From Foo Fighters to Pretty Lights to Ziggy Marley, Scoo Leary, owner of the venue The Aggie Theatre, has seen a lot. He’s put on shows in Fort Collins for over a decade and opened multiple venues in his lifetime.
Leary opened The Aggie Theatre doors in 2002 but its name has been around a lot longer — it opened as the Aggie Movie Theatre on April 14, 1953. The first movie to be shown there was “Ivanhoe” starring Elizabeth Taylor and when the Aggie Movie Theater closed it’s doors in 1995 the last film was “Money Train” with Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.
The Aggie’s publicist, Cornelia Kane, is a 2007 graduate of CSU. Kane has worked at The Aggie since she was a student in 2003
“Since I’ve been working at The Aggie, so many bizarre and newsworthy things have happened that it’s impossible to name only one,” Kane said. “Yes, I do get to meet the artists and bands… a recent cool one was Independence Day 2012. We had a double-header with surf guitar legend Dick Dale playing an early show and alt-country rockers Lucero headlining the late show.”
When Kane is not working, Leary coordinates with the acts themselves or their publicists.
“I do about 70 percent of the booking with the bands or their agents directly, the rest of the time it’s outside promoters or major production companies,” Leary said. “The acts usually come to me as they know when they are touring.”
Leary also created The Starlight which is now Hodi’s Half Note, a club that is just north of The Aggie.
“We put on some sweet shows like Sum 41, Social Distortion, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Ween, Cherry Popping’ Daddies, Maroon 5, Incubus, Moe, John Mayer and Anthrax,” Leary said. “I sold The Starlight and it has since (been run) through six different owners and now appears to be in good hands with Dan, the current owner.”
Before owning the Aggie, Leary had experience putting on successful concerts as CSU’s concert chair.
“We had Phish, Stray Cats, Primus, Sheryl crow, Fishbone and I personally promoted Widespread Panic on campus to name a few of the big ones,” Leary said.
Regardless of Leary’s experience and ability to wrangle up the big acts, there are still some students who don’t enjoy what the Aggie has to offer.
Zach Ware, a senior finance major, had one particularly bad experience at the Aggie.
“I went to a Big Gigantic show there and we had a couple drinks before — then they threw me out the back door,” Ware said. “I couldn’t tell you how they figured it out, but it kind of put a little sour taste in my mouth. I remember being a little pissed right after that happened and not going back there for a while. But then they got in trouble, so that had something to do with it.”
Ware is referring to The Aggie’s recent liquor license violations, which have caused a big stir within The Aggie concert-attending community.
As long as the Aggie Theatre is open and run by Leary, he said the community can count on all sorts of big acts to roll through.
“My favorite acts are the ones that rock the fans,” Leary said. “I love to see people enjoying one of the truly best parts of life music.”
Collegian Military Beat Reporter Scott Fromberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.