Drama Book Shop readies its shelves to open in June

Drama Book Shop readies its shelves to open in June

Good news, theater fans: The beloved Drama Book Shop has officially set an opening date. On Wednesday, “Hamilton”‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda and director Thomas Kail — two of the shop’s new proprietors — announced that the store will crack open its doors to the public June 10.

The storied institution may have a new address — moving to 266 West 39th Street from its previous 40th Street location — but Kail and Miranda said in a statement that they hope the spot will serve as the same source of inspiration for its future visitors as it did previous generations.

“For me, the Drama Book Shop has always been the heart and soul of the New York City theater community,” Miranda said. “I sat and read plays there in high school. I discovered incredible artists and new works through staff recommendations. I wrote so many songs from ‘In The Heights’ in the basement there. I’m excited for the next generation of storytellers and theater lovers to come in, explore and be inspired.”

A hub for theater lovers, artists and readers for over a century, the Drama Book Shop was known for carrying a large collection of plays, scripts and theater-related books and was hailed as a spot of communal gathering. After rising rent costs forced the indie to shutter in 2019, Miranda and Kail joined forces with “Hamilton” lead producer Jeffrey Seller and theater owner James L. Nederlander to buy the Drama Book Shop and open it in a new location. The return of the store comes after various delays pushed back its anticipated arrival.

“It is impossible for me to separate my early New York City life and career from the Drama Book Shop,” said Kail, who collaborated with Miranda on the musical “In the Heights” at the store’s old location. “My theater company was housed there for nearly five years starting when the DBS opened in December of 2001 on 40th Street. It was my home base in every way. The plays, books and musicals contained there fueled so many of us. It is my hope that the return of the shop will be a burst of inspiration for our community.”

The Drama Book Shop rendering by David Korins Design.
The Drama Book Shop rendering by David Korins Design.

Designed by “Hamilton” scenic designer David Korins, the new shop aims to create a community space, complete with reading rooms and a cafe, set to serve up coffee, tea and light snacks.

The news arrives weeks after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Broadway theaters may resume operations at full-capacity starting Sept. 14. Many shows, including “Hamilton,” have set dates for the fall.

Once open, the Drama Book Shop will operate at a limited capacity. Though reservations are not required, the shop encourages patrons to register online for a timed-slot.

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Top Image: The Drama Book Shop rendering by David Korins Design.