Located in the vicinity of Pori city centre, Annankatu 6 (Annis) is an old industrial building that was converted into a cultural venue in 1980. Before that Annis functioned as a brewery, printing house and a textile factory.
The first part of the building was constructed in 1873 to function as a brewery and over the years the building was expanded to accommodate the growing business.
In 1935, the brewery became inactive and Annankatu 6 became to be used as a printing house. The building was too small for this new purpose, however, so in 1938 a new part was added, which also lends it its contemporary look.
In 1963 the city of Pori purchased the premises, which at that point were empty, and the building was turned into a textile factory. Textile manufacturing became the new purpose for Annankatu 6 for more than 20 years but came to an end in late 1970’s.
Already active in the 70’s, a youth theatre was looking for a venue of their own after having wandered from one place to another for years. In 1980 they found the building in Annankatu 6 was empty and took it over. The city officials allowed their activity to continue under the misjudged assumption that it would slowly disappear by itself. After two years of continued cultural activity, the city allocated funds to renovate the building into a cultural centre with a rehearsal space for bands and theatre groups. The period of culture in Annankatu 6 had begun.
During the years the maintenance of the centre has not always been easy. For a long time the centre did not have a single paid employee so everything functioned on a voluntary basis. The building itself also required more structural work.
Plenty of hard work has been needed to demonstrate how significant a cultural centre like Annis is – in a social as well as an artistic sense – but it has been worth it, as the city and state have allocated more money to pay for repairs.
Eventually Annankatu 6 also received its first fulltime employees, who help run the everyday activities at the centre. However, an artistic director has never been hired, as emphasis has always been laid on the freedom of expression for all the various groups that are active at Annis.
All of the artistic content is created by independent groups and individuals who use the centre as a base for their own activities. There are several theatre groups and bands, who practice at the centre, and several performances each year are organized there by the different groups residing at Annis.
Over the years many talented youngsters have forged their artistic careers with the inspiration they received from Annankatu 6. Likewise, for many others the cultural centre has been a mental home, where the importance of time and patience for new expression as well as experimental thinking and multidisciplinary arts has always been understood.
Everyday many young people appear at Annis to take part in its creative atmosphere and sense of community. Regardless of their background or their dreams for the future, they are welcome to enter and participate for free, and with every fresh generation of this active youth something new is added to the rich artistic mix of Annis.