A24 Buys Off-Broadway’s Cherry Lane Theatre

Independent film studio A24 has purchased a small Off-Broadway venue, the Cherry Lane Theatre.

The theater, which is located in New York City’s West Village, was purchased for just over $10 million, according to a deed filed Friday. Cherry Lane Theatre is the longest continuously running off-Broadway theater in New York and features a 179-seat mainstage and a 60-seat studio theater.

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A person with knowledge of the deal told The Hollywood Reporter that A24 plans to keep the space as a venue for live theater.

The purchase comes after the studio, which is behind this awards season’s The Whale and Everything Everywhere All at Once, raised a $225 million equity round in March 2022, with plans to use the capital to continue to produce and distribute films but also “continue to develop high-quality initiatives beyond the screen.” New York-based venture capital firm Stripes was the lead investor in that round.

A24 joins Netflix in investing in small, independent theaters in need of saving. Netflix signed a long-term lease for the single-screen Paris movie theater in New York in 2019, and has been keeping the theater running with special events, screenings and its own films. The streaming giant also bought an ownership stake in The Egyptian movie theater in Los Angeles.

The Cherry Lane Theatre was established as a playhouse in 1923, thanks to the theater artists Evelyn Vaughn, William Rainey, Reginald Travers and Edna St. Vincent Millay. The theater went on to feature works by artists such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, W.H. Auden, Gertrude Stein, Samuel Beckett, Edward Albee, Harold Pinter, Sam Shepard and David Mamet.

However, the theater ran into financial trouble in recent years. In 2021, executive director  Angelina Fiordellisi agreed to sell the theater to the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation for $11 million, according to The New York Times. But the deal fell through after a disagreement about the price of the property, the Times reported.

Curbed first reported the news of the sale.

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