The well-known bookshop in midtown was planning to close its doors due to increasing rent prices—as have so many other iconic places in NYC—but has now been rescued by Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda and three friends.
Luckily for New Yorkers and the independent book store itself Lin-Manuel Miranda, known best for his successful 2015 musical Hamilton, has contributed to keeping the shop open. He, along with Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller, director Thomas Kail, and theater owner James L Nederlander have all pitched in to purchase the shop in order to save it from disappearing from the city map.
The Drama Book Shop has been around since 1917, and is of particular importance to the four men for several reasons. For Kail, the Arthur Seelen Theater in the bookstore’s basement was the first place he directed; for Miranda, the book shop has been a home away from home. He even tweeted a photo of himself and Broadway actor Christopher Jackson from 2002 that was taken across from the shop for their In The Heights reading.
Here’s me and @ChrisisSingin in our first photographs for an In The Heights reading in 2002, across the street from the @dramabookshop. (Our reading was in the basement.) That fence behind us would later become the New York Times building.https://t.co/ODLa4rNJ6n pic.twitter.com/BLBinwoC8z
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) January 8, 2019
Although the Drama Book Shop has been rescued, it will be moving to a new location in the fall. The shop, which is home to “the city’s best source for theatrical works,” will have it’s final day in the Theater District’s West 40th Street on January 20. New address to be announced.