The Chain Theatre plans to offer programming to the end

By Kevin Zimmerman

In a little more than three weeks, The Chain Theatre will shut the door for the last time on its 45th Road home.

Its current lease expires Feb. 9, and the property’s owner has already confirmed the building is slated to be remade as another high-end residential development in booming Long Island City.

That is not to say that The Chain and Artistic Director Kirk Gostkowski plan to go quietly.

Gostkowski has even called in a few political favors and convinced Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) to produce a video to support the theater.

“I love The Chain for a lot of reasons,” Van Bramer states in the video. “These are folks who built a place that is a home away from home for New Yorkers seeking a unique and diverse cultural experience.”

And while it skews more unique than cultural, this weekend the theater hosts its movie parody comedy group, The Usual Rejects, with a encore presentation of its first program, “Yippee-Ki-Yay: Die Hard.”

Five actors don a series of rotating costumes as they take on every role in this re-imagined staged reading of the Bruce Willis mega-hit.

During the last weekend of January, the Rejects return for a special version of “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

Other events include a special screening of the original “Blues Brothers” film in conjunction with Cinema Under the Influence.

“We’re on a mission from God to save The Chain,” Gostkowski, paraphrasing a line from the film, said.

Benny & Griff, who mix music and comedy, play a show Jan. 22.

Then a party to thank all of the people who have supported The Chain since its opening in 2012 is slated for Jan. 31.

Gostkowski has known for a few months that he was going to lose the space.

He has been looking for another venue, and would like to stay in LIC, but so far he has been priced out of the market.

“Rents have doubled since we looked for this place three years ago,” Gostkowski said.

Although The Chain may not have a building to call its own, Gostkowski intends to continue producing works in spaces he will rent around Queens.

He will also keep seeking donations through Indiegogo—igg.me/at/savethechain.

“If everybody who’s ever seen a show here gave $10 that would be a huge number,” Gostkowski said.

Gostkowski also plans to continue to look for a new home in Queens.

“No matter what neighborhood it is in,” Van Bramer said, “that neighborhood would be lucky to call The Chain part of its community.”

Reach News Editor Kevin Zimmerman by e-mail at kzimmerman@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4541.

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