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History: The Huntridge roof collapse, 20 years later

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Fifteen-year-old Wes Hines was bagging groceries near the front door of the Grocery Outlet when he heard a loud crack. As he ran outside, he noticed people also running from the front doors of the Huntridge Theater across the street, a huge cloud of dust rising quickly above it. “Someone came over and said the roof collapsed,” Hines says. Miraculously, no one was hurt on the afternoon of July 28, 1995—not the Huntridge staff or opening act Unwritten Law, and certainly not the hundreds of fans that would have been in the path of the falling beams had they given way a few hours later.

That night’s headliner, the Circle Jerks, rose to the occasion by setting up their gear and playing a set in the parking lot. “I was just getting into punk rock, and I don’t even know if I knew who the Circle Jerks were back then,” Hines says. “But I remember that I was excited about it … and it not lasting very long.” Sure enough, Metro quickly broke up the show.

The Huntridge was soon re-roofed. Hines would finally re-enter the venue two years later when the trombonist performed on its stage with his band Attaboy Skip—which might’ve been his Huntridge humblebrag had he not been there that memorable day. “For years [the roof collapse and Circle Jerks show] was my go-to cool story when people spoke about the scene,” he says. “It would trump anyone else’s.”

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