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Ten Now-Closed Legendary Broward Music Venues
Courtesy of Button South Class Reunion

Ten Now-Closed Legendary Broward Music Venues

This Friday and Saturday night, the Button South will hold its fifth-annual class reunion. Former customers, employees, and bands will all gather at Revolution Live to celebrate and reminisce about the former Hallandale club that brought to Broward all your favorite rock bands starting in the '70s and ending in the '90s.

This got us thinking about some of the other great Broward music venues that are no longer with us. From small clubs to gaudy arenas, here are the ten most legendary closed down Broward music venues.

Ten Now-Closed Legendary Broward Music Venues
Photo by Chris Hakkens

10. Flying Machine
The most notable aspect of this Fort Lauderdale club was that its entryway was made from an old sea plane. Legendary local bassist Jaco Pastorius cut his teeth here with gigs at the Flying Machine in 1969 and 1970, when he was still a teenager. Punk rock forefathers the New York Dolls played a cross-dressing gig here in 1974 that was bootlegged and released.

Ten Now-Closed Legendary Broward Music Venues
Photo by Sayre Berman

9. Downbeat Club
Demolished in 2012 by a church that bought the land, this Fort Lauderdale club saw its fair share of musical dynamos. Opened in 1956, it played host to James Brown, Little Richard, and B.B. King in the bad old days when Florida was segregated. It was one of the only spots where Fort Lauderdale African Americans could see the biggest national acts.

Ten Now-Closed Legendary Broward Music Venues
Photo by Nicola Goode

8. Bachelors III Club
This Fort Lauderdale bar was one of a string of clubs owned by the Hall of Fame quarterback and ladies man (hence the name) Joe Namath. The 300-seat club off Federal Highway booked historic musicians throughout the '70s. Jerry Lee Lewis played a ton of gigs there, as did Fats Domino and Ray Charles.

Ten Now-Closed Legendary Broward Music Venues
Courtesy photo

7. Code One
Besides a high school auditorium, Code One is the first place Jaco Pastorius ever played in public. The Fort Lauderdale bar on Federal Highway started out as an ice rink and morphed into a swinging sixties spring break hangout. The Who also played a gig there. 

Ten Now-Closed Legendary Broward Music Venues
Courtesy of Button South Class Reunion

6. The Button South
Starting out in the '70s as the Agora Ballroom, the Button South lasted to 1994 hosting just about every local band that got signed to a label from that time including Marilyn Manson, Saigon Kick, and even Johnny Depp's band, the Kids. National acts also made their way to its stage, including Faith No More, Pantera, Ice T, Cyndi Lauper, and Hootie & the Blowfish. 

Ten Now-Closed Legendary Broward Music Venues
Photo by George Martinez

5. The Edge
Where Revolution Live now stands there was once the Edge. In the early '90s, the night hours belonged to grunge and alternative acts like the Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, and Beck. The real party started at three in the morning, when ravers took over the club shaking their glow sticks and booties way past the rising of the sun.

Ten Now-Closed Legendary Broward Music Venues
Photo by Stephen Luff / Flickr

4. The Chili Pepper
After being the Edge and before morphing into Revolution Live, this Fort Lauderdale concert hall was known as the Chili Pepper. During its existence from 1997-2001, some notable metal bands like Sepultura, Danzig, and Megadeth played within its walls. But the reason it makes the list is the late, great David Bowie played his longest ever show here in 1997. 

Ten Now-Closed Legendary Broward Music Venues
Courtesy of Cineplex-Odeon Films

3. Sunrise Musical Theater
Opened in 1976 and closed in 2002 to become a house of worship, this 3,700-seat theater heard some of this world's most heavenly musicians during its tenure. Frank Sinatra, Prince, Miles Davis, and U2 sang here while Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, George Carlin, and Jerry Seinfeld cracked jokes.   

Ten Now-Closed Legendary Broward Music Venues
Photo by mmarovitch@aol.com / Wikipedia Commons

2. Hollywood Sportatorium
From 1970 to 1988, this Pembroke Pines arena dubbed itself "the rock mecca of South Florida." Though it booked mighty acts, the Sportatorium had its share of problems. Roger Waters and Billy Joel on separate occasions complained loudly about the awful acoustics. A one-night delay of a 1985 show had Robert Plant quipping, "This is the first gig I've ever done that was rained out inside the building." But in spite of its many problems, everyone from Pink Floyd to Guns N' Roses to the Beastie Boys to the Grateful Dead to Madonna played shows here.

Ten Now-Closed Legendary Broward Music Venues
Photo by Jim Summaria

1. Pirate's World
Any place that saw David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and the Grateful Dead take to its stage in their prime would make a formidable entry on our list. But the fact that this Dania venue was also a 100-acre, pirate-themed amusement park closes the door to all competition. When it opened in 1967, Pirate's World might have seemed state of the art, but when a little place called Disney World opened up north, it drove Pirate's World to bankruptcy in 1975.

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