BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – A new music venue is coming to the old Woodlawn Theatre, and the people behind it hope it will be a place for both entertainment and education.
Mason Music is recently purchased the historic theatre, and owner Will Mason says demolition will begin next week as they work on transforming the building. On one side, it’ll feature a live music venue with a bar and a stage where bands can perform. They’ll keep the name Woodlawn Theatre. The other will be a new branch of the Mason Music School, which offers musical instruction.
“It’s always been a dream of ours to have our own live music venue so that we can have a performance place for our students to be but also to book and host concerts for touring bands and local artists, as well,” Mason said.
The music venue will seat about 250 people, and Mason hopes to attract a diverse group of genres and musical artists. The atmosphere could range anywhere from lively to laid-back, depending on the show.
“We just want people to have fun here, be excited to be here,” Mason said. “But we’ll have some shows that are more chill and more relaxed and more intimate. I can see this being a great venue for a larger artist who’s doing an acoustic tour to come through and play.”
The other half of the building will be part of the Mason Music School. It already serves about 950 students per week in its five other locations. Mason says the new location will serve 150-200 more students, offering instruction in piano, guitar, voice, drums and violin. He says it’s important for kids to have access to musical education.
“There’s so many developmental benefits, as well, in terms of just learning: learning discipline, learning practice, learning how to stick with something, he said. “Kids who don’t have access to that are really missing out on something.”
Mason expects construction on the new facility to be complete by the spring of 2020.