The Real Deal New York

Radical LES theater loses lease

February 25, 2013 12:00PM

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Judith Malina and Julian Beck, 21 Clinton Street and Judith Malina

A Lower East Side theater known for its cutting-edge productions is closing its doors after more than six decades because its founder couldn’t pay the rent, according to the New York Daily News.

Judith Malina was forced to shut down the Living Theater, at 21 Clinton Street, after Yonkers-based Assnco Realty pulled her lease for falling four months behind in rent. She is moving to New Jersey to live in the Lillian Both home, a residence for retired artists.

Malina, a self-proclaimed anarchist who produced the works of Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, Jean Cocteau and Bertolt Brecht, lost the theater despite receiving donations from the likes of Al Pacino and Yoko Ono, and spending $800,000 of her own money.

“I’m in the theater because I’m a revolutionary and I’m very unhappy about having to give this place up,” Malina told The News.

A report last year from the non-profit New York Innovative Theatre Foundation showed 50 of New York City’s 200 performance venues with 99 seats or fewer disappeared between 2003 and 2010, mostly because of gentrification. [NYDN]Christopher Cameron

  • Regina

    We will be keeping the space a theater that’s available for rent by anyone interested in hosting a performance. Email me at reginathecow@gmail.com. The new theater will be called the Celebration of Whimsy or The C.O.W Theater. Ms Malina PLEASE come perform with us!!!!!

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