Turns out the premonitions were right. Bed-Stuy's historic Slave Theater?a former hotbed of rallies and press conferences by African-American activists in the 80s, which more recently morphed into a rave site that led the DOB to seal up the building?has officially been bought by a developer for $2.1 million. Worse, a source tells the Daily News that the buyer, recently formed LLC Fulton Halsey Development Group, has no plans to keep it a theater; many in the neighborhood believe that it will be converted to luxury condos.
Originally, the theater was meant to be auctioned off for under $200K, but that plan was called off when there were too many interested parties willing to pay much, much more for this prime site in Gentrification Central. "Kung Fu Judge" John Phillips, a Bed-Stuy resident who died in 2008, leaving severe debt and mental health problems, bought the Regent Theater back in 1982 and renamed it to "remind the community and the public at large of the historical veracity of slavery, of its severity, and its continued resonance in contemporary society." A fledgling campaign with slogans like #SaveSlave appears to have been futile. "It's definitely not going to remain a theater and my family is saddened by that, but there's nothing we can do at this time," Phillips's nephew told the Daily News.
· Slave Theater in Bedford-Stuyvesant has been sold [NYDN]
· Bed-Stuy's Endangered Slave Theater Could Go Condo [Curbed]
· All Slave Theater coverage [Curbed]