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.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

The Playdium redevelopment! Downtown residential! Neighborhood critics! And more exciting tales of the Albany planning board

The proposed redevelopment of the Playdium was among the projects up for review. Despite the fact that they often focus on multi-million-dollar projects that... (more)

An award-winning tale of Victorian robot sex

Check it out: Local artist/author Jess Fink won the 2017 Ignatz Award for outstanding series for her comic Chester 5000 XYV. The annual Ignatz Awards... (more)

Adult swim at Via Aquarium

This looks like it'd be a different sort of night out: Via Aquarium in Rotterdam is hosting a "Mer-Mixer" evening September 29 that "allows adults... (more)

What's up in the Neighborhood

Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: rude people, restaurants, the Pony Barn, a basket of ingredients, babysitters,... (more)

Autumn Evening in the Garden 2017

The annual Autumn Evening in the Garden event to benefit Capital Roots is September 28 from 6-9 pm at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy.... (more)

Recent Comments

Imagine if a mixed use development - apartments, townhouses, restaurants, offices, a park - were built on the Rensselaer riverfront, and people on both sides could go to work and go out in either Albany or Renss, just by walking to a gondola station? If people had reason to traverse the Hudson - in both directions - for a reason other than commuting or getting to/from the train station, a gondola could be an awesome (and financially self-sustaining) idea, that also cuts down on the need for parking. ...

If you want to provide direct feedback on that Capital District Gondola idea, here's your chance

...has 14 comments, most recently from Al Quaglieri

Quick-scan primary election results 2017: Sheehan wins Albany Democratic mayoral primary

...has 8 comments, most recently from Pine Hills

Good open mic nights?

...has 19 comments, most recently from NEIL

Albany's mayor gets selected by just a small slice of the city's population

...has 3 comments, most recently from stan

Cereal sundae from Bumpy's Polar Freeze

...has 5 comments, most recently from ACW