(Trav S.D.’s article appeared in the Villager, 6/16-22.)
By now it seems as inevitable as scientific law: Pioneering arts institutions, as they grow, sow the seeds of their own destruction by improving their iffy neighborhoods and making them attractive to retailers willing to pay much higher rents. In effect, the arts groups are priced out of the very neighborhoods they help transform.
Ironically, the latest Off-Off Broadway theatre to fall victim to this depressingly familiar phenomenon is one of the oldest (and thus, one would think, one of the most well-established). On August 31st, the Ohio Theatre (66 Wooster St.) will close its doors for the last time — following 26 years of operation and hundreds of innovative productions.
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