What to Know
- Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mastermind behind hit musicals, as well as a handful of his "Hamilton" colleagues purchased The Drama Book Shop
- The iconic independent bookstore in Midtown was facing eviction due to rent increase
- The new owners will announce the new location and opening date in 2019
Lin-Manuel Miranda can add “literary hero” to his growing list of accolades.
The mastermind behind the musicals “Hamilton” and “In the Heights," as well as a handful of his "Hamilton" colleagues, announced Tuesday they purchased The Drama Book Shop — saving the theatrical institution facing eviction in a last-minute move.
The iconic independent bookstore, which has one of the largest selections of plays in the country, was being forced from its longtime midtown Manhattan location by stratospheric rent increases, according to the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME).
The book shop and theatre venue will be closing its doors Jan. 20 at its West 40th Street location. However, with the help of MOME Commissioner Julie Menin, as well as investment and management from Miranda, Thomas Kail, Jeffrey Seller, and theatre impresario James L. Nederlander, the Drama Book Shop will reopen in the fall of 2019 at a new location in the theater district.
“The Drama Book Shop is beloved by New York City’s theatre community, and we simply could not stand by and watch a uniquely New York independent bookstore disappear,” Menin said.
Kail, who is the director of “Hamilton," said he started his career at the Drama Book Shop.
“My first experiences directing in New York City were at the Arthur Seelen Theater in the basement of the Drama Book Shop,” he said, adding: “Thanks to the generosity of owners Allen Hubby and Rozanne Seelen, I had a small theater company that was in residence there for five years. I was lucky enough to be there the day the shop opened on 40th Street on Dec. 3, 2001, and I am delighted to be part of this group that will ensure the Drama Book Shop lives on.”
The new location and opening date in 2019 will be announced at a later time, according to MOME.