Mar 29, 2023 - Things to Do

Old 9:30 Club replica is coming soon to D.C.

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

A forthcoming venue called The Atlantis is taking the name of a former transformative punk space.

What’s happening: I.M.P., the group behind clubs like The Anthem, has dropped cryptic hints on Twitter about the venue.

Why it matters: While I.M.P. has been mum on details, the group announced last year that it plans to build a replica of the old 9:30 Club behind its current building. The original location of the 9:30 Club, at 930 F Street NW, was first known as a short-lived club called The Atlantis.

Here’s what we know about The Atlantis:

  • It opened with its first show in The Atlantic Building on F Street in the late 1970s but only lasted for a year before closing. That building is now occupied by a shuttered J. Crew.
  • It was the epicenter of new wave music in the District and hosted artists including The Police, Cheap Trick, David Johansen, Ultravox, Psychedelic Furs, and Richard Hell, per the book “9:30 - A Time and a Place: 1980-2015, The First 35 Years.”

Yes, but: Many punk bands didn’t attract big enough crowds, the Washington City Paper wrote in a 1995 retrospective of the club. After the death of The Atlantis in 1979, the building itself changed hands. The new owners would eventually turn the space into the 9:30 Club with an aim of creating a more diverse music venue — sans any new-wave artists at all.

  • “Punk is dead,” bemoaned club manager Kevin Duplain at the time in an interview with American University's student-run The Eagle newspaper.

What we’re watching: We don’t know yet when the new Atlantis will open or what kinds of bands it will bring, but we’ll be keeping a close eye.


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