BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Fade to black… .
The curtain already fell on Theatre 80 St. Marks a couple of months ago.
Last week, as if to hammer it home, the shuttered East Village venue’s name was blotted out on the canopy and the outdoor dining shed for its William Barnacle Tavern demolished and carted off.
In early May, the iconic building was auctioned for $8.8 million, with the winning bidder being Ori Kushnir of Foxface sandwiches, a former commercial tenant there. Kushnir tells The Village Sun he’s been diligently trying to find a new theater tenant for the place.
Lorcan Otway and Genie Gilmore of Theatre 80, who were forced to vacate the property in April by a bankruptcy court-appointed trustee, found a home nearby with Father Pat Moloney — a feisty Irish liberation priest — at his Bonita’s House just east of Tompkins Square Park.
But they knew that living arrangement couldn’t last forever, and so have now been searching for permanent housing. To that end, Otway has started a Patreon campaign to help pay for their ongoing housing needs. A recurring monthly fee gets members regular installments from Otway writing about “The story of the Otway family and Theatre 80.” The entry-level rate, $5, offers access to “exclusive content” from Otway. In Episode 5, for example, members learned about the time “Dad gets paralyzingly drunk at Bar Berta at Taxco, Mexico, in 1936 and we ask, and maybe answer [questions about] Quakerism… .”
At the next level up, $10 a month, members can send a question to Otway that he will try to answer within the month.
Another fundraiser on GoFundMe, “Save Historic Theatre 80 St. Marks,” is still active and has raked in more than $9,500. That drive was launched in a last-ditch effort to raise millions of dollars to fend off the May auction and save the building from sale. Otway said that GoFundMe is a separate funding stream and is still intended for use to “buy back the building.”
Correction: The original version of this article said that the neon sign that hangs out from the former Theatre 80 St. Marks had been removed, but it’s actually still there.