After nearly three years in business, Shockoe Bottom rock club Kingdom announced this week that it will be closing down.
After nearly three years in business, Shockoe Bottom rock club Kingdom announced this week that it will be closing down. A statement was posted on their Facebook page on Monday, January 6, which read as follows:
Kingdom has decided to close its doors. It’s been rad! Thanks to all of the great bands who have played the venue and the awesome music scene for supporting us.”
This follows a couple of weeks in which ominous developments led to rampant speculation. The club’s previously informative website was replaced by a simple picture showing a band performing on Kingdom’s stage, and shows previously booked at Kingdom such as last Saturday’s Armageddon Fest, featuring This Or The Apocalypse and Shai Hulud, were hurriedly transfered to other local venues. This prompted a speculative article on One Way Richmond, asking: “Is Kingdom Done?”
The affirmative answer to this question, as confirmed by Monday’s Facebook post, was not entirely surprising, but it was certainly upsetting to Kingdom’s community of fans. On facebook, they received many responses lamenting their loss. “Damn, I will forever cherish the memories of this legendary fucking place. Breaks my heart seeing it shut down,” said Daniel Hedrick, while Wade Sterling Speaks said, “It was a good run. Your venue will be missed.” Bucky Lewis reminisced about “that time someone proposed to his girlfriend during a Dead Milkmen show there,” and Chris Waller commented that “Red Fang melted my face there.”
A common theme amongst the comments on Kingdom’s Facebook post was Kingdom’s status as a mainstay in the local metal and hardcore scene. While those who complained that there’d be no place to have metal shows in Richmond anymore without Kingdom were often reminded immediately that Strange Matter, The Camel, and other local venues continue to book these sorts of shows, the fact that many people relied so strongly on Kingdom as a venue for this type of music made clear how important its place in the local scene was. At least in the short term, with more bands competing for fewer possible show venues, the scene is bound to miss some tours that would have stopped here in past years, and that is a shame.
As for Kingdom, the club’s management has not mentioned their reasons for closing down. Springfield’s Empire (formerly known as Jaxx) is owned and managed by the same corporation, and it shows no signs of closing down at this point. What might have led them to shutter Kingdom, and what business (if any) will move into the space at 10 Walnut Alley (which, before it was Kingdom, previously operated for 16 years as Alleykatz), remains a mystery for now. We’ll be keeping an eye on the situation as it develops, and will let you know about anything we learn in the future.