Westbury is now home to a concert and special events venue that aspires to draw popular acts from across the world. The Space at Westbury, on 250 Post Avenue, will host a formal ribbon cutting on Tuesday, Sept. 17, where officials will introduce the brand new concert hall and ballroom to the public.
The venue is partnered with Bowery Presents, a leading live entertainment promoter in the Northeast, who will book approximately 100 shows annually, according to Bruce Michael, the venue’s executive director.
Concerts have already been scheduled, including a performance by the Fountains of Wayne and Soul Asylum, including special guest Evan Dando on Friday, Oct. 4.
While the venue is new, the building itself has a rich history, beginning in 1927, when it opened as the Westbury Movie Theatre. It remained a popular facility until the 1970s, until attendance decreased dramatically. “It really became very, very delapitated, and ultimately closed down,” said Michael.
The building’s current owner, Cyrus Hakakian, was planning to tear down the building and turn it into retail. But when examining the building’s interior, Michael said Hakakian had a change of heart. “He was so impressed with the majesty of this building,” Michael said.
Hakakian, with his partner, Lowe Properties, with whom who gutted the building and created the multipurpose concert hall.
The project went full force in early 2012, which is when Michael was brought on board. In addition to live entertainment, the space will also host fundraisers, corporate events, weddings, and Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, said Michael. A Persian singer named Ebi is also set to play there on Oct. 19.
Michael formerly worked as a creative producer for the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall from 1989 to 2005. He often worked with Jim Glancy, who was a president of Live Nation's New York Division. He later left Live Nation and became a partner at Bowery Presents.
Michael said Glancy was the first person he brought into the revamped Westbury ballroom in July, and following negotiations, a partnership was formed. It will be the Long Island debut for Bowery Presents, which typically books shows in Manhattan venues, such as the Bowery Ballroom, Terminal 5 or Webster Hall.