Dangerfield’s comedy club has closed its doors permanently, citing “untenable” financial burdens.
The legendary club, which Rodney Dangerfield and Anthony Bevacqua opened in 1969, said that the lack of official guidance from the city and state on when venues can re-open placed a “severe financial burden on its New York City operations,” Vulture reported.
The venue’s owners vowed to reopen in a different location at a future date, according to a statement on its website.
Property records show its building, located at 1118 First Avenue, is owned by Solil Management, which has several hundred buildings in Manhattan and is one of the city’s largest privately held landlords.
Comedy clubs have remained closed since the state’s March stay-at-home order was put in place, although other establishments have been allowed to reopen. Comedians have instead taken to rooftops and public parks to draw laughs from pandemic-weary audiences.
Comedy club owners have called for the state to allow them to reopen under the same rules that apply to restaurants, which can open with 25 percent capacity. Club owners also called for mortgage forbearance for their landlords if they would agree to slash rent for those venues.
State Sen. Michael Gianaris, who supports the measure, called the different treatment of comedy clubs and restaurants a “completely arbitrary distinction.”
Gym and restaurant owners took legal action against the state before being allowed to reopen under strict guidelines. So far, comedy club owners haven’t gone that far.
[Vulture] — Georgia Kromrei