The Duo Multicultural Arts Center building opened in 1889 as a dance and catering hall. The building comprised restaurants, meeting halls, and residences. John Philip Sousa, the famous American composer, established one of the first musicians’ unions in the building’s ballroom.
The ballroom was converted into a theater in the 1930s and was named the Fortune Theatre. Over the years, the theater had many uses; it was a Yiddish theater in the 1930s; a television studio in the 1950s; and was the home of Channel One Theater (a comedy improv theater) during the 1960s. Andy Warhol rented the theater in 1969 to screen “Boys Adore Galore,” his pornographic film series. Later, Francis Ford Coppola used the theater to film the operetta scene of The Godfather: Part II.
In 1981, the Duo Multicultural Arts Center, which uses the space as a venue for Latino artists in the East Village, took the building over. The exterior of the building underwent a 2.1 million dollar renovation in 2011. The Duo Theater hopes to use a grant from Partners in Preservation to restore the murals and the decorative tin ceiling. More information on the theater can be found at www.duotheater.com
Matt Lambros NY New York Mar 01, 2022 Architecture History
Location: New York, New York
Matt Lambros Mar 01, 2022
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