Comic and fantasy group seeks to transform historic building - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

'Super heroes' seek to transform historic building

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(WMC-TV) - If you spot a storm trooper in Memphis this weekend, do not be alarmed.

"I came out here to do my part to help," noted a gentleman dressed as Batman.
    
Comic and fantasy super heroes are part of an effort to transform Ashlar Hall in Central Gardens.

"We are in the process of trying to acquire Ashlar Hall," said Joe Thordarson of the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention.
    
The future of the run-down building that once operated as The Castle Nightclub is now in the hands of Shelby County Environmental Court. The Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention wants to move it and open the Ashlar Hall Center for the Arts.

"What we're offering is, there's no other facility like it in Memphis," added Thordarson.

Characters, illustrators, and authentic vintage props attended an open house at the University Club Saturday to introduce a plan to create a year round facility that would be part art gallery, part art education, and part event center.

"Then of course, we want people to come and enjoy the castle because we want to restore it to its original condition," noted Thordarson.

The group has to present their plan to environmental court later in February. 

Thordarson wants the residents of Central Gardens to know they will be good neighbors and will bring a unique experience to Memphis. 

"We just want it to be utilized the best it can for the whole city," he said.

He is hoping Saturday's open house will raise awareness and support for their mission to storm the castle.

The future of the building is due back in court on February 28 .

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