Seattle's Freehold Theatre to move to Belltown from Capitol Hill, after sale of Odd Fellows Hall.
Freehold Theatre, a longtime tenant at Capitol Hill’s Odd Fellows Hall, will relocate to Belltown at the end of March.
Freehold offers drama classes, presents plays and brings theater to underserved populations, including prisons and hospitals. The nonprofit organization is moving to the second floor of a building at 2222 Second Ave., which previously housed the offices of Speakeasy Network and the AHA! Theatre.
Freehold’s new home will have two large studios (including one it will use as a 49-seat theater), offices and a writing room. Performing troupe Macha Monkey, also a tenant at Odd Fellows Hall, will share space with Freehold.
Freehold and Macha Monkey are two of numerous arts tenants at Odd Fellows Hall that have been reviewing their location options since the Capitol Hill building was purchased last fall by local real-estate developer Ted Schroth. Freehold and fellow tenants expressed concern when Schroth announced in January that he would charge them “market rate” rents — estimated to be roughly twice what they had been paying.
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A Freehold representative reached late Friday could not comment about the rent at the new location; news about the move was announced in the group’s newsletter.
Ironically, the AHA! Theatre closed shop in the space Freehold will soon occupy back in 1997, just as Belltown was being gentrified and rents were increasing there.
Freehold is asking for volunteers to help with the move, and planning an open house on April 2. Information: 206-323-7499 or www.freeholdtheatre.org.
In related news, the owner of the popular Century Ballroom reports that she is on the verge of signing a new lease that will allow the public dance hall and performing space to remain at Odd Fellows. “We are close to coming to terms and making a deal to stay put,” said owner Hallie Kuperman.
Misha Berson: firstname.lastname@example.org