Roundabout in Negotiations for Lease on Henry Miller Theatre

News   Roundabout in Negotiations for Lease on Henry Miller Theatre
The Roundabout Theatre Company, which owns or leases Broadway's American Airlines Theatre and Studio 54, is in negotiations to add a third Broadway house to its list.

The New York Times reports that the non-profit theatre company is in the final stages of negotiations with the Durst Organization and Bank of America for a 20-year lease on the Henry Miller Theatre, which is due to reopen in the fall of 2008.

Douglas Durst, a co-president of the Durst Organization, spoke to the Times about Roundabout artistic director Todd Haimes: "I've watched Todd, both as a part of Times Square and as a board member, and he's just been so successful at the projects he’s undertaken that we thought the best way to go would be with Roundabout." The Times says that the Nederlander, Shubert and Jujamcyn theatre organizations had all approached Durst's company about the theatre.

Haimes told the Times that with the additional theatre, he would like to have an extended run play one of the theatres, while the other two houses would be home to several productions each year. When asked whether a non-profit company should be looking for a hit, Haimes responded, "I have no problem producing something that I think is popular or commercial to make money as long as the money goes for the not-for-profit purpose."

The Roundabout also has a presence Off-Broadway with the Laura Pels Theatre.

Henry Miller's Theatre opened in 1918 and was the home for Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town, T.S. Eliot's The Cocktail Party, Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution and The Andersonville Trial with George C. Scott. In the 1960s, the theatre began showing adult films, and housed a number of nightclubs, including Xenon. The theatre returned to legit use as the original home of the Roundabout Theatre Company's Tony Award-winning revival of Cabaret. Urinetown was the last tenant of the theatre, when it was forced to close because of plans to build a new 54-story skyscraper that would have made inhabiting the theatre unsafe. The Bank of America Tower was since built on the Avenue of the Americas between 42nd and 43rd Streets. That area includes the Henry Miller, located at 124 West 43rd Street. When the theatre reopens, it will house approximately 1,000 seats.

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