by Chris Bodenner
A reader writes:
Your thread on churches transformed into alternative spaces reminds me of a beautiful building in my hometown, Colorado Springs (arguably the most religious city in America). It was the original home of Grace and St Stephen’s Episcopal Church, which quickly outgrew the space and sold the building. After a couple permutations, it became a nightclub called Syn, and then another called Eden (a particularly sleazy 18+ club, if my high school memories are to be believed). Sometime in the mid 2000s, an ultra-conservative faction of the very same Grace and St. Stephen’s, lead by this guy, broke with the Colorado Episcopal Diocese and formed a new church, St George’s Anglican. After briefly (and dramatically) occupying the newer Grace and St. Stephen’s building and a few other spaces, they bought the original building and reconsecrated it. Amazing how cyclical these things can be.
Another points to the post that started the thread:
Andrew may not have frequented it, since he lived in D.C. at the time, but before this former church in NYC was a gathering of shops, it was a nightclub – Limelight – where I saw things at all hours of the morning that I probably shouldn’t discuss on my work email.
Another sends the above screenshot:
No post about repurposed churches would be complete without a mention of the “Church of Skatan,” a skate shop in the old Second Baptist Church (“Founded Sept 1, 1910; Erected 1925; H. B. Thomas Pastor”) in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara.
Many more entries from readers:
The Netherlands has many deconsecrated churches which have been put to new uses, especially as venues for the arts. Here’s one in Maastricht converted into a bookstore.
The grand-daddy of deconsecrated churches has to be Mare Nostrum (Our Mother): In a chapel on the campus of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), this is the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre, one of the 10 largest non-military supercomputers in the world. Google for pictures.
Chris posted about wanting to find a church that had been converted to a film house. We’ve had one in Houston since 1998. It is currently 14 Pews, which bills itself as a microcinema, and it was previously operated by the Aurora Picture Show.
Another movie theater:
I give you the Bijou Art Cinema in Eugene, Oregon. It is definitely my favorite theater in town. You should come check it out sometime!
Well I am currently visiting family out in Portland, so I just might. Another:
I’ve got a former church that is now an old fashioned movie theater: Wilton Town Hall Theatre, in Wilton, New Hampshire. Facebook page here. It has been at its present location for over 30 years, and trust me, this has it all: two movie theaters, one called the screening room, which is like your own private home theater that seats about 40; the second theater is about four times as large and still has the original choir balcony in back. For more than 20 years they had seating in “the upper balcony” (choir loft) for patrons of the theater. The cost of a ticket is five bucks anytime, and the concession stand has fresh-popped popcorn, drinks and candy, which are all priced very reasonably.
I’m please to add my find. This is a nifty thread.