Following fast on last month’s Disney purchase of Times Square’s New Amsterdam Theater, Time Warner’s music division is looking to establish a similar presence on West 42nd Street.
The Warner Music Group confirms that it has been in preliminary talks with the 42nd Street Development Project to purchase a West 42nd Street theater and join Disney in bringing the district back to life.
Over the past few months, the Warner Music Group has been inspecting some of the eight dilapidated theaters adjacent to the New Amsterdam, and has been in talks with various state and city agencies involved in the area’s restoration project.
According to Warner’s Margot Wades, the group has been checking out the sites with an eye toward building a studio for its new music cable channel, or a recording studio for its many record labels. Time Warner, Sony, PolyGram and EMI Music together are backing a new music channel to rival MTV.
However, according to Rebecca Robertson, president of New York’s 42nd Street Development Project, the Warner Music Group has been inspecting the 42nd Street theaters alone.
Disney’s February announcement of its $ 29 million theater restoration project helped attract attention to New York’s “42nd Street Now” campaign.
Disney is providing $ 8 million, with the remaining $ 21 million on loan from the 42nd Street Development Project. Disney plans to present musicals at the New Amsterdam beginning in fall 1996.
Another theater on West 42nd Street, the Victory, is undergoing a $ 7.9 million renovation for use as a youth theater. The project is expected to be completed by February 1995.
Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, the famed London tourist attraction, has also expressed an interest in a 42nd Street site for a New York outpost.