2019 INDUCTEES >> LIVERMORE BALLROOM
On June 7th, 1938, Lester Smith applied for a building permit with the Livermore City Council to build a 6000 square foot frame building to be used as a new ballroom amusement hall. Once the building was constructed, attached to his already existing Smith Café, Smith named the new ballroom the Figueroa, after the longest street in Los Angeles, California. In 1956, Leonard and Irene Rosenau purchased the building, renaming the space the Livermore Ballroom. They held a variety of dance
bands every weekend until March 1976, when the Rosenaus sold it to Melvin Mertz.
Mertz packed the Livermore Ballroom with crowds of 400 to 500 people. Mertz hosted many of Iowa and other surrounding states rock and roll bands. Groups to play the Livermore included the garage band the Judd Group—easily the most successful garage band in Rochester, MN; the Cedar Rapids-based band Dahcotah who rocked the Midwest for a decade in the ‘70s and ‘80s; the Gray James band from Britt, Iowa, who were the ultimate show and performance band; the Minneapolis-based Jesse Brady cover band; Roxx; and Brainiac.
The landmark Livermore Ballroom burned down early on a Friday morning in June 1979.