Built in 1889, the Amato Opera house operated for more than half a century as an intimate performance space, often for student actors and singers. It shuttered in 2009 and was sold off, and though there was hope that another arts group would take it over, it's now destined for a residential conversion. Until that fate befalls 319 Bowery, it's an abandoned, falling-apart mess?and those lucky ducks at Bowery Boogie got an exclusive peek inside. It's as sad as you'd expect, from a wrecked piano to an old sign for intermission concessions that hawked fudge for 25 cents. Oh, the memories.
A rather notorious landlord, Steven Croman, is at the helm, planning a retail store to replace the 67-seat theater with three full-floor apartments above, including a duplex penthouse. The proposed changes are awaiting approval from the DOB. Bittersweet comparisons: here's what the sweet cultural refuge used to look like.