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As stated in the Hartford Courant: The Agora, a cavernous former bowling alley in an industrial area near the Hartford line, was once the place to play in Connecticut for bands on the way up or down. The building — home to Columbia Music Hall, Finnochio's East, Hard Rock Cafe, Stage West, Agora Ballroom and The Forum — could hold about 5,000 people and often drew crowds that large. "I cut my teeth in that place with those amazing shows," said Hank Zukowski, a Hartford native who started in the late 1970s as a $5-an-hour bouncer and became co-owner of the Agora in the mid-1980s. "Santana, The Allman Brothers, Jerry Garcia, Little Feat, Tower of Power. We had groups on the way up and groups on the way down. We had boxing matches there. Stryper, a Christian heavy metal band, played. They threw tiny Bibles into the crowd." The building, constructed in 1963 and not used for nearly 20 years, was too decrepit to be renovated and was knocked down last week by Arborio Corporation and Charter Oak Utility Constructors Inc. who owned the building.