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Performing Arts Studio to Move Downtown

The Performing Arts Academy of Marin plans to move from the Alto shopping center into a larger space at 38 Miller Ave.

Annie Thistle wants to open the type of dance studio she would have like to have as a kid.

The owner of the , currently at 773 E. Blithedale Ave. in the Alto shopping center, is set to move a much larger space downtown after she received approval to do so Monday night from the Mill Valley Planning Commission.

Thistle plans to move the studio into the 2,500-square-foot space on the second floor of 38 Miller Ave. above the Balboa Cafe. The vacant location was formerly occupied by the spa.

The plan calls for two dance studios, an entry/reception area, locker room, private office and storage room, with shared restrooms for all businesses on the floor.

“I want more space to really create a full theater atmosphere for the kids,” Thistle told the commission. 

With comprehensive theater and dance programs, enrollment at the studio has been booming, Thistle said. She opened in 2009 with about 25 students, and now hosts more than 200. Kids range from 2 to 18 years old, and classes, usually an hour long, accommodate between 10 and 12 students at a time. The studio is open Monday through Friday from 9 - 11 a.m. and 2 - 8 p.m.

Thistle said she’s not only seeing more students, but more dedicated students. They’re taking multiple classes, and the entryway in particular will help not only accommodate them as the come and go from classes, but provide a place for them to wait in between classes.

“It gives them a space,” she said, “to relax and put their stuff down."

Thistle said she is still working on the details about moving the Performing Arts Academy of Marin into the new downtown space.

Lou Judson September 13, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Interesting that nobody calls it Old Brown's Store any more. Do any Patch readers remember what this building was originally? And before that, a hotel called Mill Valley House. Now they just use the address... Just a sentimental old fool, I guess.
Sabrina Cruz Mercurio September 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Yay Annie, wishing you continued success!
Anne Tique September 15, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Ditto! Though I didn't know about the before-Brown's Store incarnation. I so-fondly recall the Beadazzled/Cheese Shop/T-Shirt transfer station/etc., days of the 70's when kids were welcome. Am glad to hear that the space will once again, have youth in mind.

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