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New Chapter For Storied, Iconic Drama Book Shop As It Reopens In New Location

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - There's a new chapter for a beloved book store in Midtown.

The Drama Book Shop was in danger of closing until some famous Broadway folks came to the rescue.

Now the iconic store is ready to reopen in a new location, and CBS2's Hazel Sanchez got a sneak peek.

The curtain almost closed on the iconic Drama Book Shop, but now it's celebrating a revival in a new location on West 39th Street.

The centerpiece: A 3,500-pound, literal bookworm of theater history.

"It breaks through the wall with the ancient Greeks, the way theater broke into the, you know, consciousness, and it spirals around 140 feet," said designer David Korins. "Twenty five hundred books, 2,500 years of theater history."

The beloved century-old specialty store had long been a popular gathering spot for the theater community and its fans.

In 2018, the shop nearly met its end with an insurmountable rent increase at its 40th Street location, until, it could be said, Hamilton came out of the wings to save the day.

"It's part of the fabric of New York, and to have it not exist was something we didn't want to imagine," said Hamilton director Thomas Kail.

Kail, the musical's creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, producer Jeffrey Seller and theater owner James Nederlander collaborated again, this time to buy, and move, the Drama Book Shop.

Kail started a small theater and created much of his early work in the old location, and it's where he and Miranda worked on In The Heights.

"This bookshop is at the center not only of my own theatrical life, but of tens of thousands of other people who love theater the same way I do," Kail said.

Hamilton set designer David Korins helped create the shop's warm and inviting French cafe-style interior, with artwork celebrating some of the greatest shows to hit the stage, and replicas of George Washington's chair used in Hamilton.

"It's a dream come true helping them make their dream come true," Korins said.

"So many ideas and dreams were hatched in the old Drama Book Shop, that then became shows that you and I went to enjoy. My hope is that continues every day here for the next 100 years," Kail said.

The shop will also sell pastries and coffee. The hope is that artists will continue to congregate there, and perhaps be inspired to create the next Broadway hit.

The shop opens at its new location Thursday with limited capacity and a timed entry reservation system. Reservations are not required, however; patrons can also wait in line to enter.

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