Plans Announced for B Side

The former Pizza Shoppe Collective space at 6058 Maple Street in downtown Benson will take on new life this fall as an arm of the Benson Theatre.

Benson Theatre Executive Director Amy Ryan said the nonprofit has leased the storefront and will use it as a second, smaller venue for programming, storage space and office space for theatre staff.

The B Side of Benson Theatre will have a 49-person capacity and will be available for rent by the theatre’s community partners as well as the general public. The venue will feature on-site catering equipment, a stage, a sound system and a gallery hanging system for art exhibitions.

“B Side will allow us to begin serving our community partners and the public as we continue raising funds for the renovation of the theatre space at 6054 Maple Street,” Ryan said.

Benson First Friday President Shelby Audiss said B-Side will be a prime spot in Benson for fundraising and events. “BFF is excited to collaborate with the Benson Theatre to have access to a space that is centrally located and able to accommodate a variety of events,” Audiss noted.

Under Ryan’s management as owner/operator of the Pizza Shoppe & Pub at 6056 Maple Street, the former Collective space hosted hundreds of private events, fundraisers, workshops, showcases and other creative performances until February 2017 when Ryan sold the business to focus on her theatre duties full time.

Maggie Weber has been hired as the Benson Theatre’s community outreach/event coordinator and will book B Side as part of her duties, Ryan said.

Ryan said B Side will undergo a minor renovation before it’s available for rent. The target opening is late fall 2017.

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