Midtown’s Drama Book Shop gets a new location and a 2020 opening date

November 13, 2019

Rendering of the new shop, courtesy of David Korins

Midtown’s 100-year-old Drama Book Shop has a new home and an opening date after being revived by Lin-Manuel Miranda and three “Hamilton” collaborators, the New York Times reports. Earlier this year, the garment district mainstay was forced to close due to rising rents. With investment help from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Miranda’s team bought the store from owner Rozanne Seelen and packed up the storefront at 250 West 40th Street, where it had been located since 2001. Since then, they’ve found a new location just one block south at 266 West 39th Street, which is expected to open in March.

“It was both a destination for tourists and it was also our hub, and so we wanted to keep it close to the theater district,” Miranda told The Times. “And, too, we’re in the business of creating community, and that’s another thing the Drama Book Shop does, and that’s incalculable — I can’t tell you how many creative teams on theater companies say ‘Let’s go meet at the book shop and talk there’.” Miranda wrote much of his early musical “In the Heights” in the shop’s basement. “If I was ever stuck, I was surrounded by the greatest plays and musicals of all time.”

The new store will be designed by David Korins, who created the sets for “Hamilton.” Korins was inspired by the tradition of European cafes, “beautiful spaces where people would sip coffee and exchange ideas,” he told The Times. “We wanted to create a space where we were looking back into the past and into the future, so the space is carved up like a reading room cafe, with a tin ceiling, aged with patinas, and mix and match furniture.” Korins also described a “worm-shaped sculpture of dramatic literature” that will undulate throughout the space.

The shop will stock scripts, librettos, and books about theatre alongside coffee, merchandise, and writing materials. The basement will offer a space for classes, readings, and screenings, much like the old store which housed a 60-seat theater in its basement. The original sign and an upright piano from the previous location were saved and will be incorporated into the new design.

[Via New York Times]


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