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Washington Heights resident revives fight to save historic Coliseum Cinemas theater

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A new petition is calling for the building to be landmarked and acquired by a theater company

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The historic Coliseum Cinemas theater in Washington Heights has been shuttered since 2011, and while preservationists and local residents have made efforts to have the building converted into an arts space, none have proven successful. A new push to revive the 97-year-old theater has resurfaced in a petition drafted by Washington Heights resident River De La Cruz and it’s hoping to reached the desk of city and state officials, as well as theater industry folks who might agree that the building is worth reviving.

After learning of its storied past, De La Cruz felt compelled to push for the building to receive landmark status and is also urging AMC Theaters or a similar theater company to purchase the structure from current owners, BLDG Management.

“I hold my neighborhood, Washington Heights, very close to my heart,” writes De La Cruz in the petition. “Although things change and people change, one thing that I know is missing in my community is the charming Coliseum Theater, located in the heart of uptown life in Manhattan.”

The petition has already garnered over 150 of the 200 signatures that it is seeking. Once the signature goal is met, it will be delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, State Representative Carmen De La Rosa, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, playwright and Manhattan native Lin-Manuel Miranda, and AMC Theaters, along with several other local officials.