Two years from now, in 2015, this building is expected to be transformed into the Marina Abramovic Institute, and even the doubting Thomases have to be impressed by the project's ability to raise $661,452 in a month-long Kickstarter campaign.
In the building's eight decades of existence, it has had many lives and uses, but one that doesn't get much attention is its life as a nightclub--known first as Arthur's Court and then as Park VII.
Recently, Gossips discovered an article, published on January 28, 1985, in The Columbia Request, reporting on the transformation of Arthur's Court into Park VII.
Park VII Is New Area Nightspot
After operating Arthur's Court for seven years, Jerry Porreca felt it was time for a change.
"I was fed up with the aggrevation [sic]," he said, looking over the completely remodeled lounge area that now occupies the site. "We've completely renovated this place and we're going after an entirely different crowd. We've developed a nightclub there, something Hudson has been missing for a long time."
The new facility is called Park VII and one look will tell you this is not the old Arthur's Court.
"It was a complete overhaul," Porreca said. "We went from a 60 seat bar to 150 seats. There's a new loft lounge where the old stairway used to be." Porreca noted the renovations took seven months.
The Park VII is in the eastern half of what once was the Community Theatre, on the corner of Columbia and Seventh Street, Hudson. The building was constructed 47 years ago. . . .
By removing the stairs to the old theatre's balcony, they created the upper lounge which provides patrons with an excellent view of the dance floor. A second group of tables sits under the loft. . . .
Also as part of the renovations, the old rest room facilities, which had remained virtually unchanged since the building was a theatre, were moved to make room for a large new bandstand. Each weekend the nightspot hosts a band from New York City or Albany, contracted through a professional agency. The bandstand also serves as the base for the lounge's 50 inch TV screen, which is a popular amenity when major sporting events are broadcast. A large dance floor has also been opened up and every Thursday night a local DJ spins disco records through the bar's new sound system.
The entire nightspot has been repanelled with stained wood slabs and equipped with all new furniture, creating a warm and intimate atmosphere. The only thing that hasn't been changed is the large wood bar which was constructed when Porreca originally established the business.
"The biggest change is in our clientele," Porreca noted. "We're going for an older crowd now, mid-20s and up, quiet, with no nonsense. We're requiring proper attire. So we're bringing in a crowd here now that we've never seen before, We're going to keep a tight lid on it. We want people to be able to feel comfortable here, someplace they can bring their wives or girlfriends for a fun, hassle-free evening.". . .