The historic Slave Theater on Fulton has been the focus of many hopes and dreams as of late. Since last September, New Brooklyn Theater, a local non-profit theater company, has been raising funds to purchase the dilapidated building and restore it to its former glory, waking it from its 14-year sleep and filling it with a huge main-stage, a state of the art sound system, projection capabilities, an orchestra pit, and a revamped lobby. However, in a sad – and yet somehow totally familiar – turn of events, the Daily News says Slave Theater has been purchased by a real estate developer and will probably be turned into luxury condos.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a historic part of New York torn apart to make room for the rich, and it certainly won’t be the last. The Slave Theater dream was nice while it was alive, but as we already know, pretty much nothing is sacred when it comes to Brooklyn real estate, not even the names of the neighborhoods themselves. According to Rev. Samuel Boykin, who has been managing the estate, most potential buyers who were not gigantic real estate corporations were put off by squatters and decay, which made owning the Slave Theater a restoration project that could cost millions, which, again, nobody freakin’ has.
The theater has been put on the market as a result of insurmountable taxes and debt, a feeling we can all relate to, and Boykin firmly believes that there is nothing that can be done to stop this development. But at a time where space is becoming increasingly scarce, it’s important to note that, not all hope is necessarily lost. With some action, this has the potential to go the way of 5 Pointz, whose scheduled demolition continues to be pushed off as outcry escalates.
In the meantime, pour one out for the Slave Theater, and here’s to hoping that, if those condos do get built, they remain empty long enough for the price to drop to something reasonable.