New York’s PlayStation Theater, a 2,100-capacity venue located in Times Square and operated by Bowery Presents, will close at the end of 2019, a source close to the situation tells Variety.
The venue will close with a New Year’s series of shows from the Disco Biscuits.
The theater, which is located two stories beneath the skyscraper that houses Viacom and MTV’s headquarters, is closing because its existing lease is up, but its location — in the middle of the always-crowded Times Square and the Theater District — and slightly awkward design meant it was never one of the city’s most popular venues; concertgoers must ride down two long escalators to reach the theater. It also changed its name twice due to sponsorship deals: It was the Nokia Theater upon its opening in 2005, then Best Buy Theater, and since 2015, PlayStation Theater.
However, Ariana Grande, Rihanna and even U2 — as part of a MusiCares event honoring their bassist Adam Clayton — have all performed there over the years, and it remained a popular spot for awards shows (the Libera Awards were held there for a couple of years), conferences and other events. The recent opening of the similarly sized Sony Hall just a few blocks away did not improve its commercial prospects.