Rev Hall: What's in the Lockers?

From salvaged bowling lanes to a floating box office, we spotlight five (sort of) secret histories at the new music venue.

By Cervante Pope February 11, 2015

When Revolution Hall hosts its first-ever show this Thursday, concertgoers may feel they already know the score.

The venue is a former high school auditorium—check. Project collaborators include the owners of the Aladdin Theater and Mississippi Studios—rockin’. The beloved on-premise dog park? Secured by a 99-year lease.

But a closer look (like, literally) at Portland's newest music venue reveals historical details as layered as the paint. Here are five things you don’t know about Rev Hall: 

Washington High’s developers kept the metal lockers lining the walls of the once chaotic halls. They no longer contain books, backpacks and bologna sandwiches, of course, but behind them now is more than just blank space. Many have been hollowed out to fit the building’s electrical and plumbing systems—a pleasing way of hiding the pipes.

Revolution Hall will boast two drinking nooks: Martha’s and the upstairs Assembly Lounge. But conserve your bar-side spillage: these repurposed bar tops have already had enough abuse. Culled from a sell-off of parts from NE Halsey’s infamous Hollywood Bowl (which closed last May), your beer now rests on the finest of scuffed-up bowling lane counter tops. Ahh, we can smell the rent-a-shoes now!

Washington High shuttered in 1981, but when it was functioning, a gigantic trophy case on the second floor housed proud moments in the history of the century-old school. Those memories are still on offer, with Rev Hall’s curated case of artifacts containing the requisite trophies along with tests, report cards, phones and intercoms—literally old school—and a portrait of 1954 Rose Queen Jan Markstaller, who attended Washington High at the time. (Markstaller even visited Rev Hall during a recent open viewing day.)

Showgoers fancy enough to have visited downtown’s swanky Benson Hotel may recognize Revolution Hall’s mobile box office.  The hotel’s old concierge desk gets its own set of wheels, ready to vend tickets at locations around the venue.

Under the detritus that once cluttered Revolution Hall’s balcony, renovators made an enormously teeny discovery: 16-inch-wide miniature chairs—intended to fit the pint-sized keisters of underclassmen—sprinkled among regular theater seats. The whole balcony had to be torn up and rearranged with new chairs modeled after the auditorium’s more adult-sized seating.

Bring your insider knowledge to Revolution Hall this weekend, as performers including Wild Ones, Alialujah Choir, Dan Savage, and Live Wire! inaugurate the new space.

Revolution Hall
1300 SE Stark St #110
Portland, OR 97214

(503) 288-3895

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