Days of long past, remembering a place of my youth. SOMA Nightclub!

SOMA is a popular all-ages concert venue in the Midway District area of San Diego, California, right next to the San Diego Sports Arena. Over the years it has become one of the more popular concert venues in the city.

Claiming to be one of the best all ages venue in the “SoCal” music scene, Soma lets everyone in, no matter the age. There is a strict alcohol-free policy to provide a safe environment.

SOMA originally opened in the early 1990s by Len Paul at an old warehouse in downtown San Diego on 555 Union Street, just south of Market Street – hence the name “SO uth of MA rket.” At that time, the venue was mostly known

as a dance club, but eventually made the transition to hosting live music. One unique feature of the club was that in addition to the main concert hall located on the ground floor, it had a basement area, known as “The

Dungeon” that held approximately 100 people. It was in the dungeon that many local San Diego bands would get their first opportunity to play at the club. If bands could bring in a large-enough following, they would often

be given the opportunity to play upstairs on the main stage in support of more popular local acts, or even nationally touring acts. It was at this downtown location that such well-known San Diego bands such as Rocket from

the Crypt, blink-182, Unwritten Law, Stone Temple Pilots, and Buck-O-Nine built a strong local following before moving on to tour nationally in the mid 1990s.   In 1994 after I had left california, SOMA was moved to a former warehouse on Metro Street, just south of the University of San Diego. Major artists such as Faith No More, Fugazi, Pavement, The Ramones, The Smashing

Pumpkins and Weezer performed here, as well as many local bands. The venue closed in 1999.   In 2002, Paul reopened SOMA at its current home in a former multiplex movie theater that was renovated into a concert venue. Walls dividing individual theaters were torn down to create one large area for the main stage.

Located at 3350 Sports Arena Blvd., it can hold up to 2700+ occupants in its main hall, and the side stage can accommodate 500+. The venue has also turned many of the theater’s old production offices into dressing rooms

for the bands which overlook the audience. There is a snack bar and merchandise area in the lobby of SOMA as well. SOMA does not have an age requirement for their shows and does not have a bar, serve alcohol or allow the

consumption of alcohol or drugs within the venue. There are no seats in the venue and all concerts are general admission. SOMA holds concerts throughout the year and both local and popular bands have been known to play

there. Since the venue is located next to the San Diego Sports Arena, attendants often park in the free parking section of the sports arena near Chili’s.

THE ORIGINAL SOMA (555 Union St.near seaport village): SOMA was born Circa 1986 from a floral warehouse to a Venue/Dance Club for owner Len Paul to stage dances for members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

the word spread like wildfire, and it became one the hottest under-21 concert spot downtown. Rage Against the Machine, Stone Temple Pilots, The Ramones, The meat Puppets, were some of the greatest punk bands to rocked the

walls of the first SOMA. Due to the renovation of the CityFront Terrace project however, SOMA would have to be pushed to Bay Park and sadly to its current Midway District location but it is still to this day one the

hottest concert/dance clubs in San Diego. Nowdays its the Children’s Art Musume but I will always remember the smell of clove cigrettes and exotic coffee from the espresso machine they had downstairs  under the entrance of

the club.



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