Off Broadway’s historic, if long financially beleaguered, Cherry Lane Theatre has been purchased by The Whale and Everything Everywhere All at Once film studio A24.
The 179-seat mainstage venue, located on one of the most picturesque side streets of Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood, is a central part of Off Broadway history, founded as a playhouse in 1923 and eventually providing a home space for such major theatrical figures as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Edward Albee, Clifford Odets, Tennessee Williams, Harold Pinter, Eugene Ionesco, LeRoi Jones, Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, Joe Orton and David Mamet.
Recent years have seen the small, tucked-away venue hitting one financial brick wall after another, most recently when executive director Angelina Fiordellisi agreed to sell the theater to the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation for $11 million in 2021. According to The New York Times, that deal fell through over the selling price.
A deed filed today – and first reported by the real estate website Curbed – indicates A24 has purchased the venue (which also includes a smaller 60-seat theater) for $10,026,428.
As reported by Deadline a year ago, A24, currently riding high with Oscar nominees Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Whale, had secured a $225 million equity investment to fund a strategic growth plan, with stated plans to use the capital to expand production and distribution worldwide and develop high-quality initiatives “beyond the screen.”
Though A24’s plans for the Cherry Lane have not yet been detailed, the purchase dovetails nicely with the studio’s previously announced desire to develop non-film projects.