Phoenix Theatre unveils plans for new $8.5 million facility

Rendering of the new Phoenix Theatre building planned at Illinois and Walnut streets in Indianapolis. (Image provided by Phoenix Theatre)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Phoenix Theatre is expected to unveil its plans on Tuesday for a new facility at Illinois and Walnut streets in Indianapolis.

During the 2014-2015 season, Phoenix Theatre productions brought in more than 17,000 people. The attendance shows a strong interest in theater in central Indiana, but it is also pushing the current facility to the max, according to staff. Parking is also a big issue in the Mass Ave area.

The new building, designed by RATIO Architects of Indianapolis, will be bigger, but still provide an intimate theater space for spectators. There will be two performance spaces, a 150-seat traditional theater and an adaptable 90-seat black box theater. There will also be dedicated classrooms, rehearsal space, a scene shop, costume shop, and room for special events.

Work on the new building is expected to begin early 2017, but Phoenix Theatre staff is still asking for donations. They’ve raised more than five-million dollars, but need $8.5 million for the entire project. They are still naming opportunities for major donors too.

Performances will continue at the current Phoenix Theatre location until the new facility is complete. At that point a developer plans to renovate the six-thousand square foot building into three condominiums, according to theatre staff. They tell 24-Hour News 8 the developer wants to live in one of the units.

Theater leaders will officially unveil the plans for the new building Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at a press conference.