Santa Cruz’s downtown 418 Project is on the move — will it need a new name?
The dance and performance-oriented community space will be moving from its Front Street location to the former Regal Riverfront Twin
New agenda item now at The 418 Project: What are we going to do about the name?
The 418 Project — a community-oriented performance-arts center so named because it’s been at 418 Front Street for almost 30 years — is on the move. How does “The 155 Project” grab you?
Laura Bishop, The 418’s executive director, announced that the cultural center will be moving into the space that was once the Regal Riverfront Twin movie theater and, most recently, DNA’s Comedy Lab, at 155 South River St.
Bishop said that she and her staff will be moving operations into the former movie house within a month “as soon as we get our permit.”
As a logistical issue, the big move will be the dance center’s large dance floor. “We have one of the best dance floors in the Bay Area,” said Bishop. “So we figured out a way to just pick it up and move it right into the lobby (of the new space). We’re going to be learning our new space. And we’ll get in there as soon as the city says we can and just start doing our thing.”
The 418 Project has been offering a variety of dance classes and workshops since its inception in 1993. It has become the center for the weekly Dance Church, a Sunday morning spiritual exercise with dance and movement, and “What Is Erotic?,” an annual dance festival focused on erotic themes in dance and performance.
The center’s current building on Front Street is slated for demolition to make way for the proposed Front Street/Riverfront development project.
Bishop said that the 418 had been looking at relocation for several years, long before the onset of the pandemic, and that the former movie theater gives her staff and clientele room for expansion. “With so little space for so many years, I think we’ve become expert space sharers, but now we’ll have more flexibility and be able to offer more resources.
She envisions three main spaces downstairs and she plans to use the building’s second floor capacity and “turn those spaces into creative rooms where people can do a podcast, or teach a small class, or do a kid’s art gathering.”
For more information about classes and other offerings at The 418 Project, go to its website.