I've known for years that the building housing the deli East Village Farms in the East Village on Avenue A used to be an old theatre. The long snaking fire escape across its side gives it away. But I never knew that remnants of the theatre still existed in decaying form inside.
Recently photographer Kevin Adams Shea was granted access to the space about the deli and shot these amazing pictures. The proscenium and ceiling are in wonderful shape, given the decades of neglect. It's hard to believe how vibrants the colors still are. Apparently, East Village Farms used to use the space for storing surplus goods.
The building opened at Avenue A Theatre in 1926. It was operated by RKO, then Loew's, and closed in 1959 as the Hollywood Theatre.
Shea says the deli will close in a few weeks and there are plans to tear the theatre down. This is probably inevitable, but what a shame.