A packed crowd inside the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles — Photo courtesy of Teragram Ballroom
This DTLA concert space is on 7th Street, just blocks from Staples Center and the Microsoft Theater (the former Nokia Theatre), located in a renovated, century-old theater that was once a Hollywood movie palace. But unlike those two massive venues, Teragram Ballroom only holds 600 people in a standing-room-only space.
The brainchild of New York City's Bowery Ballroom/Mercury Lounge team of Michael Swier, Michael Winsch and Brian Swier – along with L.A. business owner Joe Baxley (of Broadway Bar fame) – Teragram Ballroom opened in L.A. in late spring 2015, and it's been packing in crowds ever since.
The new Teragram Ballroom in downtown Los Angeles — Photo courtesy of Teragram Ballroom
"We have reconditioned the space acoustically and gone to great lengths to achieve the highest fidelity in accordance with design methods prescribed by our long-time acoustical consultant, Jim Falconer," says architect and co-owner Swier. "We have added significant mass and insulation to the existing vaulted ceilings and walls to create an ideal listening environment."
The 9,000-square-foot theater – a homage to Swier's late wife Margaret (Teragram is her name spelled backwards.) – offers special features for both artists and audiences: three dressing rooms, a dedicated loading dock, a spacious backstage area, a state-of-the-art sound system, three bars and a restaurant.
Thankfully, there's plenty of room throughout to make the experience a fun one, rather than that of sweaty bodies jammed into a too-small space, all fighting to get the attention of a bartender. Instead, this well-thought-out venue makes one feel as if this is a perfectly planned party space.
One of three bars inside Teragram Ballroom music venue — Photo courtesy of Teragram Ballroom
American rock band Spoon opened the venue in June 2015, with a sold-out show and rave reviews for the theater. Acts that followed have included 1980s favorite Television, with many other alternative bands coming in the next few months, including the Allah-Las, Gary Numan and Boogaloo Assassins.
Parking is at a premium, so expect to pay at least $10 to park in a lot, unless you arrive early enough to snag a street space. Getting there early isn't a bad thing, as drinks at Teragram's bars are surprisingly reasonable, with many going for under $10.
Tickets to shows are available through Ticketmaster or at the door, but the place is already so popular that shows are selling out ahead of time. Be warned that disappointment may occur if you wait to long to get your tickets.
The ballroom currently presents shows most Saturday nights, with other performances scattered throughout the week. The venue isn't open every night, so check their website before you venture to the club.