HUDSON — The Galvan Foundation announced plans Friday to purchase the former Hudson Community Theater building at 614-620 Columbia St.
The tall brick building, with “Community Tennis” engraved atop its distinctive pillars, is listed for $990,000 on Zillow, a real estate listing site.
A marquee in front of the old cinema is lined with beer cans and a cup of coffee, and another has peeling paint surrounding a photo of heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, with graffiti underneath.
The paint on the pillars is also peeling, and graffiti on the doors accompanies a stapled sign reading “Order to Vacate, Dangerous and Unsafe” under the Hudson town code.
The purchase of the property by Galvan could be finalized in the coming months.
“We expect to complete the transaction in January 2021,” Galvan said in a statement Friday.
The Foundation is buying the property of artist Marina Abramovic, Galvan spokesman Dan Kent confirmed. Abramovic, 66, had planned to turn the old theater into a performance art space, but the project never materialized.
the 16,665 square feet The building, built in the mid-1920s, began as Hudson’s Community Theater, according to Halstead Real Estate’s Zillow listing.
In January, the property was listed by Halstead for $1.4 million, according to Brownstoner Realty in New York.
“Later uses were an indoor tennis court, movie theater, antique warehouse and market,” according to the listing.
But the rest of the building’s history also includes 1980s clubbers rocking to the disco tunes of DJ Bill Williams.
Williams is now a reporter at Columbia-Greene Media.
The old cinema, which closed in the early 1970s, housed Arthur’s Court, a disco bar from 1978 to 1985, Williams said.
He worked there as a DJ from 1979 to 1984, he added. The bar belonged to Jerry Porreca.
The building was divided into a tennis court on one side and a disco bar on the other, said 5th District Alderman Dominic Merante, who grew up in Hudson.
“The disco bar was in the theater lobby,” Williams said. “The tennis court was on the other side of the wall, where the theater was. The old balcony was used as storage.
Nightlife in Hudson meant hopping from bar to bar, Merante said.
“There were bars on every corner,” Merante said.
Arthur’s Court would be on the list, Merante said.
“It was a hot spot in the mid to late ’80s, which I remember,” Merante said.
Thursday nights were the most popular at Arthur’s Court, Williams said.
“No other bar had customers on Thursdays,” he said. “Everyone was at Arthur’s Court.”
The Youth Department ran a teen center in the building briefly after Arthur’s Court closed, Merante said.
“But it didn’t work,” he added.
Later, another bar called “Park 7,” co-owned by a local chiropractor, was in business for a year or two, Merante recalls.
James Goodman Jr. purchased the building from Columbia-Greene Tennis in 1998, property records show.
He sold the building to Abramovic’s company in 2007, according to county records. Abramovic canceled his construction project in October 2018.
Abramovic told art curator and critic Hans Ulrich Obrist at a symposium organized by Swiss museum Fondation Beyeler and UBS Art at the Serpentine Galleries in London that the project was prohibitively expensive at a price tag of $31 million. .
She had raised $661,452 from 4,765 backers through a Kickstarter campaign for the art space.
Marina Abramovic did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The acquisition of the building is part of Galvan’s Depot District Initiative, a mixed-use commercial and residential development.
The filing district initiative aims to create commercial and residential spaces that come together as a new neighborhood in Hudson, Kent said.
The building is expected to lead people coming up from Warren Street into the planned drop-off district, Kent said.
“It’s the perfect kind of welcome to this exciting new neighborhood as people walk from Warren Street,” he said.
Galvan doesn’t know how the space will be used, Kent said.
“We haven’t identified a specific use yet,” Kent said. “We would definitely be interested to hear from potential partners, people with ideas on how they could use the space.”
When Galvan purchased the Hudson Armory building, where the public library is now located, they had no idea how it would be used, but after conversations with potential partners, they realized a library could fill a community need, a said Kent.
“WWe are ready to make exciting ideas possible,” he said. “So part of the ‘how’ is talking to people in the community who want to improve the quality of life in Hudson. »
The Galvan Foundation is in the planning stages for its district and expects to present plans in the coming months, Kent said.