With promises of future desecration and a call to pop champagne, Dad's Garage Theatre announced this week they have surmounted months of hurdles and closed the purchase of an Old Fourth Ward church. The nonprofit theatre company — known for its improv comedy shows and classes, original plays and bacon-infused blowouts — was uprooted from its longtime Inman Park home to make way for the Inman Quarter development. Nearly two years (and one zoning classification change) later, the funny business has a permanent home, thanks in no small part to an online fundraising campaign. In an announcement, Dad's Garage officials said "faithful fans" helped them "raise $690,000 in order to buy our new performance space. But the current tenants, the Atlanta Metropolitan Christian Church, aren't finished worshipping there just yet.
In the announcement, Dad's brass clarify that the church takeover won't happen immediately: "The current congregation will be there for another year, giving us time to figure out how we plan on desecrating this landmark in the Old Fourth Ward. We look forward to performing there by mid 2016!"
Per the listing, the church has more than 12,000 square feet to work with. In an interview with Curbed Atlanta last year, Dad's Garage Managing Director Lara Smith said the group could add up to 4,770 square feet, if everything pans out. Their plans were to convert the current sanctuary into the main performance space, use the downstairs area as offices and rehearsal space and put the top-shelf theater and a new entrance/lobby in the newly built area.
Once open, Dad's promises to be another attraction in a burgeoning section of the Old Fourth Ward. The church sits just south of Thumbs Up Diner and west of Ammazza pizza, close enough to the Beltline that joggers just might hear the laughter.
· We Bought a Church! [Dad's Newsletter]
· Dad's Garage Theatre Eyes Old Fourth Ward Church [Curbed]