Secret Theatre at 44-02 23rd Street announces permanent closure

The Secret Theatre, located at 44-02 23rd Street, is the latest victim of COVID-19.

The Theatre, an off-off Broadway institution in Long Island City opened its doors 10 years ago, and announced its permanent closure on Wednesday.

It couldn’t come up with the funding to keep its doors open during the COVID pandemic, owner Richard Mazda wrote in a release.

“We made it to ten years, we were never a drain on the public purse and we created many thousands of opportunities for actors, audiences and students to come together to practice, watch, learn and enjoy truly eclectic live theatre,” Mazda said. “We created a theatre where there was none and connected to a community in a way that will be hard to replace for a very long time to come. Long Island City’s cultural scene is losing an important institution and the city is beginning to see the wildfire that will consume many theatres and small businesses alike.”

The legacy of the theatre will live on in some form with the Secret Theatre Academy Online with a slightly expand teaching roster and new students.

“Basically from murderous Richard III to the joys of A Charlie Brown Christmas and Pirate Pete, the joyous tones of musicals like Rent or Hair to the dark foreboding themes of Dr. Faustus and Edward II we have tackled all with a passionate eye for entertaining, promoting occasionally challenging but always life affirming theatre,” Mazda said. “We have been the home for other company’s signature projects like the premiere of the storied Honeycomb Trilogy from Gideon Productions to the premiere of shows like Adam Szymkowicz’s Heart Like Fists. We were the launchpad for the Face Off Unlimited’s exponential rise as a new force on the Improv scene.”

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