The History of Headliners

Since we’re both Louisville Public Media members we receive double copies of the Louisville Magazine each month. While I would love to sit down and read it cover to cover, I usually end up skimming through the articles and reading only a few of them. This month’s edition featured the “building bloodline” of Headliners Music Hall. Apparently the building was originally built as a cafeteria for workers at the Kentucky Distilleries & Warehouse Co. in 1907, which changed names to National Distillers Products Co. after the Prohibition. Murals were painted on the walls because it was occasionally used as a practice space for traveling jazz bands – or at least, that’s what I figure they were painted for because it seems odd to me that these murals were painted as cafeteria decorations. It wasn’t until 1998, over 90 years later, that Headliners Music Hall acquired the building and got it started as the venue that it has become today. I wish I could have been here for MMJ, Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse when they all came through pre-big time fame. I like to think that some of the bands we’ve seen there are on their way to doing big things or are cool enough to still play at smaller venues (ahem Jason Isbell, The Lone Bellow, OK Go, Moon Taxi, just to name a few). As one of our favorite venues in town, it was interesting to learn a bit more about Headliners and its history.


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