San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater Purchases Historic Strand Theater
By Michael Gioia
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee has announced that American Conservatory Theater purchased the Strand Theater, a historic cinema that has been closed since 2006, to produce and present new work and new artists as part of the Central Market neighborhood.
First opened in 1917, the newly revitalized theatre will give A.C.T. a second space. Productions will be staged both at the American Conservatory Theater, A.C.T.'s 1,040-seat mainstage space, and at the Strand's intimate proscenium space.
"Activating buildings around Central Market and the Tenderloin is key to the overall improvement of the area," said Mayor Lee in a statement. "I’m encouraged by A.C.T.'s purchase of the Strand and see it as an important step in cultivating a unique identity for the neighborhood that will bring new jobs and transform the community."
A.C.T.'s purchase of the Strand at 1127 Market Street comes on the heels of the company's opening of a small performance space, The Costume Shop, at 1117 Market Street. The 300-seat Strand will also be home to performances from A.C.T.'s Master of Fine Arts Program students.
The purchase of the Strand was financed through a gift by A.C.T. board member Jeff Ubben and wife Laurie. Current plans for the Strand include a 300-seat theatre, a mixed-use space for classrooms, rehearsals and cabaret performances, and a small restaurant. Renovation will begin in spring 2013 with a target opening date in late fall 2014.
For more information about A.C.T., visit www.act-sf.org.
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