2558 Imperial Avenue, Grant Hill
It was a sad day for clowns when, last July, antiquated zoning regulations forced Technomania Circus to shut down their backyard performance space in Barrio Logan after seven years in business.
Determined to continue juggling regular productions, the group leased a Logan Heights space up the street — a church dating back to the late ’50s — and named it after the location’s original 1913 title, Victory Theater.
After a good amount of refurbishing and artistic touch-ups, Technomania inaugurated the Center for the Amusing Arts at 2558 Imperial Avenue with a show in August and, a few months later, received the city’s blessing to operate as a theater in lieu of paying an estimated $17,200 in permitting fees.
Victory Theater is now home to monthly Technomania productions and has been rented out for events such as traveling circus acts, the third annual San Diego Burning Man Film Festival, all-ages shows, the filming of experimental dragcore duo Aquapuke’s music video, and a Santana cover band.
“It’s a synergistic effort,” says Bruce “Dr. Techno” Cartier, one of Technomania’s foundational members since 1999. “We have all sorts of crazy stuff to keep us entertained, and hopefully the community, too.”
As such, Victory is gearing up to host several monthly music events, such as the new Bad Music Night held every first Monday (8 p.m., $5).
“I want Bad Music Night to function as a ‘safe’ space for anyone who wants to perform some material that is new and might not work at all,” curator Sean Francis Conway told Reader contributor Bobby Bray in April. “The audience is expecting you to be bad from the start, so that is a much different kind of atmosphere to enter as a performer.”
The event has seen performances from Conway, Randy Chiurazzi, Reggie Costa, and Sasha “MC Salsa Surrender” Syeed. Syeed, who performs as a one-man band under the alias Nothingful, curates a monthly show of his own every last Friday.
“I love the venue and like how it is this unknown, magical, large space,” says Syeed. “The venue offers a unique concert/performance experience that is very special, and a very welcome alternative to the loud, late bar experience and the sometimes stuffy, small art gallery experience or sweaty and police-threatened house shows.”
Technomania’s next production, Western Show, happens on Saturday, June 16 (8 p.m., $10).