To avoid confusion with other ‘Listening Rooms’ across the country, the rebranded venue instead reflects the name of the first downtown Loeks theater and ‘more spaciousness’ in entertainment offerings.
Listening Room will henceforth be known as Midtown.
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
The intimate, 200-capacity venue at Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids officially has been renamed Midtown by owner Studio C, which operates Celebration Cinema! and developed the Studio Park housing, retail, restaurant, office and entertainment complex south of Van Andel Arena.
The second-floor music venue officially opened as Listening Room in mid-October 2019 and – after a COVID hiatus in 2020 – has hosted numerous concerts by national touring artists as well as regional bands and comedy acts, getting high marks for its acoustics and atmosphere.
Midtown was chosen as the new moniker to reflect the name of the first Loeks theater that operated years ago in downtown Grand Rapids.
“We’re switching it over to not be confused with many other businesses throughout the country named, ‘Listening Room.’ We’re our own business not affiliated with any of those,” said Quinn Mathews, talent buyer and music/programming director for Studio Park.
Early today, Listening Room’s Facebook page was renamed “Midtown GR” to reflect the rebranding, with themidtowngr.com listed as the new website url for the venue.
“New name, same incredible sound – meet Midtown,” the new website declares.
In a prepared statement, Emily Loeks, public relations and community affairs director for Studio C, said the name change was made to honor “Studio C history” and establish “a more distinctive name in the world of music.”
“But the primary reason,” she added, “has to do with programming and success of programming that includes both music characteristics of singer-songwriter listening room venues as well as much more robust full band and comedy. We believe the new name creates a little more spaciousness for the full breadth of programming.”
Mathews conceded that while new logos and a social media campaign will promote the new Midtown name in coming days and weeks, it’s likely that ‘Listening Room’ will “still kind of be used for a while” until the transition is complete. New signs will be in place by the end of the year.
Although Grand Rapids does have a Midtown Neighborhood Association that covers an area outside of downtown to the east, officials said they don’t believe the new music venue name will cause any confusion in that regard.
“We’re very excited about the year ahead,” Loeks said.
Midtown hosts Americana singer-songwriter Tony Furtado at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, a Steve Leaf & Co. “Weezer Halloween Blue Album” show at 8 p.m. Saturday, and singer-songwriter Sean Hayes, Kyle Rasche and Annie Bacon at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
View a schedule of other upcoming shows online at themidtowngr.com.
Copyright 2022, Spins on Music LLC