Thanks to reader esquared for the info: Broadway World announced yesterday that Manhattan Theatre Source will be closing in January 2012 after a dozen years in Greenwich Village.
Opened in 2000, Manhattan Theatre Source was named by New York as one of the city's Top 5 Off-Off Broadway theaters.
Said one of the board members to Broadway World, "Despite efforts to save it, we have finally reached a point where we can no longer sustain the running of our space at 177 MacDougal Street. Our deficits have grown too high, and the terrible economy has badly hurt small theater companies in NYC."
Blogger Andrew Bellware at Pleasure for the Empire has a different take on the closure. He recently wrote on his blog, "The present Board is actually and actively destroying the theater. And they're doing it willfully--not just from neglect... The theater is not going bankrupt... It's just closing because this Board lacks the imagination, the will, and the backbone one needs to keep a small business running."
Either way, the building, along with its neighbors, is up for sale. Massey Knakal has the listing with an asking price of $11,950,000. The realtors write, "Between the buildings, there are a total of 8 stores and 10 rent regulated apartments plus a theater space on two and a half floors at 177 MacDougal which will be delivered vacant and could be converted to residential."
In addition, in case you didn't know, "Retail stores have tremendous upside, as national tenants like Dallas BBQ and Le Pain Quotidien have come to the block."
There's even a video walk-through of the buildings, showing everything that could, theoretically, be wiped out should a new owner decide to demolish the lot or triple the rents or do whatever landlords do these days. I think about that whenever I walk by the dilapidated, low-rise corner to see the little barber shop that somehow survives.
The video also includes a few shots of the wrecked interior of what was once Bon Soir, the cabaret on West 8th where Barbra Streisand (in 35-cent shoes) got her start, singing songs like "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?"
So if you have $12 million to spend, you could own this piece of history, along with the theater, which you could choose to keep as a theater and not turn into a Pain Quotidien or an Au Bon Pain or any other kind of pain.
If you don't have that kind of money, you might want to spend a few bucks to see one of Manhattan Theatre Source's last performances. Here's what's playing now.