Indie film studio exploring purchase of West Village theater

A24 eyeing Cherry Lane Theatre one year after property’s failed sale: report

A24 CEO David Fenkel and 38 Commerce Street (Getty)
A24 CEO David Fenkel and 38 Commerce Street (Getty)

A 10-year-old film studio is in talks to buy one of New York City’s most historic theaters.

Independent film studio A24 is exploring a purchase of the Cherry Lane Theatre in the West Village, a person familiar with the matter told Insider. No other details on a potential transaction were reported and there’s still a chance negotiations fall through.

The venue at 38 Commerce Street is the oldest continuously running off-Broadway theater in the city. The theater was founded 99 years ago, producing works from legends such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams.

The property’s main theater includes 179 seats, while a smaller studio contains 60 seats. There are also eight residential apartments in the property, which spans three connected buildings.

Actress Angelina Fiordellisi acquired the historic theater in 1996 through a corporation named Little Goddess. Last year, however, she came close to selling the Cherry Lane — before the deal collapsed.

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The Lucille Lortel Theater Foundation agreed to purchase the venue in an off-market transaction for $11 million. The deal later fell through over disagreements about the price, months after it was seemingly cemented in the summer.

The theater returned to the market, listed slightly below $13 million. It’s not clear what A24 is willing to pay for the property, but it’s believed to be in line with previous valuations. The listing says a contract for the space has been signed.

Brown Harris Stevens’ Mary Vetri, who has the listing, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Real Deal.

Daniel Katz, David Fenkel and John Hodges founded A24 in 2012. The studio made its name with movie hits including “Lady Bird,” “Moonlight” and “Uncut Gems.” The company’s television filmography includes “2 Dope Queens,” “Ramy” and “Euphoria.”

— Holden Walter-Warner