The Alrosa Villa nightclub, the Columbus, Ohio music venue where “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott was murdered, has been demolished.
For more than 45 years, the venue hosted a wide range of musical acts. Foghat, the Guess Who, Dream Theater, Night Ranger, Dio, Slipknot, Quiet Riot, Ratt and David Byrne were among the long list of rockers to grace its stage. However the Alrosa Villa will always be remembered for the tragedy which took place the night of Dec. 8, 2004.
That evening, Damageplan, the band Dimebag Darrell and his brother Vinnie Paul formed following the breakup of Pantera, was headlining. Just moments into their set, a former U.S. Marine stormed the stage and opened fire. Abbott, the band’s head of security, a venue employee and a fan who attempted to give CPR to Dimebag were all killed in the mayhem. The gunman, Nathan Gale, was eventually shot and killed by police officer James Niggemeyer.
Paul later sued the Alrosa Villa, claiming the tragedy would have been averted if security at the venue had prevented Gale from entering. The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2007.
Though it was the site of one of metal’s most horrific events, the Alrosa Villa continued in operation for many more years. The club announced in June that it had closed its doors for good.
“We’ve seen stars born here, unfortunately we’ve had stars pass away here, but the one thing that can never be taken away from us is the amazing memories we’ve all created along the way with magical people inside of this magical place,” read a message posted to the venue’s Facebook page. “I don’t personally like how the media always chose to portray the venue when talking about it because they always chose to drag it down with negativity because of the unfortunate passing of Dimebag Darrell… But that shouldn’t be what defines Alrosa as a music venue. They provided so many people with so many amazing opportunities throughout the years and we are happy to say that a lot of the best musicians in the country got their start right here at the venue on that stage.”
Fan shot footage of the demolition can be seen below. The site where the Alrosa Villa once stood will soon be home to a 180-unit affordable housing apartment complex.
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