Thursday, August 03, 2006

331 Main Street

If all goes according to plan, sometime next year this building will become the Hat Box Theater, a project conceived and nurtured by Danbury native (well, almost a native) David Katz, artistic director of Hat City Music Theater since 2000. Danbury architect Leigh Overland has created a design that will seat about 80 people theater-style, and somewhat fewer when arranged cabaret-style. It will include a business office, box office, dressing rooms, a small garden, and a coffee bar and lobby seating. The wonderful glass block tower will be illuminated, and the art deco tile facade restored. You can read more about it in this article from FairfieldWeekly.

Danbury has not had a regular venue for live theater since D'ART (Danbury Area Repertory Theatre) departed from its home at the St. James' Church auditorium on West Street many years ago, and I am very excited about the possibilities for a permanent venue for performing arts. The worst night of live theater is still better than the best night of television.

Until last year, this was the home of Pride Cleaners, and had been ever since I can remember. It sure looks like it could have been a modern gas station from the 1950s, doesn't it? But the building is too large for a gas station, unless it was later expanded to house the cleaners. I would love to hear from anyone who remembers when Pride Cleaners was new and what, if anything, was there before it.

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