African Grove Theater

African Grove Theater

Cultural PerformanceCultural SiteArt SpotHistorical FeatureAbandoned SiteDiverse Neighborhood


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From 1821 to 1829, this theater - whose location had earlier been a tea and ice cream garden for free blacks - offered black audiences free admission to such plays as Richard III and Othello. As a young man, the celebrated black actor Ira Aldridge (1807-1867) performed here.

Source: Six Heritage Tours of the Lower East Side by Ruth Limmer in collaboration with NYC's Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Unfortunately, you won't find any remains or signs leading to the African Grove Theatre meant to be located somewhere on Bleeker and Grove streets.


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