Located just west of the Cosmopolitan, Mark Shunock (the man behind popular charity event Mondays Dark, which raises funds for different local organizations at each monthly installment) is realizing his philanthropic pinnacle in opening The Space. Part community center and part theater, it soft-opens at the end of the month, with plans to host everything from performances to special events. Expect familiar local movers and shakers popping in, along with performers from Shunock’s list of Hollywood contacts. “Ideally, what we’re creating is a unique off-Broadway arts complex,” Shunock says. Vegas Seven recently got a sneak peek of The Space.
Guests at The Space will be immediately greeted by its Piano Bar. Inspired by old-school New York, Shunock describes it as a “lobby/library/piano bar” with a chill, underground vibe. Edison light fixtures brighten up the dim lounge, which is able to seat 55 at the bar and surrounding cabaret tables. Those seats will come with a great view of the Strip—best seen at night—as well as the planned musical performances. As for the piano, right now it’s a Kimball ornate upright from the 1800s, but that may change, pending a donation from a Strip property.
The future home of Mondays Dark (which, starting in January, will occur twice a month), the Main Room can seat an estimated 400 people—more than what the event can currently host at Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel. The room will remain without a permanent stage to allow productions to create show-specific layouts, with seating arrangements varying from cabaret tables to rows of chairs to a standing room for around 650. It will also house a mobile trailer that’s being gutted to become a satellite bar and office space. Flanking the room on one side are two Broadway-style dressing rooms, and on the other a sauna (which is currently being used for storage). After-hours, anyone?
Studios 1 & 2
Shunock refers to the north portion of the building as “the fun, creative side.” The first space you’ll reach there is Studio 1, a small room followed by the slightly larger Studio 2. The studios will serve multiple purposes, which include hosting dance and acting classes. Shunock also plans to eventually roll out a children’s program that will take place there during the day.
Black Box Theatre
Past the studio areas is the Black Box Theatre, a black room draped with floor-to-ceiling curtains that will seat around 120. With room for risers to create stadium-like seating, Black Box’s programming, which Shunock says will include speaker and reading series as well as film screenings, will also dictate its layout.
Shunock’s landlord says The Space was previously a boxing gym that was owned by a rapper. Fast-forward to Shunock cleaning out its recording studio, where he discovered a bunch of CDs by hip-hop artist 50 Cent. A recording studio in a gym? Think what you will, but the space is ideal for a venue that’s going to regularly host musicians and actors. It’s only set up for podcasts now, but Shunock plans to bring in equipment to make it a full-fledged recording space, complete with a “tricked-out” vocal booth.