The approaching new millennium is bringing out the builder in everyone -- from Disney to Ford, from Livent to Manhattan Theatre Club. Now a group called Millennium may make expansion possible for Lincoln Center.
In 1996, Lincoln Center Theatre updated and refurbished its facilities, including the Vivian Beaumont (Broadway) the Mitzi Newhouse (Off-Broadway) theatres in its complex on 65th St. in Manhattan. Now, the New York Times reports, the performing arts center hopes to build a new hall for opera, dance and drama on the northeast corner of Broadway and 64th Street.
A Broadway-sized 1,000-2,000 seat facility is projected, featuring a large stage but intimate auditorium. Millennium, a development team, just purchased the space with plans for an apartment tower whose ground level would offer stores and the new theatre.
The Times quoted Christopher M. Jeffreys of Millennium as saying, "We've always considered the possibility of doing a new Lincoln Center facility to be a prime objective of our activities. It's good for the West Side. It's good for our existing properties. And it's good for the property that would be developed."
Negotiations are still underway on the project, which would replace a building at 1926 Broadway. An earlier plan by Lincoln Center to build a new theatre on 66th St. did not go through. According to the Times, the participants are "in the process of negotiating and still staking out positions, not entirely prepared to discuss matters publicly." Fred Iannotti, of Middleton & Gendron, the public relations firm for Millennium Partners, told Playbill On-Line that the principals are most likely "out of town in Washington DC."
--By David Lefkowitz