THE BRONX - Volunteers with the Belmont Business Improvement District are trying to bring the arts back to Arthur Avenue.

Near the corner of East 187th Street and Arthur Avenue lies a 4,000-square-foot room that used to be a popular wedding venue from the 1920s to the 50s. By the late-60s, it was shut down and abandoned.

Now, Arthur Avenue residents are bringing the enormous space back to life. Their goal is to turn it into an arts center, right in the heart of Little Italy, starting with performances by Fordham University students, to eventually hosting Off-Broadway shows and children's art classes.

The Belmont Business Improvement District has partnered with the Belmont Society of Arts and Culture, a nonprofit organization, to rent the space and spread word of it.

Organizers say the space still requires much work in areas such as air conditioning, the ceiling and putting in a new stage.

They say the support they have received so far has been amazing and anyone who truly knows the neighborhood would appreciate the new space and the valuable impact it will have on Arthur Avenue's future.