Theater lovers rejoice – the beloved Drama Book Shop re-opens on June 10 in the NYC Theater District.
It’s another signal that NYC is back in business, including the business of Broadway and Off-Broadway.
The Drama Book Shop, which specializes in plays, screenplays and theater memorabilia, has a new address and new proprietors including chief backers “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and director Thomas Kail.
The Drama Book Shop will operate at a limited capacity. Though reservations are not required, the shop encourages patrons to register online for a timed-slot.
That’s much more user-friendly than another recent NYC theme store opening – the Harry Potter New York store – where you must sign in on-site on the sidewalk, and wait up to eight hours to get in.
The Drama Book Shop also will host theater-themed events. The first one scheduled is the launch of a book about In the Heights, Miranda’s first Broadway blockbuster, on June 15. .
“For me, the Drama Book Shop has always been the heart and soul of the New York City theater community,” Miranda said.
“I sat and read plays there in high school. I discovered incredible artists and new works through staff recommendations. I wrote so many songs from ‘In The Heights’ in the basement there. I’m excited for the next generation of storytellers and theater lovers to come in, explore and be inspired.”
There’s also a small cafe, with comfy seating, where you can curl up with a good book about the theater, or collaborate with your writing partner or your play’s director.
Miranda wrote much of his next hit play, Hamilton, in the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights.
The new address of the Drama Book Shop is 266 West 39th St., one block from its longtime previous address on W. 40th Street.
A hub for theater lovers, artists and readers for more than a century, the Drama Book Shop specialized in stocking a large collection of plays, scripts and theater-related books, and also became a communal gathering spot for up-and-coming theater people, such as Miranda.
There’s also a selection of logo merchandise, including a tote bag that says “You Need a Little Drama in Your Life”. You’ll be able to shop online soon.
After rising rent costs forced the indie bookstore to close its doors in 2019, Miranda and Kail joined forces with “Hamilton” lead producer Jeffrey Seller and theater owner James L. Nederlander to buy the Drama Book Shop and open it in a new location.
“It is impossible for me to separate my early New York City life and career from the Drama Book Shop,” said Kail, who collaborated with Miranda on the musical “In the Heights” at the store’s old location.
“My theater company was housed there for nearly five years starting when the DBS opened in December of 2001 on 40th Street. It was my home base in every way. The plays, books and musicals contained there fueled so many of us. It is my hope that the return of the shop will be a burst of inspiration for our community.”
Designed by “Hamilton” scenic designer David Korins, the new shop aims to create a community space, complete with reading rooms and a cafe, set to serve up coffee, tea and light snacks.
Once open, the Drama Book Shop will operate at a limited capacity. Though reservations are not required, the shop encourages patrons to register online for a timed-slot.
Find out more at www.dramabookshop.com.