The Drama Book Shop, a quirky 104-year-old Manhattan specialty store that has long been a haven for aspiring artists as well as a purveyor of scripts, will reopen next month with a new location, a new look, and a new team of starry owners.
Those new owners — the “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as the show’s director, Thomas Kail, lead producer, Jeffrey Seller, and the theater owner James L. Nederlander — said Wednesday that the store will have its long-delayed reopening on June 10.
The opening, at 266 West 39th Street, is a sign of the team’s confidence in Times Square, which has been largely theater-free since March 12, 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic forced Broadway to close. Broadway shows are not planning to resume performances until September, but the new store owners say they are ready for business.
The “Hamilton” team bought the Drama Book Shop, most recently located on West 40th Street, in early 2019 after years in which the store had struggled to survive the challenges of Manhattan real estate, e-commerce, and even a damaging flood. Kail had a particular passion for the bookstore, where he had run a small theater company in his early years as a professional; Miranda joined him there to work on “In the Heights,” a musical Kail directed. “In the Heights” has now been adapted into a film which is being released on June 11, the day after the bookstore opens.
The new owners had initially hoped to reopen the store in late 2019, and then in early 2020, but the project was delayed, first by the vicissitudes of construction, and then by the pandemic. The new shop has been designed by David Korins, the “Hamilton” scenic designer, and includes a cafe.
The store is encouraging visitors to make reservations online; capacity will be limited.