PHOTOS: No one is trying to save the East Village’s secret theater

© Kevin Shea Adams

Above East Village Farms on Avenue A lies a hidden theater — soon to be demolished.

The bodega, located between 6th and 7th Street, has been open for the past ten years, said worker Young Han, but it will close its doors on Feb. 5.

The owner of the building plans to demolish the entire structure, according to EV Grieve, but the Department of Buildings says no permits have been filed.

Han, who has worked at the East Village bodega for three years, seemed indifferent to the theater’s destruction. “It’s empty,” he said.

Photographer Kevin Shea Adams, on the other hand, was enthralled by its mystery.

“Like a lot of people in the neighborhood, for a long time I just wondered what could be up there. You walk past this building every day and it seems strange to see such a large blank brick box in an area where every inch is taken up,” said Adams. “I was just really curious about what was in there. “

Earlier this week, Adams ventured inside to capture what may be the last photographs of the forgotten space. He found ornate décor, golden arches and an hour of photographic exploration.

“It was surreal,” said Adam. “I learned from people in the neighborhood that this was once the old Hollywood Theatre which shut down in 1959, but what was more surprising was when I found out it wasn’t just another dusty, gutted empty space, but that it was the functional store room for my dearest bodega.”

Susan Stetzer, district manager of community board 3, said that despite the theater’s intrigue, no one has stepped up to preserve it.

“Years ago I read about it, but I’ve never seen the theater,” said Stetzer. “Nobody has contacted us about it.” 


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