Music lovers have an exciting new space to see live shows in Philly: The Met Philadelphia, which officially opens its doors on North Broad Street on Monday, December 3.
The stunningly renovated Live Nation entertainment complex gets grand-opening treatment that afternoon with a public ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m.
Later that night, legendary song man Bob Dylan performs, breaking in the main stage and ushering in a stellar upcoming lineup of concerts, comedy shows, dance performances and much more.
THE MET PHILADELPHIA FAST FACTS
- The Met Philadelphia opens on December 3 with a performance by Bob Dylan and His Band.
- The Live Nation entertainment complex is located at 858 N. Broad Street.
- The 100,000-square-foot entertainment complex can hold 3,500 people.
- A top-notch roster of artists are on the schedule, including John Legend, Mariah Carey and Meek Mill.
The Met Philadelphia is the latest in a series of exciting renovation projects bringing new life and energy to the North Broad Street corridor. Other notable rehabs in the area include landmark buildings, such as the Studebaker showroom and the oft-Instagrammed Divine Lorraine Hotel, which recently reopened as a swanky apartment building after being shuttered for nearly two decades.
The Met Philadelphia is born again thanks to a massive renovation to the historic Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House, which barely missed a date with a wrecking ball before a developer swooped in with a plan (and $56 million) to return it to its former glory.
The outcome, unveiled for the first time on December 3, is a live entertainment complex capable of putting on all kinds of shows: rowdy concerts, circus-type spectaculars and even boxing matches.
The neoclassical facade has been impeccably restored, with its original arched arcades and flashing signs beckoning visitors into the gleaming lobby, which impresses with slick terrazzo flooring, dazzling chandeliers and columns with gilded lighting fixtures and accents. History buffs can appreciate some of the building’s original accoutrements, such as the Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House crest still embedded in the lobby floor.
The showpiece of The Met Philadelphia, however, is the whopping 100,000-square-foot theater, capable of seating 3,500 people. The expansive room retains its classic opera house feel, with gold-flecked ornamentation adorning the ceiling, walls and columns, and several tiers of seating, including a two-level balcony and prime box seats flanking each side of the orchestra section.
The theater is enhanced with cutting-edge technologies allowing for exciting light shows, crystal-clear sound and smooth sight lines — in other words, ticket-holders can look forward to a good show no matter where they are in the theater.
Brûlée Catering helms the food and drink offerings at The Met Philadelphia, serving up craft beers, wine, specialty cocktails and light bites before each show and at intermission.
There are a total of 12 bars within The Met Philadelphia, including a full-service watering hole in the lobby.
A former ballroom has also been transformed into a luxe gathering area called the Grande Salle, where guests can mingle at the bar or lounge at tables or on plush chairs and couches.
Concert promoter Live Nation has curated an A-list lineup of talent to hit The Met Philadelphia stage over the next year.
Things get started on December 3 with a performance by legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. The next night, on December 4, University of Pennsylvania alum John Legend swings by to share tunes from his soulful new holiday album, A Legendary Christmas.
Other December shows include Weezer (December 12), Ween (December 14), Pentatonix (December 15-16) and Philly’s own Kurt Vile and the Violators on December 29. John Oliver closes out the year with four performances, including two on New Year’s Eve.
The new year sees a wider variety of acts, such as a performance from the cast of Dancing With the Stars (January 26), Philly hip-hop star Meek Mill (March 15-16) and comedians like Jim Gaffigan (February 9) and Trevor Noah (May 3). Pop diva Mariah Carey hits the venue on her latest world tour, Caution, on April 3. And for something more theatrical, Tyler Perry Madea’s Farewell Play tour runs March 20-24.
For the full lineup of shows at The Met Philadelphia, go here.
The Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House was built in 1908 by theatrical entrepreneur Oscar Hammerstein I, grandfather of the American songwriting genius of the same name. In its heyday, the building stunned as the largest theater of its kind in the world, and was especially renowned for its excellent acoustics.
The Philadelphia Opera Company and several other similar outfits got the chance to perform there through the 1920s, but the decline of North Philadelphia and Hammerstein’s financial troubles left the venue flip-flopping between owners and the types of shows it offered. Throughout the ’30s and ’40s, it was used as a movie theater and even a sports complex for boxing, wrestling and basketball.
In the 1950s, it became a church and The Philadelphia Orchestra rented it out to record some of its albums there. From there, the opera house continued into a spiral of disrepair. Fires and flooding left it so deteriorated that, in the 1990s, Hollywood producers filmed a scene from Bruce Willis’ post-apocalyptic sci-fi flick 12 Monkeys in the main theater.
Serious talks about renovations began rearing their head in 2017 — and nearly two years later, The Met Philly has found its groove again.
Be sure to snag tickets now to catch one of the first shows at this exciting new space for live music in Philly.