Well here's some promising news for the long-touted but not yet realized "arts district" that Gavin Newsom talked up around mid-Market: The American Conservatory Theater announced today that they've signed a deal to purchase the long defunct Strand Theater at 1127 Market Street (near 7th). The place last saw life as an adult cinema which closed in 2006, and you can still see a big, bright titty mural on the building's backside, in full view of hundreds of offices in the federal building.

ACT has been using a nearby property, at 1117 Market Street, as their costume shop for a number of years, and now Executive Director Ellen Richard says the theater caught their eye because it has "just the right proportions." They intend to take what was an 800-seat movie theater and turn it into a 300-person theater where the company can stage edgier work and take more risks than they can at their 1,000-seat theater on Geary Street. And hallelujah for that!

The purchase and renovation of the almost 100-year-old theater will total $18 million, and it's unclear when the project will be complete, or when the first season of show will be to appear there. But it sounds like it might get named after ACT board member Jeff Ubben, who gave a significant donation for the project.