The fate of Bed-Stuy’s landmark Slave Theater has been uncertain ever since it was sold to a developer in 2013. And while a condo conversion is certainly on its way, a theater group is hoping to revive the theater space.
Once known as the Regent Theater, it was renamed the Slave when Judge John Phillips purchased the building in 1984. Phillips used the theater as a meeting place for civil rights rallies and talks.
Over the years, the property has fallen into disrepair. But Jonathan Solari, the founder and artistic director of the New Brooklyn Theatre, is now in talks with developer Fulton Halsey Development Group to occupy the first few floors, according to the New York Observer.
“This was an opportunity to have a home that honored the history, that gave something back to the community and provided an opportunity for developing artists and kids in the neighborhood to have something to do,” Solari told the Observer. “It’s going to be a long uphill climb to be able to get this place open again, and that’s what we signed up for. We didn’t know everything that would come at us, but in the meantime, I’m just trying to produce good theater.” [NYO] – Christopher Cameron