Curtain Call: Players Club May Be Forced to Sell Gramercy Park Townhouse, Rich History

Players_ClubIt may be curtains for the Players Club.

After years of fiscal troubles, The Players Club, the storied 125-year-old actors society, might have to put their historic Gramercy Park townhouse on the market. The club is $4 million in debt, and the property owes $250,000 in back taxes. To make matters worse, the townhouse’s façade is dangerously decrepit, and repairs were halted for lack of funds.

The sale of the townhouse is a “doomsday scenario” that was put forward at a meeting last week by the club’s treasurer, who said that selling the property could keep the club alive, albeit in a new location. DNAinfo estimated that the property could be worth more than $14 million, but Players Club members were not particularly enthused about giving up their sumptuous (if a little cobwebby) digs.

Johnnie Planco, the Players board president and the only remaining board member after a recent spate of resignations, said that the club is working on “creative fundraising strategies” to avoid this undesirable scenario. These would include renting out the space as a venue for shooting films and holding parties, as well as pressing corporate sponsors to shell out for the naming rights to rooms.

“I think everyone is on the same side,” he said. “Let’s get the club back to where it belongs.”

But some members are skeptical about Mr. Planco’s plans to save the property. Arlene Harrison, an honorary club member, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association and a trustee of Gramcery Park, told DNAinfo that Mr. Planco should have implemented these strategies long ago.

“He has allowed the club to come into such a dire state of affairs,” she said. “I don’t think the closing of the club is a long shot. I think it’s a reality.”

Here’s hoping the Players find a solution before the fat lady sings.

Article continues below
More from Politics
(FILES): These two file photos show then Labor Secretary Thomas Perez (L) speaking to reporters about the minimum wage for federal contractors at the White House in Washington, DC, on Feburary 12, 2014; and Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison (R) during a press conference about Islamophobia at the National Press Club on May 24, 2016 in Washington, DC.

US Democrats, licking their wounds from last year's election debacle, will pick a new leader on February 25, 2017 to take the fight to President Donald Trump and his Republicans. The race to chair the Democratic National Committee (DNC) features front-runners Tom Perez, a Hispanic-American and former secretary of labor under Barack Obama who is the establishment pick, and Keith Ellison, a black Muslim congressman from the party's progressive wing who has left open the prospect of pushing to impeach Trump. / AFP / Mandel NGAN AND Brendan SMIALOWSKI        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN,BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Sanders 2020 Just Became Much More Likely With Tom Perez as DNC Chair