Cabaret and Fitness Center to move

by Max Reyes / Beacon Staff • November 10, 2016

Students looking to hop on the elliptical or see a comedy show—activities formerly reserved for the Little Building basement—will need to make the trek to Downtown Crossing this January.

The Cabaret theater and the Fitness Center will move from the Little Building to a building at the corner of Summer and Arch Streets, according to an email sent to the Emerson community from the directors of the Cabaret, the Fitness Center, and the Athletic Training Room.

The move, which was organized by Emerson’s Facilities Department, the Campus Center, the Fitness Center, Emerson Athletics, and the Office of Campus Life, according to the email, precedes the renovations to the Little Building set to begin fall of 2017. During renovations, the Little Building and its faculties will be unavailable to students, making a change of location necessary.

The new location has five floors, including the basement, Vice President for Facilities and Campus Services Duncan Pollock said. He said the first floor will serve as a reception area, the second floor as the new Cabaret space, and the third and fourth floors will house the Fitness Center. The basement will have locker rooms and bathrooms, he added.

The college initially planned to move Cabaret events to the Bill Bordy Theater and had been negotiating a deal with the Summer Street Planet Fitness to use its space for students, Pollock said. But Pollock said the Planet Fitness deal failed because Emerson wanted an exclusive facility for students.

Lizzie McDowell, a junior performing arts major, was privy to an early look at the new location as part of a student advisory board. She had concerns about the new Cabaret space, specifically the structural beams that she said would create difficulties during performances.

Despite her concerns, McDowell said using the new Cabaret area was preferable to hosting Cabaret events in the Bill Bordy Theater.

“Realistically, we don’t have any other choice,” McDowell said.

Emerson College has a three year lease on the space and plans to return the Cabaret and Fitness Center to the Little Building basement once renovations are complete, Pollock said.