The flagship theater for the Upright Citizens Brigade is moving on up out of the basement of Gristedes supermarket in Chelsea and into a 160-seat theater space of its own in Hell’s Kitchen.
After 14 years on West 26th Street, the UCB Theatre will move to 555 W. 42nd St. at the corner of 11th Avenue — the former Pearl Theatre space.
Shannon O’Neill, the UCB-NY’s artistic director (and a co-star of The Chris Gethard Show on truTV), told the Wall Street Journal that the new venue will open for performances at the beginning of December, and rectify the noncompliance with the ADA that afflicted the longtime Chelsea location. “The Chelsea theater has served us very well, but I’m very excited about what we’re going to be able to do in this new space,” O’Neill said.
The Chelsea spot, with 152 seats (including some seats with obstructed views), not only has been the hub for the annual Del Close Marathon, but also the incubation womb for many comedy stars you’ve come to know and love on TV and in the movies. The new theater in Hell’s Kitchen will be slightly larger as a performance space, but much larger as a professional theater home. The auction listing for the former Pearl Theatre Company (which closed in June after 33 seasons Off-Broadway) described the space as having “Extensive 6,932 Sq Ft Theatre Buildout.” The bankruptcy auction for the space on 42nd Street also listed rent at $26,250 per month.
More information on the move and its impacts on the UCB as they become available.
Since moving to its current location in Chelsea on April 1, 2003, the UCB has expanded its operations in New York City with an additional theater in the East Village, an expanded training center on Eighth Avenue and West 37th Street, as well as two theaters and a training center in Los Angeles.