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Board approves performing-arts co-op in Fields Corner

The Zoning Board of Appeals today approved a plan to use parts of a the upper level of an old movie theater in Fields Corner for dance studios, gallery space and arts classes.

The 5,000-square-foot space in the former Dorchester Theater on Dorchester Avenue at Park Street has been largely vacant since the theater shut down in the 1990s.

One of the organizers of the Interdisciplinary Performing Arts Center, Lorraine Chapman, former director of the Green Street Studios in Cambridge, said the idea is to create "an affordable workspace" for visual artists and instructors, who will be able to rent studios, as well as dance and visual-arts programs for people of all age groups and abilities.

She and organizers Lucy Warren-Whitman are also planning a "white box" media theater, a 1,000-square foot dance studio, an art room, a small fitness center and an artists’ lounge.

The mayor's office and City Councilors Andrea Campbell, Frank Baker and Annissa Esaibi George supported the proposal, as did the Field Corner Civic Association and Fields Corner Main Streets. Nobody spoke against.

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My search attempts only found "black box" theaters.

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I found this online:

"In the arts, “white space” has been referred to as the space between objects, sounds, movements and illustrations. Opposite to traditional Black Box Theaters, the White Box is an ideal, transformable and fresh environment for artists to produce their work."

I also found descriptions of Black Box that said any single color could be a Black Box. So it would seem that a White Box is a version of a Black Box.

I would also presume that with it being white instead of black that lighting and projection would be much more of a thing as black absorbs light and white reflects.

Making yet another assumption on my part I presume this would make the white box friendlier to arts of all types as more visual artists can project their work onto the walls/curtains.

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and it stayed open well into the 1980s, maybe even early 90s. I recall seeing the movie Bull Durham there in a second run.

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Somebody at the hearing did say 1990s, but I thought I'd read it closed in the 1970s.

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Probably here, but that was also inaccurate (and I made a comment at the time, both at UHub and at the Reporter)

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