Arts & Entertainment picks

SN&R writers highlight some winners, including the best venues in town

The Crest Theatre.

The Crest Theatre.

Photo courtesy of Nathan Schemel

Best arts venue that should stay open forever

Crest Theatre

The area of K Street between 10th and 12th streets has undergone plenty of change over the past century. It closed to vehicular traffic for more than 40 years, until 2012. Live music spots such as Club Can’t Tell and Metropolis Club are long gone. But one venue remains mighty through the decades. It opened in 1912 as the Empress Theatre, then became the Hippodrome and was christened as the Crest Theatre in 1949. It has endured as a favorite spot for film festivals and a beloved performing arts venue. From the modern mastery of Tony Williams to pivotal performances from a young Nirvana, the 975-seat theater and its range of music is nothing short of historic around here. Heck, Kurt Cobain’s paint-splattered footprints are still on a wall in the basement. While venues come and go, the Crest is taking on a new chapter. With music promoter Scott Brill-Lehn of SBL Entertainment coming on as manager in November, you can bet its concert calendar will remain full while also drawing folks for movies and popcorn. And that’s the way it should stay.

1013 K St.; (916) 476-3356; C.M.

Best independent music venue

Old Ironsides

Old I has long been a home for Sacramento’s underground music scene. In the ’90s, bands such as Sex66 and The Knockoffs brought an energy to the 10th Street restaurant-bar that’s mythologized by veteran scenesters. Now, it remains a nightly platform for rising musicians with its Wednesday open-mic and Sunday jams with Heath Williamson. If you want a chance at the stage but can’t play an instrument, it’s free Tuesday KAROAK “I” is one of the best in town. The Kanelos family, the owners since 1934, recently announced that they were selling the venue. Let’s hope the new owners will keep the music going.

1901 10th St.; (916) 443-9751; M.Z.