WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A well-known local comedy and performance venue is being forced to close its doors. The owner says it’s because of an extreme increase in the rent.

The curtain will soon come down on a place many enjoy for the unique atmosphere and discovering new music

Karl Hall in Wilkes-Barre will close its doors after five years of bringing the Diamond City countless shining acts.

“This wasn’t a bar. This was very much a venue for acts to play their music, original music,” said A.J. Jump, owner and general manager of Karl Hall.

A 100% raise in rent is forcing long-time musician and owner of Karl Hall to shut down.

A.J. Jump says he was prepared for a rent increase but was blind-sided when he saw by how much.

“That should be illegal. You should not be able to increase somebody’s rent 100%, and it’s criminal,” he told Eyewitness News.

The news was just as surprising to venue regulars.

“To a lot of people, it was a shock. I only really found out about this within the last month, tried to work it out, tried to go to bat with the numbers and it just didn’t work out,” A.J. said.

Karl Hall showcased acts from all around the world.

“We’ve had people from Maine to Spain here,” explained A.J. Jump.

The venue was seen as an important stepping-stone for bands, comedians, and artists, but Jump does not plan on saying goodbye to Karl Hall.

“Unfortunately it will be taken away from us temporarily, and we’ll get back at it soon enough. I’m going to continue to have my eyes and ears open for the next phase of Karl Hall,” A.J. Jump said.

He is hoping to have something up and running by the winter of 2024.

“The final show at Karl Hall will take place on December 10th, featuring multiple bands to give a proper farewell to the city of Wilkes-Barre,” he said.

“In true Karl Hall fashion, this is a great rock bill for a great Saturday night,” A.J. Jump added.

The final show at Karl Hall is Saturday night.