The Drama Book Shop, in NYC since 1917, was in danger of closing due to trouble paying its $20,000 a month rent, even launching a recent GoFundMe to help “Find Drama Bookshop a New Home.” But now Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda and three people from his team have purchased the shop and saved the day. The store, which bills itself as “the greatest theatre and film bookshop in the world,” will be able to remain open at its West 40th Street location.
Via Crain’s New York Business, ‘Hamilton’ Creator to Purchase Drama Book Shop:
Lin-Manuel Miranda and three people from his “Hamilton” team have purchased the Drama Book Shop, known for its exhaustive collection of plays and books on theater and as hallowed ground for the Broadway set.
The shop said it would shutter its store at 250 W. 40th St. early 2019 due to sharp rent increases, Crain’s reported in October.
Allen Hubby, a vice president at the bookshop whose aunt Rozanne Seelen has owned the store for several decades, said they had expected its time in the space to come to an end at the close of its lease.
“We knew it was getting too expensive,” Hubby said. “It’s hard to cover a $20,000 rent when most of the books you offer only cost about $10.
When The Bottom Line, two blocks from Washington Square Park, closed (RIP) – can you believe that was 2004? – it was reported/rumored that Bruce Springsteen offered to help with the back rent to pay NYU, the landlord*. If that was the case, sadly, it did not come to be.
This is good news for the Drama Book Shop and New York. It happens so infrequently, someone stepping in to stop closure, I wonder why that is? At the same time, landlords, the city, they certainly don’t make it easy for small businesses now expecting huge rents and there are no protections – even the large chains, which often drive out the small businesses and change the very essence of our neighborhoods, can’t afford these rents.
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*Note: NYU still owns the property at 15 West 4th Street between Mercer and Greene Streets. The building is now entirely filled with offices and classrooms, and quite bland. The Bottom Line is missed.