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Drama Book Shop

A New Home for The Drama Book Shop

For decades, theatre fans, actors, and just about anyone working in the theatre industry would visit The Drama Book Shop to buy scripts, collections, history of theatre books, screenplays, and a wide array of novelties associated with the performing arts. Escalating rents forced this iconic Theatre District shop to close its doors, but soon after the announcement that the establishment would shutter, a few special folks came together to give it new life. Hamilton collaborators Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, and Jeffrey Seller, as well as theatre producer and owner James M. Nederlander, stepped in and promised the beloved store would be reopened in a new location. That location has officially been announced.

The Drama Book Shop will soon be found at 266 West 39th Street, about a block away from its old location. Tony nominee David Korins will design the new space which is scheduled to open its doors in March of 2020. European cafes of the 20th Century will be the inspiration for the atmosphere that Korins hopes to create, giving the store a unique and elegant setting where patrons will continue to enjoy a comfortable home to seek out their dramatic literature. The store will also serve coffee and facilitate a home for discussion and an exchange of creative ideas. Further details on the new Drama Book Shop’s grand reopening will be forthcoming.

In business for over a century, The Drama Book Shop has been a mainstay of the New York Theatre World since 1917 and has moved through a handful of locations. The most recent owner Rozanne Seelen ran the shop for decades, but when a rent hike brought the monthly bill up to $20,000, she had to make the difficult decision to close the doors. Along came Miranda, Kail, Seller, and Nederlander, all inspired throughout their theatrical careers by the Drama Book Shop (Miranda and Kail worked on the musical In the Heights there), and worked with the city to find a new location that will hopefully allow “Drama Books” to flourish.

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His latest book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, released on October 15. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.