SF’s Armory reborn yet again as event space


San Francisco’s Armory building has been synonymous with whips, ball gags and things that make you go “Mmm, ouch” in the night — but now it’s opening its largest space to community events.

Like, totally wholesome stuff.

On Tuesday, the historic building at 14th and Mission streets — which famously houses porn production site — received its entertainment permit from The City. The permit allows organizers to host artsy events, like theater plays, book fairs and some sporting events inside the 40,000-square-foot space.

Its first event arrives next month, when the American Conservatory Theater premieres the war-inspired production “Black Witch” in the Bay Area. The play will run from May 9 to June 9.

Andrew Harvill, director of the community center, said organizers are excited to reclaim the building’s former glory:

“This used to be a premier venue in The City in the ’20s and ’40s, and then it sat empty for the past 40 years. We’re trying to resurrect that.”

Despite its close proximity to headquarters, there’s no chance you’ll hear the whirring of sex machines during a poetry reading held at the community center. Harvill told the SF Examiner an external concrete wall and separate entrances will help ensure the two ventures remain isolated.

The space that holds the community center, formerly known as the drill court from its days housing the National Guard Armory, is expected to be gussied up with all new windows, paint and hardwood floors.

Eventually, the center will most likely apply for a change-of-use permit that will allow organizers to host all types of events.

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