The Nautica Pavilion was developed as a component of The Powerhouse entertainment complex. The former powerhouse, one of the city’s original utility buildings, kept old Cleveland’s streetcars running, but, in the 1980s, was restored and refurbished into a complex that includes a brewery, a comedy club, retail shops, restaurants, party room and saloon. Its historic styling, high arched windows, tall stacks and distressed red brick have made it a National Historic Landmark.
It is said that within a few miles of the Nautica Pavilion are more different bridge structures of different types than on any equivalently sized geographic region on Earth. A short stroll from Nautica offers views of suspension, trestle, truss, scissors, swing and high-lift bridges, among others.
A waterside terrace provides the setting for the Nautica Pavilion, a multiple-fabric-tent structure enclosing the performance stage and grandstand seating. Attendees are funneled from ample nearby parking through several smaller tents marking the ticket office and other ancillary facilities. As evening shows begin, patrons are greeted by not only the stage spectacle, but also by the dramatic unfolding views of the glittering Cuyahoga River, its lighted bridges, occasional river traffic, and the dramatic city skyline beyond. For special events, fireworks often shower over the river.
The Powerhouse’s party room, Windows on the River, is a favorite for weddings, proms, social and business events. For the gala party associated with the 1997 All-Star Game, Major League Baseball took over the entire Powerhouse and the Nautica Pavilion (as well as the lake-cruising Nautica Queen) for the festivities. The Nautica Pavilion rocked with Brian Setzer and His Orchestra, and rolled with The Righteous Brothers, while Drew Carey performed a set at The Improv Comedy Club.
The Nautica Pavilion offers a full summer concert schedule annually, and continues to host a variety of special events.