Death to the Chelsea, long live the Chelsea!
The Cosmopolitan is finally going to build a permanent venue for concerts and other spectator events, according to a report from Associated Press. The three-story, 3,000-capacity, 65,000 50,000-square foot theater will be called The Chelsea, and it will be heavily conceptualized. "Imagine a glass factory in Czechoslovakia, and then you drop into that a working theater set," Cosmo CEO John Unwin told AP of the interior design.
Construction on the dormant space is slated to begin in March, its lofty funding secured some three years after the theater was initially dreamed up. UPDATE: The project, which will be located on the third floor near the property's West Tower and also be used in accordance with conventions and conferences, is scheduled to open by year's end.
We hope this means that the makeshift venue the Cosmo currently uses for indoor concerts, the Chelsea Ballroom, will darken its stage and no longer draw the ire of Vegas concertgoers. While we've seen a few noteworthy shows in the 4,000-capacity room — The Black Keys, Morrissey and Adele come to mind, along with a "live" set from Deadmau5 — it's no more than a big-box convention space with a stage and, at one point, bleachers reminiscent of high school football games. Frankly, it's beneath the poshness and style of the rest of the property.
During our last visit there — the first of two New Year's weekend shows headlined by The Killers — the bleachers were swapped out for two large, obtrusive VIP sections that nonetheless crowded the general admission area, creating an hourglass-like floorspace that made mobility extremely difficult. We'll be happy to see the ballroom renamed, and have a new place to see the high-quality bands the Cosmo is known for booking.
The Cosmopolitan established itself early on as a live-music Mecca on the Strip, thanks to its partnership with festival/concert promoter C3 Presents. Its other large music-venue option, the popular, outdoor Boulevard Pool, also has a capacity of about 3,000. The casino lounge known as Book and Stage once scheduled festival-friendly rock, pop and soul acts to mini-residencies, but last year began limiting its programming to holidays and special events.