Blackfriars Theatre being transformed into Paris Flea Market

02:52 PM, Aug 19, 2013

A mix of antiques, painted furniture, original artwork and accessories in a chic vintage style will be offered for sale at the Paris Flea Market at Blackfriars Theatre. (DAN HOWELL/ / Provided photo)/

Written By Catherine Roberts | Lead Local Editor/Life

Blackfriars Theatre is presenting a show of a different sort starting this weekend.

From 2 to 7 p.m. Friday through Aug. 31, the theater, 795 E. Main St., will be transformed into a Paris Flea Market to raise money for the theater.

This market will have a set and lighting (even “birds” flying through the air) — basically New York City Macy’s Christmas windows set to a Victorian theme in August.

The idea is about five years in the making, says John Haldoupis, the theater’s artistic director, who also sell goods through markets such as The Shops on West Ridge. He proposed a fair with wagons in the parking lot. Yet, rightly so, that idea went to the wayside because of concerns about weather and using all the theater’s parking.

The Paris market, Haldoupis believes, makes the most of what Blackfriars has: a central location, already-in-place lighting and set materials and a parking lot.

Some people have never seen the inside of the theater,” he says. “This gives them a chance to see what we have to offer.”

Haldoupis is treating the inaugural market as a warm-up to get some word-of-mouth going. Then he plans to do another on Thanksgiving weekend that he hopes will become an annual tradition.

This type of market is a retail trend. Seasonal and fundraising pop-up stores are becoming more popular. But usually those are in empty storefronts.

I had never heard of one being done in a theater,” Haldoupis says, “and I got really excited.”

Another trend among higher-end specialty stores is to create events, closing the stores to set up and tear down a highly staged “show,” Haldoupis says.

The Paris Flea Market ends up being a combination of a pop-up and special event because of the theatricality.

Because Haldoupis has a foot in the retail world, he was able to gather other vendors who sell antiques, designer-painted furniture and other goods. He says this will not be a market for those who are looking for sleek, contemporary lines. The vendors all have the similar chic vintage style that will go with the look of the market.

Haldoupis painted a landscape backdrop, wrapped a tree in chintz fabrics, put bird cages up.

Most everything used to decorate the market will be for sale (except for the antique curved glass, nickel-plated display case Haldoupis recently found and got for a steal).

Admission is $5, which will be discounted with a purchase of $25 or more.