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Paul Robeson Theatre Space for Lease in Fort Greene? [VIDEO]

FORT GREENE — It's curtains for Fort Greene's Paul Robeson Theatre.

The theater, which was housed in a landmarked 1864 Romanesque Revival church, recently hit the rental market for $18,000 a month, but realtors hope that the building will see new life as a performing arts center once again.

The 11,000-square-foot space, at 40 Greene Ave., offers offices, a theater, bathrooms, reception area and original stained glass with a 10-to-15-year lease available.

"The space is perfect for the performing arts and I know a lot of people in the community would like to see the rebirth of a theater," Keller Williams NYC broker Anthony Crews said.

Crews called the monthly price tag "peanuts" for the neighborhood and said it was due to the need for extensive repairs costing a "few hundred thousand" at the space, owned by the theater's owners.

It was not clear what repairs needed to be made.

There has been some interest in the space, primarily from one party that would like to turn it into a restaurant and events venue, but no official papers have been signed.

The Paul Robeson Theatre, founded in 1980 and named after an African-American singer and actor, showcased poetry, plays and other works from black artists for more than 25 years before shuttering when its owner, Dr. Josephine English, died in 2011.

Still, English's family members continued to host summer concerts and open mic nights in the lower level of the space until two weeks ago when the building was listed for rent, Crews said.

The church itself has a long history — serving as a home to the Fourth Universalist Society of Brooklyn, which named it the Church of the Redeemer, then later to Temple Israel before it was bought by the Catholic bishop of Brooklyn and last sold to English who turned it into a theater, according to Brownstoner.

The current owner, Barry English, could not be reached for comment.


Written By Josie Jamison

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