Jump to the main section.

Mopco_theater_exterior_after.jpg

The exterior before renovations:
Mopco_theater_exterior_before.jpg

The new concessions area in the lobby:
Mopco_theater_concessions_after.jpg

The new theater space:
Mopco_theater_interior_after.jpg

The interior before renovations:
Mopco_theater_interior_before.jpg

Mopco_theater_marquee_night.jpg

A look at MopCo's new Schenectady theater

Mopco theater Schenectady exterior after

The new MopCo Theater is at 10 North Jay Street in Schenectady.

Two things we should disclose before you start reading this post.

1. One half of AOA performs with the Mop & Bucket Company. (Hint: It's not Greg)
2. The Mop & Bucket Company advertises on AOA.

MopCo, the long-standing Capital Region improv company, now has its own theater -- a renovated former firehouse (and onetime strip club) on North Jay Street. It's sharing the space with its sister company, Koppett, which uses improv to train employees of companies such as Facebook and Apple in creativity.

In addition to its own improv shows, MopCo will use the new theater to host other improv troupes, classes, readings, music performances, story nights, and a wide variety of other special events.

MopCo officially opens the new space this Saturday with a TheaterSports show by its house team.

The company has been playing at Proctors for many years. For the last two years it worked on growing the business in a small rented space on Union Street while it searched for a permanent home.

The founders considered different areas in the Capital Region, but eventually found that home right around the corner in a broken down building in Schenectady's Little Italy.

MopCo founder Michael Burns says the location is perfect -- in the middle of what he says is a growing arts district in Schenectady. The building, he says, was a diamond in the rough.

"I was looking at this building for years," says Burns. "Great bones, the right size, and just where we wanted to be."

Mopco theater firehouse historical

The building itself -- a brick firehouse at 10 North Jay Street -- was used as a strip club for many years before closing in 1997. The space has been empty ever since. Transforming it, says Burns, was a labor of love.

"Downstairs was a complete gut -- including a couple of large sections of floor that had to be replaced. All new systems, new roof -- pretty major surgery," Burns says.

So out went the stripper pole and hot tub, replaced by 75 seats from the old Caffe Lena black box theater, a lighting grid, desks, space for classes, and a concession stand with a panini maker. (Because everything is funnier with panini.)

An improv company in a former strip club. If the move sounds familiar, you might have seen the recent Mike Birbiglia movie Don't Think Twice, in which improvisors find a home in a renovated porn theater. It's also the story of Upright Citizen's Brigade, the NYC-based improv school and performance troupe that got its start in 1999 in a defunct strip club shut down during Rudy Giuliani's anti-porn crusade. Any resemblance, says Burns, is purely coincidental. It's not what they were looking for, it's just what they found.

Burns and his wife and partner, Kat Koppett, are excited to be a part of the growing Schenectady's growing arts scene.

MopCo theater marquee night

"I think we fill a gap -- offering a different product as well as training for performers and non performers. The unique size of the room fills a gap as well. We've had a lot of interest in rentals for meetings, arts clinics, and performances," says Burns.

They're looking forward to being a space for community, entertainment, and education, Burns says.

"We want to build a culture of people who not only love performance improv, but are inspired by the power of improv in their personal and business life."

Photos

There are a handful of photos of the theater, before and after, above in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.

Earlier

+ The Capital Region's theater district

before photos and historical photo courtesy of MopCo

Find It

The Mop & Bucket Co.
10 N. Jay Street
Schenectady, NY 12305

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Approval for another big apartment project, Warehouse District reuse, Pine Hills demos, and more exciting tales of the Albany planning board

Exciting Tales of the Albany Planning Board is a program recorded before a live studio audience once a month in which the fates of multi-million... (more)

Flowers from the Netherlands, then

Decorative arts break: The earthenware tiles above are from the collection of the Albany Institute -- they date to around 1625 and they were made... (more)

Chuck Schumer is supporting marijuana decriminalization (and thinks legalization in states has worked out pretty well)

Chuck Schumer says he'll be introducing legislation for decriminalizing marijuana on the federal level, which would allow states to decide on the legality of recreational... (more)

History days at Cherry Hill and Ten Broeck Mansion

Historic Cherry Hill and the Ten Broeck Mansion in Albany are again hosting early May history days, this time on May 6: Historic Cherry Hill:... (more)

Morning Blend

Cities and trash + The city of Albany is apparently behind schedule on mapping out a plan for how to handle its trash after the... (more)

Recent Comments

... Also I would try a Tux shop. They do measurements for other tux shops all the time (for free), it's an industry courtesy. Waldorf Tux shop (Lark St) is an independently owned, "old school" tux shop--real sense of proper fitting---not just taking the "closest size" from the rack. ...

Chuck Schumer is supporting marijuana decriminalization (and thinks legalization in states has worked out pretty well)

...has 1 comment, most recently from ace

Where to donate a virtually new mattress?

...has 10 comments, most recently from EMB

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 1 comment, most recently from Audrey

A look around the new Cafe Madison

...has 2 comments, most recently from mg

The new season of the CDPHP Cycle bike share has started up

...has 4 comments, most recently from Paul