Comedian Chappelle at Avalon

Dave Chappelle

The Avalon Theatre was the place to be in Grand Junction on Monday as comedian Dave Chappelle became possibly the biggest name to perform in town in recent memory.

People steadily filed into the downtown venue from just before 7 p.m. right up until showtime.

"It was a good night," Avalon Theater General Manager Maria Rainsdon said. "People had a good time."

The entry process was different than at most other shows as patrons were searched with a hand-held metal detector by security and had to store their cellphones in locked pouches.

Rainsdon said she was expecting some pushback to the show policies, but she did not receive any complaints about the process. She said she also received positive feedback from Chappelle's traveling team.

"Everyone came out and had a really good time, and they said they'll be back," she said.

Attendee Dave Smith said he was excited to see Chappelle in a smaller venue — the Avalon seats roughly 1,100 people.

"It's cool that he has this as a middle stop between Salt Lake City and Denver," Smith said.

Chappelle performed Saturday in the Salt Lake City area and has two shows in the Denver area Thursday and Friday.

When asked if another Grand Junction event could compare to Chappelle's visit, both Smith and another attendee, Alex Huskey, couldn't recall anyone as big. However, both mentioned comedian Daniel Tosh, who performed at the Avalon in 2012 as another memorable event.

Both Smith and Huskey said they were able to secure their tickets to see Chappelle through Ticketmaster.

Mel Kallemeyn only tried to buy tickets after her friends had no success when trying to get in right at 10 a.m. July 31 when tickets went on sale. She tried a few minutes later and bought two tickets.

Roughly 30 minutes before the start of the show, Kallemeyn was waiting out front of the theater for a friend. She said she had just come from the Blue Moon Bar & Grille and noted that the restaurant was very busy.

"This is what happens when someone like this comes through," she said.

For a complete list of shows scheduled for the Avalon, go to www.avalontheatregj.com.

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