History of the theater 22 Boerum Place
Originally built in 1926 as the headquarters for the Benevolent & Protective Order of the Elks, the building features a limestone and terra cotta facade, with Renaissance-revival style features including balustrades, egg-and-dart ornamentation, Corinthian columns, and a 4,800 sq ft. theater space with 40-foot vaulted ceilings and rare perfect acoustics for chamber ensembles. In 1940, the building was converted to serve as the New York City Board of Education headquarters. In 2003, the City of New York sold the building to Two Trees Management LLC. Through a program of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the theater space on the ground floor was reserved for use by a nonprofit cultural organization for 20 years. ISSUE Project Room was competitively selected and signed the lease in December 2008. In 2012, ISSUE moved programs and operations to the theater.
In 2012 ISSUE completed its capital campaign by raising over $4,000,000 to renovate its space into the last section. The 1926 theater is one of the few authentic European-style jewel box theaters in the United States designed for chamber music. ISSUE will maintain these rare perfect acoustics while expanding its capability for 21st century performance. Once renovated, the theater at 22 Boerum Place will be among New York's most versatile performance venues, with the flexibility to present works from diverse media.
Capital improvements will bring the theater to code as a 199-person theater space, including:
-Rehabilitative re-use of the historic theater for new media and contemporary performance
-Acoustic treatments to accommodate an expanded range of electronic and spoken sound
-Theatrical lighting and speaker systems
-HVAC, electrical, plumbing, fire, safety & sprinkler systems
-Artist green room, rehearsal space, and recording studio
-Box office and bar
2013 - Architectural drawings developed and finalized with WorkAC.
2014 -City approval of completed designs, construction begins.
Fall 2015 - GRAND OPENING
Photo: Joe Holmes