Arts center in Fields Corner wins approval

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 1970s.

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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