“As of the end of January 2019, the Davenport Theatre has closed,” according to an announcement on Davenport Theatrical Enterprise‘s voicemail.
Ken Davenport, the producer-general manager-book writer-marketer-podcaster-blogger-consultant, has told people in the industry that he lost his lease. He declined to comment for this story.
A person who answered the phone at Fraternidad Realty Corp., which owns the five-story building that housed the Davenport, said the landlord is in talks with other potential tenants. “It will not be a theater,” said the man, who declined to give his name. “Maybe a gym.”
Davenport took over the venue in 2014, which has a 127-seat theater and 99-seat “loft” space. The first theater occupant was Gerard Alessandrini’s Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging! and the last full production was Popcorn Falls, a comedy directed by Christian Borle. Afterglow, a play by S. Asher Gelman, ran 14 months in the loft through August 2018.
Off and off-off-Broadway venues have steadily disappeared in Manhattan, including the Union Square Theatre (2016) and the Julia Miles (2011). There’s also been new construction, with MCC and the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York opening four new spaces in the past two years.
UPDATE: A reader forwarded a blog post Davenport wrote last month, in which he disclosed that he was putting the theater’s contents up for sale and closing the venue.
Davenport wrote that he didn’t renew the lease “for the #1 reason why most leases aren’t renewed. We couldn’t make a deal.”
He said he had to move everything out by Jan. 31.