The Wax Museum, Washington's largest nightclub, will close its doors on Nov. 3, after 2 1/2 years of operation.
In a statement released last night, the owners of the 1,000-seat hall said "the necessity to make more productive use of the property has dictated the closing."
Paul Delaney, speaking for Historic Figures Inc., the management company that operates the Wax Museum as a subsidiary of Colonial Parking, said the club would continue operations as usual until the closing.
The Wax Museum, which opened on March 18, 1982, has featured hundreds of major acts, including Culture Club, Tina Turner, the Eurythmics, Count Basie and the Pointer Sisters. Less than a year ago, the club installed a state-of-the-art video system.
Last night, there was a full house at the Wax Museum for NRBQ and John Sebastian, and the October schedule is the most solid in the club's history, with acts ranging from Eddie Money, the Ramones and the Mahavishnu Orchestra to John Prine, the Supremes and Beaver Brown.
Mike Schreibman, who has been booking the club since July, said he was told yesterday afternoon that the Wax Museum had not been producing the expected revenues for some time and that Colonial Parking had decided there was a better way to use the property at Fourth and E streets SW. Before operating as a nightclub, the building had housed a wax museum (many of the figures are still on display around the club), a dinner theater and a cafeteria.
The announcement follows by less than two months the sudden closing of Adam's, a smaller venue that had replaced the Cellar Door, which closed at the end of 1981. Other major clubs that have closed or discontinued music in recent years include Desperado's, Louie's and the Childe Harold.
That leaves the 500-seat Bayou in Georgetown and the 200-seat 9:30 club downtown as the only club venues booking major rock and pop acts. Kilimanjaro's Heritage Hall, a medium-sized hall in the Adams-Morgan area, has started booking major African and reggae groups and recently expanded its bookings to include soul and rhythm and blues acts.
Dave Williams, co-owner of Cellar Door Productions, which bought the Bayou in 1981, said yesterday that his company is hoping to build a new nightclub in the West End area sometime in the next year. He said it would hold from 750 to 1,000 people.