smashing Pumpkins, and even Justin Timberlake.

Last year, the theater turned 50 and now, owners are thinking about the next 50 years.

On Friday, former owner Chris Zitterbart announced a deal was reached with LA-based AEG to take over the venue. Zitterbart will remain onboard as an employee of the company.

AEG is the country’s second-largest concert management group, responsible for the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It has also brought Taylor Swift to Cleveland and will bring acts such as Roger Waters and the “Tim and Faith” tour later this summer.

“To get us to the point where we can truly be that iconic rock and roll room again, this is going to get us there--I feel very confident about that,” Zitterbart said Friday.

“This venue will have a bigger and better future than it would have otherwise had because of its association,” said Shawn Trell, AEG. “I’m sure of that.”

Trell said the company plans to keep the Agora name and make a 7-figure investment in the property which will improve the experience for those in the crowd and onstage.

“With an appreciation and a sensitivity to what this room has been, what its legacy is,” he said.

Many music fans in the “Rock and Roll Capital of the World” will be counting on that promise.

The exact terms of the agreement were not released. Trell tells WKYC Channel 3 News the deal was the result of talks that began about ten years ago.

WATCH: We captured the official announcement about the changes at the Agora on WKYC's Facebook Live:

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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