ACU (Utrecht)

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The ACU is a political-cultural venue in the city center of Utrecht, the Netherlands. The name ACU is derived from "Auto Centrale Utrecht" (Car Center Utrecht) and is one of the many signs of its origin as an old squat. Nowadays it is still run by volunteers to keep it an independent and non-profit harbor within Utrecht's nightlife. The ACU hosts a wide range of activities including: concerts, dance nights, political info nights, poetry events, benefits, parties, a venue for meetings and much more.


The car center ACU existed from 1935 to 1967. In the year 1976 the premises were squatted and adapted for habitation. In the course of the years multiple small businesses settled there as well for example a bike-shop. The residents started a cinema in the former showroom in 1979. After two years the cinema was replaced by a coffeehouse to be able to provide a public space for the squatting community. Eventually this developed into a venue providing a stage for local and international bands since 1985.

After almost being evicted the squatters realized the premises had to be bought eventually. A foundation "stichting Voorstaete" was established to buy the property. In 1994 Stichting Voorstaete bought the ACU and the squatted premises around the corner, which currently houses the hostel Strowis. After years of refurnishing the building, the ACU reopened in 1998, and was completed as the current venue in 1999.

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Coordinates: 52°05′42″N 5°07′19″E / 52.0950°N 5.1219°E / 52.0950; 5.1219