Theater group, and its 75,000-piece costume collection, moving to Queens

July 22, 2011 02:33PM

The non-profit theater organization that runs the city’s TKTS discount ticket booths is taking its 75,000-piece costume collection to Queens after being priced out of the 13,000-square-foot Starrett-Lehigh Building space in Chelsea that has housed it for the past 35 years. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Theatre Development Fund will move in the fall to a lower-rent, 16,000-square-foot space at Kaufman Astoria Studios, where film and television shows like “Men in Black III” and “The Smurfs” have been shot. Perkins Eastman, the architecture firm that designed the new TKTS booth in Times Square, plans to gut and custom-design the space in order to accommodate TDF’s unusual garment collection, which has grown over the years through donations from Broadway, Off-Broadway, opera and television and film productions since the 1970s. TDF’s costumes, including Patti LuPone’s coat from a 2008 production of “Gypsy” and Anna Nicole Smith’s leopard-print dress from the 1994 film “The Hudsucker Proxy,” are rented year-round to non-profit theater productions nationwide, so they need to be easily accessible at all times rather than tucked away in storage. The Kaufman Astoria Studios space has 23-foot ceilings, which was “critical” for TDF’s vertical clothing racks, said Paul Wolf of Denham Wolf Real Estate Services, who brokered the deal. [WSJ]