Monday, May 20, 2024

Confirmed: NYC Landmark Roseland Ballroom Set to Close in April 2014


UPDATE SATURDAY 12:27AM: I’ve confirmed independently that Roseland is indeed history. “The owner is developing the property,” a source who’s on the inside told me. Roseland opened in 1922 and moved to its current location on West 52nd St. in 1956. Albert Ginsberg bought in 1981 and promised everyone he wouldn’t shut down. Thirty two years later, it seems the Ginsbergs are cashing in. Or cashing out. Ironically, across the street last year there was a threat of Gallagher’s Steak House shutting down. It was saved at the last minute. New York’s rare and storied history is disappearing quickly.


Billboard is reporting that New York City’s famed Roseland Ballroom is set to close in April 2014. The article says the information comes from an internal memo. So far nothing’s been confirmed. But if true, it would be yet another tragedy for landmarks in New York– and one closure of a famed historic site under the rein of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

It’s not like the cavernous Roseland on West 52nd St. isn’t busy. It’s used all the time for concerts, dances, and Broadway show openings. But the space must be coveted by real estate developers, Bloomberg’s favorite New Yorkers, for use as yet another skyscraper of condos with a CVS and large, anonymous restaurant in its base.

Fifty years from now, people can say they made great memories inside a Bank of America lobby…PS this version of Roseland was built in 1956, but the original was built in 1922. When Albert Ginsberg bought it in 1981, there was speculation that he’d raze it then. Thirty two years later, here we are, it seems…

Since Bloomberg was elected, Tavern on the Green, the Bottom Line, Elaine’s, and CBGB, not to mention a lot of Greenwich Village, have all been erased. The Russian Tea Room operates as a facsimile of itself. The Cedar Tavern closed in 2006 and is now a nail salon. No knows what happened to Chumley’s. And coffee shops and diners have mostly vanished, replaced by franchises so that tourists from Kerplunk will feel like they’re at home…

Stay tuned for more details…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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