A theater and arts venue in St. Paul’s Midway area is for sale, and could leave a big hole in the disability arts community there. The 40-seat Dreamland Arts theater, as well as the current owners’ adjoining single-family home are connected by underground tunnel.
Kristin Pickering, a broker with Pickering Realty, listed the two properties for sale together with a combined asking price of $600,000.
“We’re just marketing it at this point to the local arts community, hoping that it can stay as an arts venue of some sort,” said Pickering, who is also based in Hamline-Midway.
The two-bedroom, two-bath house has been occupied by theater owners Leslye Orr and Zaraawar “Z” Mistry since 2005, but “it would also be excellent rental property,” she said. “If housing was needed for visiting performers, it would be great for that, or office space.”
The commercial structure, which spans 4,200 square feet, dates to 1974. The two-story home was built in 1922, around the same time as much of the surrounding neighborhood.
Dreamland Arts, which Orr and Mistry opened together in September 2006, was named after a dilapidated movie theater in Secunderabad, a city in south-central India. The couple met while working at the Children’s Theater Company in the early 1990s, where Mistry was an actor and Orr — who has been legally blind since birth — was completing a two-year internship.
Motivated by “the possibilities of disabilities,” Orr and Mistry purchased the Midway property together and hosted original works, including their own. In a notice advertising the property sale on the Dreamland Arts website, they said: After 17 years of running Dreamland Arts, we have decided to make a change, downsize and move into an apartment nearby. . . . We hope to find a buyer that will keep the theater building as a neighborhood arts asset for the community, and perhaps even keep it running as a theater venue.
Dreamland will host five plays and events through June. A full calendar is available at dreamlandarts.com.
(Source: Pioneer Press)