Update: The Key Club has released a statement about its shuttering, which is at the bottom of this post.

The Key Club, a Sunset Strip favorite for decades, is scheduled to close later this month.

Though the club's ownership could not be reached for comment, its last show is slated for March 14, and sources behind various events held there confirmed its impending demise.

The Key Club has gone through many changes over the years since opening in 1967. It has hosted everyone from The Doors and The Byrds to Van Halen and Guns N' Roses to Scarface and Lil Kim. It helped define the glam metal movement of the '80s, and in recent years has been known for rock, metal, jazz, and hip-hop.

“It's gone through many changes over the last ten plus years,” says metal DJ Will, who hosts events at the venue. “I just hope it remains a music venue if nothing else, for its historic value.”

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U.S. Air Guitar Championships; Credit: Timothy Norris

U.S. Air Guitar Championships; Credit: Timothy Norris

Formerly known as Gazzarri's, it was initially led by Bill Gazzarri. Called the “Godfather of Rock and Roll,” he was an iconic Strip figure until his death in 1991. The club then closed in 1993 before suffering damage in the Northridge earthquake of 1994. Then in 1995, a new building was built and a year later re-opened as Billboard Live, before becoming the Key Club in 1998.

From Chingo Bling's show; Credit: Marco Torres

From Chingo Bling's show; Credit: Marco Torres

The club has had its share of ups and downs, closing briefly at the end of 2009, and becoming a pay-to-play spot. But its influence on the Strip over the years can't be denied.

“The Key Club has always been an iconic, integral part of the Sunset Strip, first as Gazzarri's,” says veteran L.A.-based publicist Lesley Zimmerman, adding that the club also regularly donated its downstairs lounge area to AA meetings. “New bands [and well-known ones] were welcomed with open arms. Its closing is truly the end of an era.”

The Key Club's statement is below

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Yesterday, the Key Club released this statement on their Facebook page:

Dear Fans,

It is with a heavy heart that I share this news with you. Regretfully, we will be closing our doors at the Key Club on Friday, March 15th. To everyone who's called Key Club a second home, I can't thank you enough for supporting us and the artists who've rocked our stage.

In the coming months our space will welcome a new project, which I encourage you to check out. Until then, we're going out with a bang! The last two weeks of our events calendar is packed with performances from our favorite artists, and we'll be making sure the Key Club's last night on the Sunset Strip is nothing short of legendary.

This is our final goodbye as Key Club on Sunset. It has been an honor and privilege to share our passion for music with you. We hope that you will continue to support the remaining independent live music venues on Sunset Strip – our neighbors at The Roxy, The Whisky and The Viper Room.

Rock on and thanks for an incredible ride!

Ian Shepp

Operations Manager, Key Club

LA Weekly