Is now a time to build a NEW Broadway Theater?

Insane, right?

With Broadway shut down and no sure re-opening date in sight, who would invest in a new Broadway theater?  Or Off-Broadway Theater?  Or any theater?

Warren Buffet might.

It was Oracle of Omaha himself who said . . .

“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”

And, well, a lot of people are scared $hitless about the future of the theater.

Not me.

And apparently a few others have been thinking about acquiring real estate as well.

In this article in Forbes (written by one of Broadway’s best data crunchers, Marc Hershberg), a bunch of Broadway theaters are listed as potential acquisition targets.

Will some of these theaters change hands?

Maybe.

But what I’m really interested in, will any NEW theaters be built?

But where?  How?  What land would be used?  (These were the questions posed pre-pandemic if anyone ever suggested that a new Broadway theater should be built.)

Enter COVID.

And last week, THIS article, about the closure of a handful of midtown’s biggest hotels, made me think.  Could we make theaters out of ballrooms?  Could some of these big buildings be reconfigured into Marriot Marquis-like venues?

And what about all the empty retail there is going to be on our midtown streets in a year?  Could we see a Chicago storefront theater movement right here in New York City?  I mean, I love me a 24-hour Krispy Kreme, but what if there was a 24-Hour Shakespeare Shack?

Never mind the office space that could be turned into black boxes?

There could be a lot of opportunities to put down theatrical roots in the city in the next 12-24 months.

Nah, seems, crazy, right?  No way.  Who would do such a thing?

Someone with resources.  Someone with passion for the theater.

And someone who understands that the theater has survived for thousands of years, who knows that there will be a day when we’re even bigger than we were before.

Someone like . . .

Excuse me, I’m going to go stalk Warren Buffet now.

Want to hear more about what Broadway could look like when it returns from the smartest and most creative minds in the biz? Click here.

 

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Comments
  • Michael DiGaetano says:

    i need at least four new theatres for the shows i’m writing 🙂

  • You read my mind! Now is indeed the right time to start scoping out new theater space! We will be back and stronger than ever might as well be prepared for it!

  • Andrew Husmann says:

    I’ve been saying this for months. Now that everyone can work from home… there’s gonna be lots of commercial real estate opening up. The ballroom idea makes sense but I’m sure there’s a way to gut 4-5 floors of a big building. How many floors do we need for the fly loft? Smart people with money have fantastic opportunities now. Fun.

  • Robert Winthrop Talmage says:

    Time to cherry pick some bargains.

  • Cristina says:

    There is always the possibility of buying what is already there, and buying some more. There’s a lovely theater down here in Pennsylvania that I would love to buy more than, well, almost more than anything.

    Oh, what a day it has been !

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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