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Strip theater’s renaming a ‘new chapter’ in its illustrious history

Updated March 23, 2023 - 10:58 am

Bakkt Theater ends the Zappos Theater era — and soon — at Planet Hollywood.

The venue’s renaming goes into effect really quick-like, on Friday night, in time for Miranda Lambert’s return.

The theater has been previously known as Axis and, originally, the iconic Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts dating to 1976. Axis was the venue’s name from 2013 through February 2018, when Zappos Theater was adopted in partnership with the online apparel company. The five-year marketing arrangement expired in February.

Over the past decade, the venue has hosted such residency superstars as Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Gwen Stefani, Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, John Legend, Shania Twain and Lionel Richie. The Doobie Brothers, Scorpions, Def Leppard, Florida Georgia Line and Van Morrison have performed limited engagements in the room.

Bakkt (pronounced “backed”) is a cryptocurrency company founded five years ago. The company is also in a loyalty program partnership with Caesars Entertainment in its Caesars Rewards program.

From a release: “The companies’ collaboration includes plans to allow Caesars Rewards members the ability to redeem their Rewards Credits through Bakkt Crypto Rewards, pending regulatory approval. Bakkt and Caesars will continue to explore and innovate around Bakkt’s existing suite of cryptocurrency solutions.”

Officials say the rename is a “new chapter” in the venue’s rich history. Expect the theater to maintain its high standards of live entertainment. Caesars Entertainment and Live Nation are in an exclusive booking partnership at the theater dating to 2013.

“We remain committed to creating an unforgettable live entertainment environment for our guests along with the best experience we can provide the artists who grace our stage,” Jason Gastwirth, president of entertainment for Caesars Entertainment, said in a statement. “With world-class talent and unrivaled guest moments in mind, we look forward to building upon the venue’s incredible legacy with our new brand partner and the exciting renovations that are underway.”

Hotel visitors will get to know the Bakkt brand even outside the venue affiliation.

“The Bakkt Theater is one of the many ways our brand will be visible to Caesars customers as we work together to offer new cryptocurrency options,” said Mark Elliot, Bakkt’s chief sales and marketing officer. “We are proud that the Bakkt name will be attached to a premier live entertainment destination for millions of fans moving forward.”

Caesars reps report the venue “has has been undergoing multimillion-dollar enhancements over the last year including fully redone artist dressing rooms and amenities and aesthetic improvements that will come along with the theater rebrand.”

The venue already boasts high-standard audio and visual technical elements, and clear sight lines to the stage. It is justifiably considered a party venue, dating to Spears’ “Piece of Me” production.

After Lambert concludes her current “Velvet Rodeo” run on April 9, The Chicks move in for five dates from May 3-May 13.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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