Recher Theatre

College Scene
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Editorial Review

The Recher family converted the space formerly known as Rec-Room Billiards into a mid-size concert hall. And before it was a pool hall, the building was a movie house. There's still a marquee above the entrance, a narrow walkway leading up to the raised main room, and maroon curtains hanging high on the walls inside. The snack bar right at the entrance probably served Junior Mints and Jujubes not long ago.

Once you penetrate deeper, you realize you're in a makeshift concert venue. Two bars, a cigar stand, video poker games and TVs are jammed haphazardly in the back. You'll mostly see local folk rock, acoustic and jam bands like Jimmie's Chicken Shack, emmet swimming, and Vertical Horizon headline here, although national acts like Maceo Parker, Bo Diddley and "The Tonight Show's" Kevin Eubanks have been booked here, and more are on the way.

The long, narrow interior doesn't look particularly elegant, creative or eye-catching, but a crowd of up to 1,000 can fit on the floor and the acoustics are impressive. The stage isn't even raised very high off the ground – again, probably a legacy from the space's movie-house days – and this makes it easy for fans to pile up close and even jump onstage at a moment's notice. If you're headed here from Washington, be aware that the Recher is a hike past the Beltway and plenty of suburban strip malls.

– M. Franco Salvoza