The Museum of Modern Art’s film series will soon unspool in East 23rd Street’s Gramercy Theater, currently an Off Broadway 499-seater.
The appropriately titled “All Over” by Edward Albee will be the final legit offering at the Gramercy. When the Roundabout revival closes on Sept. 1, the Gramercy will then convert back to its previous usage as a movie theater, in this case, for MOMA. The Roundabout Theater Company has occupied the Gramercy for the past 2½ years. The not-for-profit moves its Off Broadway operation in 2003 to the American Place Theater, soon to be renovated and renamed.
The Gramercy Theater is owned by legit producers Chase Mishkin, Steven M. Levy and Leonard Soloway. Mishkin said she and her partners were ready to sign a three-year deal with the museum. “I guess we’re going for the security,” she added.
Commercially, Off Broadway suffered a bumpy season in 2001-02. The last major Off Broadway production of a play to return its original investment was Yazmina Reza’s “The Unexpected Man,” starring Alan Bates and Eileen Atkins, at the Promenade Theater. The two-hander opened and closed during the 2000-01 season.
The Museum of Modern Art is currently undergoing a major renovation of its West 53th Street building and is expected to reopen there in 2005. Its temporary headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, opens June 29.