Space 55 Theatre is moving into a new space at 1524 North 18th Avenue on Wednesday, November 1, says artistic director Duane Daniels.
The alternative theater company, which was founded by Shawna Franks in 2006, is a staple of the Phoenix arts scene. It has eight members, and presents a mix of new work and audience favorites.
Until recently, Space 55 Theatre was located at 630 East Pierce Street, a Roosevelt Row building that once housed Nostra Style House and the Palabra hair salon and arts space.
But the owner sold that building over the summer. So Daniels started exploring other options.
He found space inside a warehouse that's one of Michael Levine's many adaptive reuse projects. The warehouse is located just south of the Arizona State Fairgrounds.
Space 55 is the first group to go into the space, but Daniels expects others to follow. The building used to house a potato chip factory.
"We're excited to have the new space," Daniels says. "We hope the warehouse becomes a hub for the arts."
It's not the first warehouse space to make the transition to trendy arts venue.
Gallerist Bentley Calverley bought a warehouse back in 2004, and then transformed it into Bentley Projects. Today it's home to Bentley Gallery, a special events space called Warehouse215, and the Adapt Gallery run by artists with studios on the site.
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There's also Grant Street Studios, where ASU's School of Art operates studios and two gallery spaces. ASU purchased the former warehouse from Levine in July 2016.
The new Space 55 space is a bit smaller than the previous location, but it has other advantages. "It's got more usable space and a better flow," Daniels says.
It also has better air conditioning, and the seating is less cramped, Daniels says. Like the old space, the new one can accommodate about 49 audience members.
Their first production at the new location will be A Bloody Mary Christmas, which will open on Friday, November 24, and will run through Saturday, December 30.