Columbia City lacked a solid, midsized live-music venue, so when earlier this year CB Shamah and Rob Hillman purchased and reopened the defunct Columbia City

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Best New Venue for Free Shows

Columbia City Theater

Columbia City lacked a solid, midsized live-music venue, so when earlier this year CB Shamah and Rob Hillman purchased and reopened the defunct Columbia City Theater—which, in past lives, had hosted the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Jimi Hendrix—they filled a need, and did it generously. For their official grand opening in July, CCT hosted free shows from bands you'd normally pay $8 or $10 to see at the Tractor or Neumos, like folk favorites the Maldives and riotous punk rockers the Whore Moans. And that trend seems to be continuing—CCT's still booking eclectic names, like Afropop songwriter Modou Yade, as well as DJ sets and karaoke nights for free in their Bourbon Bar. With all the money you're saving on concert tickets, looks like the drive south might be worth it. Take light rail and it's even more of a bargain. —Erin K. Thompson 4916 Rainier Ave. S., columbiacitytheater.com

[This item has been corrected since it was first published. It incorrectly described two upcoming shows at the theatre as free.]

 
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