29 May 2009

The Owners of Theatre 80 Respond

In response the blogosphere furor yesterday about the Pearl Street Theatre leaving its longtime home at Theatre 80 in the East Village, leaving the fate of the theatre seemingly in doubt, the son of the owner sent me this message. (I notice he sent to same one to EV Grieve, who broke the story. No doubt he sent it to many.)

Be assured that the Otway family still owns and runs Theater 80. My mother is well and sends her dearest regards to all.

When we came to Saint Marks Place in 1964, there was not a tree on the block. My father planted the first three trees on this now tree lined promenade. At the age of eleven, I dug out the auditorium with my father and helped pour the concrete. We are not going anywhere. We helped to build this neighborhood one business at a time, and it can be lost one building at a time. We have held out against times when those who are tearing down the neighborhood seem to be winning. But, like many others, we intend to keep the East Village a vibrant arts community.

I am at a loss to understand the quote from Shepard Sobel that he is “… disappointed the East Village is losing a theatrical venue to commercial enterprise..." Theatre 80 has been the jewel of the off-broadway theaters since my father built it, and we opened in the mid 1960s.

Our theater saw the opening of "You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown", was the home of the Manhattan Festival Ballet, and was the first full time film revival house. For many years Noche Flamenca has performed to sold out audiences.

I have no idea the meaning or source of this information. As managing agent for the Otway family, owners of Theatre 80, I state categorically, we intend to remain a theater. We have turned down offers for other uses of this theater which would destroy the auditorium.

Please be assured that we welcome offers from theater companies to lease this theater. I can be reached by email at LorcanOtway@Gmail.com

Best regards
Lorcan Otway
Theatre 80


EV Grieve said...

It's nice to have some good news for a change!

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Yes, and nice to see landlords would have the courage of a conviction that doesn't involve money.

hollarback said...

Glad that they are hanging in there. I went to see a ton of double feature there back in the day.

Lorcan said...

Thanks for posting this. We have fought for this little patch of New York a few times in the past, to preserve the sidewalk... and if the wolf is at the door again, we will call on the bloggers to sound the alarm and call in the neighbors to help keep the East Village a haven for arts.
Best Wishes
Lorcan Otway

Lorcan Otway said...

A quick update… We have a few announcements on the present state of Theatre 80 St. Marks. We have a web site, now being built - Theatre80stmarks.com . The schedule will be posted to the site as deposit checks are in hand. At present we are in final negotiations to present several operas, ballet, a musical, and the big announcement, we are installing high def. digital projections, so that we can, on occasion present film again at Theatre 80, though our focus will remain live theater. “The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side played to appreciative audiences here last month, and it was a pleasure to have the company in our theater, and we look forward to their possible return soon with a new play.
To enquire as to availability of Theatre 80 for performances, screenings, private parties or rehearsal space, email Lori Singleton at Lori.theatre80.gmail.com.
As always, the Otway family wishes to extend our thanks to the patrons of Theatre 80 for their support and expressed good wishes.
All the very best,
Lorcan Otway