The Starlite Room - and its accompanying venue, Temple Bar - have served the best of the big names in the underground music scene.
The Starlite Room was founded in 2004 following a rich history of arts and culture in Edmonton. The building itself is a brick citadel relic from 1925, built one block south of Jasper Avenue and designed by Herbert Magoon and George Heath MacDonald, some of Edmonton’s most prolific architects. By 1965 the place of worship had been converted into the Citadel Theatre Company, followed by a series of music venues like the Bronx, Lush and Rev Cabaret, which housed performances by then unknown grunge pioneers Nirvana to an audience of about 20 in the early 1990s.
Today, the Starlite Room is a members-only club, which, while it can sound daunting or bougie, in reality only requires $5 per annum — and only apply to adults to boot (minors attending all ages show are welcome). Just be aware that purchasing a ticket to a show here does not include your membership, which must be bought separately (and hopefully before you’ve waited in line to get in). The Temple Bar - the more intimate sister venue behind the Starlite - does not require membership.
The Starlite Room is primarily standing room only, with seating in the back half of the space detailed with TV monitors that display a live feed of the shows. The downstairs Brixx Bar & Grill offers minimal seating but boasts a full menu at every event, with a stage of its own. Both rooms are described as dive-y from past patrons: the word “grungy” is used frequently to describe the sister venues, however most felt they offer close-knit, intimate spaces to see some really exciting acts. Toronto post-rockers Do Make Say Think have played the Starlite Room, along with American hip hop super-group Run the Jewels as well as Hüsker Dü’s Bob Mould.
Formerly housing the Brixx Bar and Grill, the main floor of the building now features River City Revival House. This restaurant/lounge features locally sourced ingredients and weekend brunch. Minors are welcome before 8pm in the evenings, while the restaurant stays open until the early hours of the morning.
The Starlite Room family supports the Northern Alberta Society for Animal Protection (NASAP) with a portion of their membership fees. NASAP, a volunteer-based registered charity, aims to lower euthanasia of homeless and unwanted animals through education of the public and government bodies.