On 40th street between 7th and 8th Ave, there is a bookshop. A little shop that doesn’t sell novels or the classics such as To Kill A Mockingbird. No, this is the famous Drama Book Shop. The Drama Book Shop has served all in the Theatrical community since it’s founding in 1917 by the Drama League. The shop is known for its extensive resources for actors and their vast selection of some 20,000 titles including many plays and musical librettos.
The shop has also been a hotspot for some of the industry’s biggest names and has been visited by the likes of people from Marylin Monroe to Lin Manuel Miranda who worked on music for In “The Heights” on the piano downstairs. The store is a creative hub for many and the children’s theatre group The Story Pirates holds performances upstairs. There is also an intimate theatre space that occupies the basement and is used for performances as well. the shop even won a Tony Award in 2011 for “Excellence in Theatre.” A high honor for any establishment and one not given out to many places.
The bookshop means so much to the theatrical community and is now under risk of facing another move in its near future. Skyrocketing rent prices are forcing the shop to begin looking for new locations around Manhattan. Now, this is not the first move the shop has faced, but it does come after a seventeen-year residency in its current storefront. While the shop has moved several times in the past, it has always maintained a location in the New York’s Theatre District, but it will be tough to find a new spot in the neighborhood for a suitable price.
The Drama Book Shop faces a tough road ahead, but as their website states, they are determined to find a new location and ask for any suggestions from the community. The Drama Book Shop is an important outpost for the theatre community, and they need our help to keep this wonderful institution thriving. Many have come forward on social media and other platforms calling for action from lovers of the theatre. Take a listen to Behind the Curtain Broadway’s Living Legends episode honoring and discussing the legendary shop to hear just one of many pleas to assist the shop. If you would like to read more about the plans of the shop, please visit their website by clicking here.
thank you, and please subscribe for even more articles and updates.