Less than a year after its official opening, Old City nightclub the Catalyst was forced out of business last week by financial pressure and smaller-than-expected crowds.
“While our landlord has been very lenient and many of our shows were well attended, the majority of shows simply underperformed and without substantial financial backing it was impossible to sustain losses lasting more than a couple of weeks,” the club’s talent buyer and promoter Andrea Kerns wrote in an e-mail announcing the closing on Oct. 14.
The Catalyst had hosted a few big-name electronic and dance acts in recent months, including Kid Koala, Mochipet, L.A. Riots, and Sub Swara. Los Angeles big beat duo the Crystal Method and British producer Ott were scheduled to perform this month, as was the local indie-dance-rock band Cold Hands. Kerns’ statement indicates that she and the Catalyst owners, Nathan Brown and Randee Maxwell, would reschedule some shows at the Cider House, adjacent to the Valarium on Western Avenue, or Southbound Bar & Grill in the Old City. At press time, however, the Ott show—with Pnuma Trio and Magma Blood—is the only concert that has been rescheduled. It will be held at the Cider House tonight at 9 p.m. Hank Williams III and his band Assjack, who played at the Valarium this summer, were booked at Catalyst for early November, but there’s no word yet that the show will be rescheduled at an alternate venue. Advance tickets for any canceled shows will be refunded, Kerns says.
Originally slated to open as a combination nightclub/tapas restaurant called Barataria, the Catalyst opened in January after several months of delay. (Barataria held a couple of special events last fall but was never open on a regular basis.)