BERKELEY (CBS SF) – Berkeley’s historic UC Theatre will reopen as a nonprofit live music venue next year, organizers said.

The 1,460-seat theater on University Avenue, which has been closed for 12 years, will undergo renovations starting this summer before reopening as a year-round live music venue managed by the nonprofit Berkeley Music Group, the group said Wednesday.

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Leaders of the nonprofit, who include board president David Mayeri, say the venue will present around 75 to 100 shows a year and will be the only venue of its size and type in the East Bay.

Mayor Tom Bates hailed the planned reopening as a major economic boost for Berkeley’s downtown.

“The reopening of the UC Theatre as a music and live entertainment venue in the heart of downtown Berkeley is a key milestone in downtown’s ongoing revitalization,” Bates said.

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The Berkeley Music Group has raised $2.7 million so far toward the theater’s revitalization, more than half of its goal of $5.2 million.

The UC Theatre, which is named after the University of California at Berkeley but not associated with it, first opened in 1917, group officials said.

Known to many as a repertory theater, the UC Theatre held a long-running series of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” screenings and hosted events, including one where filmmaker Werner Herzog ate his shoe on a dare from fellow filmmaker Errol Morris.

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