Long Island City, Theater
Aug 09, 2017

Good News for LIC’s Chocolate Factory Theater

Thanks to help from the city of NYC, the Chocolate Factory Theater is staying in Queens in a new location at 38-29 24th Street in Dutch Kills.

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Photo credit: Chocolate Factory Theater

This week we learned from the NY Times the awesome news that the Chocolate Factory Theater, one of Long Island City’s performing arts gems (and the folks behind the annual Taste of Long Island City), has purchased a new space! They will be leaving their current location at 5-49 49th Avenue in the heart of Vernon-Jackson, to a 7,500 square foot building at 38-29 24th Street in Dutch Kills. The Times notes that the 2017-18 season will still take place at their current space.

The unsurprising backstory is a “tale as old as time”—their current lease is up in 2019 and they anticipated being displaced; from what we’ve observed in the past in western Queens, this could be from the rent being jacked up or the property would be sold, or who knows what else. They anticipated needing to find a solution in securing a space five years ago, which is when they started to look for a new location.

Thankfully the city recognized their importance to the NYC arts world, and three Queens leaders helped allocate funds to make this purchase happen: Jimmy Van Bramer, majority leader in the City Council; current Queens borough president Melinda Katz; and the late Helen Marshall, the borough president prior to Katz. The NYC Economic Development Corporation also had a hand in making this new home become a reality for the Chocolate Factory Theater, which enters the new space with no debt. No debt?!? It’s like a DREAM COME TRUE.

I think the arrival of the Chocolate Factory Theater will be welcomed with open arms in Dutch Kills. Their location will be on the corner of 24th Street and 39th Avenue, making them one short block away from the excellent Crescent Grill (38-40 Crescent St); I could see the restaurant easily becoming a gathering place for Chocolate Factory Theater community and patrons. The 39th Avenue strip area is also home to the Fisher Landau Center for Art (38-27 30th Street), Dutch Kills Centraal (3840 29th Street), SPACE Gallery (29-09 39th Avenue), Vista Skylounge (27-05 39th Avenue); the LIC Beer Project is also not far away (39-28 23rd Street) and of course there are a ton of hotels in Dutch Kills. This section of LIC is definitely growing and will continue its trajectory to being a destination area of Queens.

Big congrats to the Chocolate Factory Theater—NYC is lucky to keep them!

Chocolate Factory Theater Finds a Permanent Home in Queens [NY Times]

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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