Strand Theatre in Downtown Brooklyn to get major makeover

Downtown Brooklyn’s Strand Theatre, a former vaudeville playhouse built in 1918 at 647 Fulton Street between Ashland and Rockwell places, is set to receive a $40 million makeover, the Wall Street Journal reported, an indication that long-delayed development plans for the Brooklyn Academy of Music Cultural District are getting underway.

The renovation has been in the works since 1996, a few years after two arts groups — UrbanGlass and BRIC Arts | Media | House — moved into the space. The project received a funding commitment from the city at one point, but that fell apart after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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“The merit for the project has never been questioned,” said Leslie Schultz, executive director of BRIC, which runs the Celebrate Brooklyn! music festival, but securing funding has been difficult.

Ultimately, around $33 million was contributed to the project by the Bloomberg administration, the Journal said. The state gave nearly $2 million and private donors provided $5.5 million.

It is expected that the renovations will be complete by 2013. The complex will house three new galleries, a 250-seat theater, a television studio and shops. [WSJ]

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