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Tuesday, September 2, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 68.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily
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Hippie Christmas arrives early at the Majestic Theatre
Owners giving away many items at stage entrance on Doty
Free couches, benches, and chairs are all that remain of the old Club Majestic as new owners start to renovate the space into a music venue. These items may be picked up through the end of Tuesday on Doty Street.
Credit:Kristian Knutsen

It's usually only during the annual mid-August lease renewal period that gleaners both casual and dedicated can find treasures on curbs in the central neighborhoods of Madison. Every so often, though, a building in the process of renovation can briefly deposit many items ripe for recycling. That's the case with the Majestic Theatre, which is giving away its remaining furniture through the end of the day.

After finalizing their purchase of the theater at the end of June, new owners Matt Gerding and Scott Leslie are diving in to renovating its interior. Their first task was to get rid off much of the club's interior fixtures and furniture, which are themselves only a few years old. So they held a pair of garage sales, the first on June 30 and second on July 14. Not everything was sold, though, so they are offering everything that remains for free at their stage entrance on East Doty Street. Anybody looking to grab a remaining piece of the old Club Majestic has until 5 p.m. on Tuesday to do so.

What's left after the sales? Quite a bit, actually. There are a handful of high-backed leather couches along with about a dozen low-backed leather benches, plus a couple of chairs and assorted computer equipment leftovers. (I happily grabbed a green chair on my way out.) Not everything is in perfect condition, though, warn Gerding and Leslie. Many of the couches have some tears in them, though that's a small complaint when they are offered at the fire-sale price of free. Anything that isn't picked up by the end of business hours today, they explain, will be tossed in their dumpster on Doty.

They aren't giving everything away, though, holding onto number of small, round cocktail tables for potential use in the reincarnated club.

"We're just getting started," says Leslie about the renovation, which is expected to last about eight weeks. They hope to have everything completed by September 15, with a projected October 1 opening date.

The new Majestic should look quite different. In addition to converting the catwalk bar area into space for artists performing at the club, Gerding and Leslie also plan on removing the half-walls on the main floor and replacing them with railing, to make a space for standing, as at a traditional rock club. The balcony and boxes, meanwhile, will be left largely untouched, as will the bar near the front entrance. And they hope to replace the purple paint coating the walls around the stage and near the ceilings.

The new owners also note that booking plans are already underway. "Every promoter in town has a venue deal with us," says Leslie, and they are already holding some dates on the calendar for this autumn. Beyond this, though, they are not able to provide any more details on their inaugural offerings. They do hope to have a few things solidified over the next couple of weeks, though, and encourage future patrons to befriend their MySpace page to receive more updates.

Gerding and Leslie also plan to offer the space for private functions, much as the Club Majestic did during its run. "Anybody who wants to use the space for this should contact us," says Gerding. They will soon be offering rental details on their new website.

For now, though, their focus is on getting rid of as much as possible. "We prefer not to throw stuff in the dumpster," says Leslie, "so we're offering it free to a good home."

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