The Tank, Dayton’s subterranean space for events and performances

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

When Dayton’s new underground black box theater-in-the-round opens later this year organizers say it will be a platform for inventors and dreamers.

The Tank – Inspired by CenterPoint Energy is the new event and performance space located in the Dayton Arcade.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

“It really is unique, I’m not aware of another space exactly like this one,” Lisa Hanson, chief executive director of Culture Works, said. “Especially given the underground, subterranean feel of the theater-in-the-round.”

Culture Works is a local arts and culture advocacy organization serving as venue manager for the Tank and the Arcade rotunda.

Visitors attending a show will enter a structure resembling a subway entrance on Fourth Street. “We’re bringing a little of New York to Dayton,” Hanson said.

Below ground, a passageway illuminated by blue LED lights mimics hot burning gas — a nod to CenterPoint Energy, formerly Vectren, who donated $1 million to the project. “It’s like you’re going through a giant pipeline,” Hanson said.

A gallery space is also incorporated in the underground space where exhibitions by local artists will be hosted.

The theater, beneath the Arcade’s iconic rotunda, is surrounded by a wall of metal grids with round cutouts to resemble a gas burner.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

An observation deck above has easy access to a reception area and bar. The theater seats 120 and the expanded space can accommodate 400 people.

“When you think about uses for this space the sky’s the limit,” Hanson said. The rentable space may be used for events, weddings and performances.

Planning is still underway, but organizers hope to hold a public event at the Tank in August. Updates will be posted on the Arcade’s website and social media.

For more information about renting the Tank or the South Arcade Rotunda can be found here.

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