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Fringe Fest Briefly Revives 45 Bleecker as Theater, But Could It Become a Bar?

Almost a year after 45 Bleecker Street ceased to operate as a theater due to a dispute between the landlord and the production company that leased the space, the New York International Fringe Festival is reviving it as a temporary headquarters. Starting this Friday, the venue will host productions such as “Jersey Shoresical: A Frickin’ Rock Opera” and “Theater of the Arcade: Five Classic Video Games Adapted for the Stage.” However, it’s uncertain how long the space’s life as a theater will last.

The landlord Fred Rogers, a retired New York City electrical engineer who now lives in Las Vegas, is aggressively trying to find a new tenant. He said that of the potential renters, “a couple” were interested in turning the space into a restaurant, another couple hoped to turn it into a bar, and just one was interested in keeping the building as a theater.

Mr. Rogers said he doesn’t care what type of business eventually occupies the space: “I’m an owner, period, and I’m looking for steady tenants.” Read more…