Club Spaceland, the vision of owner Mitchell Frank, opened on March 3, 1995.
"I wanted a local place for musicians and artists around the neighborhood to come and hang out and hear good music," Frank says. "I wanted a local place where bands could play, uninhibited from the Sunset Strip."
What Frank ended up with is one of the best venues in the city. Spaceland, connected to an auto-repair store, has a vintage feel like taking a time machine back to the early days of underground rock ’n’ roll.
Inside, the club takes on a mystical vibe. From the doors, Spaceland is seen in its entirety. To the right is the stage, to the left is a bar and in the back is a lounge, with another bar, where patrons can unwind. Alcohol flows so all customers can relax and have a drink at this 21-and-up venue. The lights are dim so the atmosphere feels lo-fi, old and smoky, like something out of a Strokes video. The main highlight, though, is watching a show here.
"I think this is the way to go, it’s really cool," says David Callier of Long Beach. "There’s just a better atmosphere. [Of] every concert I’ve ever been to it seems the smaller venues are always the better venues."
Jet, Foo Fighters and The White Stripes all played some of their first shows at Spaceland, and Frank hopes to continue this trend of having up-and-coming bands play at Spaceland by holding a free show every Monday night.
"Monday night is our resident night," Frank says of the tradition that’s been going on since 1995. "Each month, we have the same band play every Monday." The Lovemakers, Spaceland’s March resident, will be followed by The Mae Shi in April.
Frank says "resident night" helps promote local music and often helps boost a band’s career.
Wyatt Hall of Whittier’s The Colour says clubs like Spaceland are good for local bands because there is always a fan base that comes to the shows. "Smaller venues give you a chance to be intimate with your fans," Hall says. "The vibe in smaller venues is better because in bigger [venues] you’re just disconnected from your audience."
Hall says if clubs and smaller halls were to become extinct, there would be drastic changes in the local music scene.
"We prefer to play smaller venues, if they weren’t around anymore it would be terrible," he says.
With the impending doom of New York’s CBGB – the owner has until August to pay $91,000 in back-rent or the doors will close forever – it’s a breath of fresh air for Spaceland to be celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month.
"I feel for little venues and I hope that they can straighten everything out and continue on," Frank says. "Bands need the small venues, I mean, where else are they going to play?"
Club Spaceland is open seven days a week. Tickets are available at the door or online at www.Ticketweb.com. The box office opens between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. daily depending on the show. Valet parking is available. For more information, visit www.clubspaceland.com or call (213) 883-2843.