After shutting its doors at its longtime 40th Street home in January, the Drama Book Shop is preparing for its moment back in the spotlight. The theatre district staple is slated to reopen in March 2020 in a new location: 266 West 39th Street.
Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, producer Jefferey Seller, and theatre owner James L. Nederlander stepped in earlier this year to purchase the store as the institution faced threats of shuttering permanently. The quartet acquired the space with guidance from The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment's commissioner at the time, Julie Menin.
Also on the team for the relaunch is Hamilton set designer David Korins, who modeled the new space after European cafes and reading rooms. The venue will feature a coffee shop, a basement room for readings and classes, and as its centerpiece, a large spiral structure inspired by dramatic literature.
Miranda calls the shop “an oasis in midtown…a safe space to gather, to learn, and to find great books and music,” noting that In the Heights and Freestyle Love Supreme saw their earliest stages of development in the store. “To the next generation of dramatists, actors, directors, composers, choreographers, designers, and theatre enthusiasts,” he promises, “the stage is set…Come in. Discover. Enjoy.”
The Drama Book Shop, housing a collection of scripts, biographies, guides, and more, celebrated its centennial in 2017 and had occupied its 40th Street façade for nearly 20 years. In 2011, the institution was presented with a Special Tony Award.