Starlight Ballroom has undergone a major transformation. It was once a hub for some of the best touring live music shows but has become quiet over the years.
With the same owner intact, the venue recently enlisted the help of some young promoters to revamp the space to transform it into a modern vision of a dynamic concert hall and nightclub for electronic music: District N9NE.
Alexa Ahrem graduated from Temple University in 2012 with a degree in entrepreneurship. Her love for electronic music had her bouncing from one show to the next and she knew that she wanted to somehow turn her love into a career. She's the owner of East Side Electro, a local music production and management company, that prides itself on bringing up and coming electronic dance acts to Philadelphia. After throwing a few successful shows at the Ballroom, and with the owner wondering what were the next steps for the venue, Ahrem had a formula in mind to keep the venue contemporary. "[The owner] saw how well we could promote and brought us in to change things up."
The Starlight Ballroom reopens this weekend with its new name and look. Alexa's team has been pulling out all of the stops to give this place a whole new vibe. They've gutted out those rounded booths that once lined the left and right walls, replaced them with high-end cushy leather-like couches that have drastically opened the space up. With floor room freed up, the club now has a capacity of about 1,900. They've installed over 20 new stage lighting systems and relined the walls with sound absorbing panels.
Multi-colored LED-lit tables and chairs are placed strategically around seating areas, which there are a total of three: the left and right sides of the venue and the back area of the club with the two back bars. They've added in a new bar to the right of the stage and will have a pop up bar to the left that will give out alcohol-free drinks like soda and water. They also want the venue to be safe and comfortable for attendees so they are planning to distribute complimentary water during shows to keep everyone hydrated and having fun.
The club will be 18+ for most of the shows, but they are certainly planning on hosting 21+ exclusive events in the future. They will be open until 3 a.m. on most show days and have toyed with the idea of being an after-hours spot. Bottle service will be available starting around $250.
Distric N9NE is located at 460 N. 9th St. in Philadelphia, PA.
Upcoming events at District N9NE: