Former Slaughterhouse Freezer Gets New Life as Black Box Theatre in East Iceland Skip to content

Former Slaughterhouse Freezer Gets New Life as Black Box Theatre in East Iceland

By Larissa Kyzer

Photo: Sláturhúsið Menningarsetur, FB.

A former slaughterhouse in East Iceland that has been converted to a cultural centre will be getting a further makeover this winter, and expanding as a performing arts space as well, RÚV reports. The Fljótsdalshérað Cultural Center, also known as Sláturhúsið (‘The Slaughterhouse’), in Egilsstaðir will soon begin converting what used to be an industrial freezer into a black box theatre with seats for 150 people. The conversion will be partially funded by the Icelandic government.

The former co-op slaughterhouse has two larger freezers, one of which has a very high ceiling and is ideal for a black box theatre. “By its nature, a black box theatre is a very simple space,” explained centre director Ragnhildur Ástvaldsdóttir. “Often we’re talking about a square–black walls and a flat stage. Such that it’s possible to face chairs in all directions. [The freezer] will be well-suited for performances like the ones the National Theater puts on in [its own black box theatre], Kassinn, or that the Reykjavík City Theater stages on its smaller stage.”

The theatre space is just under 250 sq m [2,691 sq ft] and other improvements will be made throughout the facility. The expectation is that the theatre will be able to accommodate 150 guests. The centre hopes to collaborate with other theatres in Iceland, as well as smaller performance troupes in the future. “We’ll be able to invite them to come here and put on performances and to practice as well,” says Ragnhildur.

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