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Huntridge Theater lands new operator for theater space

Updated December 21, 2021 - 12:35 pm

Darren Lee Cole, artistic director of New York’s SoHo Playhouse, had his eyes on Las Vegas for months — hoping to open a theater — and he’s now found a home at Huntridge Theater, the long-shuttered historic site in downtown Las Vegas that was once a top concert venue.

Off-Broadway theater SoHo Playhouse will be the sole operator of the Huntridge Theater and two new spaces will be added to the site, according to a Monday announcement from local developer and Huntridge’s owner Dapper Cos.

“Out of the many potential operating partners who approached us — and there were many outstanding companies who did — we knew this was the right fit for the theater, the community and the city,” said Dapper in its news release. “SoHo Playhouse has an impeccable reputation in the arts community on a global scale. I know they will care for this historic venue in the way it deserves.”

Built in 1944, the Huntridge was known for showing movies and was a top concert venue by the 1990s, attracting bands such as The Killers, Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys and Violent Femmes before it closed in 2004.

Multiple attempts to reopen the venue came and went over the years, but it’s now owned by Dapper.

The company purchased the theater in March for $4 million. At the time, founder J Dapper told the Review-Journal renovation plans will cost about $10 million and $5 million to $8 million to fix the adjacent retail space.

Cole, who had plans to expand SoHo Playhouse into Las Vegas, said he was excited to be chosen as the theater’s sole operators.

“We understand the significance of operating a venue with such a storied tradition in Las Vegas and have experienced the passion residents past and present share about performances they attended there when it was a movie theater and concert venue,” Cole said in a statement.

In addition to SoHo Playhouse’s presence, Dapper said it would be adding a 100-seat cabaret theater as well as a 199-seat theater, which will be a replicate of the playhouse’s New York City flagship. The two theaters will join a 1,150-seat multi-use concert hall and 450-seat off-Broadway theater in the existing building.

Dapper said the two new spaces will be built on the south side of the property and be 5,300 square feet and 4,800 square feet, respectively. And they’ll be connected to the main theater through a new interior lobby.

Meanwhile, the firm said it’s still looking to fill the 18,000 square feet of space on the west side of the property with food and beverage retailers.

Contact Subrina Hudson at shudson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Follow @SubrinaH on Twitter.

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