Our friends at Fourth Arts Block (FAB) are spreading the word that one of their founding members, the historic Duo Multicultural Arts Center at 62 East 4th Street has been selected as one of 40 sites in the city participating in the Partners in Preservation contest that is running now through May 21st. Each site has the opportunity to receive a grant for historic restoration based on popular vote. (American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation is giving away $3 million in preservation grants in New York City.) The size of the grant is dependent on votes.
This “below the radar” theater has quite a history. FAB notes: The building was constructed in 1889 as a dance and catering hall with restaurants on the bottom floors, meeting halls on the next two floors, and residences on the top stories. In the 1930s, the dance hall was converted into a theater stage. In the 1960s, Andy Warhol rented the Fortune Theater for his “Boys to Adore Galore” film screenings. In the 1970s, Francis Ford Coppola used the theater as a setting for The Godfather: Part II.
In 1981, this historic space was put under the care of the Duo Multicultural Arts Center, providing a much-needed venue for the underrepresented and talented Latino artists in the East Village. Last year, the exterior of the building, co-owned with Rod Rodgers Dance Company, received a $2.1 million dollar restoration.
For more on the preservation initiative and information on how to vote, go here.