Derelict (and Haunted) Amato Opera House Scares Away Potential Retailers

Posted on: January 29th, 2014 at 5:58 am by

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Amato Opera House, May 2011

Current owner and controversial landlord Steven Croman is apparently having some trouble filling the derelict Amato Opera House at 319 Bowery.

In the absence of the theater, Croman has plans to transform the historic structure (built in 1899) into residential units for “hedge-funders on the upper floors [plus penthouse] and one massive retail store.” That proposal is still on the table, but a pesky stop-work order from the Department of Buildings is keeping any construction from happening. We hear that they hope to begin work in two months, that is, if the city order is not extended.

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But there is another impedement to attracting a ground level occupant – the supernatural. Poltergeist!

A tipster tells us that the last few interested parties were scared away from the space, thanks to its notably haunted nature. No joke. One such candidate backed out because they didn’t want to “invest millions” and then appear on an episode of Ghost Hunters.

According to a recent Craigslist post by “Harvey” (seemingly from the Croman camp), the space is renting for approximately $35,000. The listing obviously doesn’t include photos of the current state of the theater (i.e. totally dilapidated). Suggested uses pitched included either a store or “two-level lounge.” Bring your hard hat.

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The Amato Opera House closed in 2009 after owner Anthony Amato sold the building to Croman for $3.7 million. He put it on the market a couple years later, but couldn’t hook any bites.

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